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Django

Wanderer
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
119
Location
Alaska-Argentina on a bike
This thread will use me to gather information to what hopefully will become the first ever adventures winter hitchhiking to the Arctic Ocean.

Im not sure I will be able to pull it off, but right now I did all the necessary preparation. Warm clothing to be added when needed.

I'm taking with me 3 small bags with warm clothing and some essentials: tooth brush/paste, toilet paper, a book and my harmonica.
I should start as soon as I get my u.s visa, in about a week.

I usually don't write or document any technical details of my travells, but I have a feeling that no one ever done this before (the section from Inuvik to Tuktoyuktuk was opened Nov 2017) and possibly this journey will finally get me the push I need in order to get some support from outdoor brands. I managed to reduce my weekly expenses to 15$ thanks to good dumpster diving spots, but it's really not that healthy. I eat almost nothing but pasta and bread.

Hopefully I make it to the Arctic and back, and of course stay alive (not dying is my first priority).

Stay warm.

*Someone in Vancouver and maybe wants to help me with a bigger backpack or heavy coat? :)
 

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I'm usually in favor of extreme projects...but, damn...
 

CheMu

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Austin, TX
There's a section in interior BC called the "Highway of Tears" which is notorious for hitchhikers to disappear. If luck favors, try get a ride before Cache Creek that'll take you past Prince George. Or at the very least, ask the locals about it. They'll tell you it's mostly women that get kidnapped, but if you're traveling solo...

Best of luck, mate!
 
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Django

Django

Wanderer
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
119
Location
Alaska-Argentina on a bike
There's a section in interior BC called the "Highway of Tears" which is notorious for hitchhikers to disappear. If luck favors, try get a ride before Cache Creek that'll take you past Prince George. Or at the very least, ask the locals about it. They'll tell you it's mostly women that get kidnapped, but if you're traveling solo...

Best of luck, mate!
Thanks. Already aware of hwy of tears, and truth to be told, it is mostly female first Nations..
But I'll take your advice anyway. Thanks.
 
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Matt Derrick

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i could be mistaken, but i believe @Cornelius Vango hitchhiked to the article circle in alaska this past summer. frankly i think this is an extremely poor decision on your part given the time of year, but we'll drink a beer for you in the obituaries section...
 

Faceplant

Mmmm . . . Taste the Ballast!
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Nov 29, 2018
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Boulder Creek Ca
Hey, thank you for that link, an amazing guy and an amazing journey . . . Thus far.

Hey, Django, I admire your determination. And, I don’t know nothing from nothing. But the guy in that film was infinitely prepared, with great resources, including sponsors . . . and still, he struggled mightily. Please take no offense, but you ought to choose a more modest endeavor. Good luck, though , and Godspeed.
 

sd40chef

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everywhere
I don't think it would be too bad was long as you get dropped off near a shop or somewhere to warm up periodically. I've hitched across Canada in -40 and it really isn't too bad as long as you're not outside for more than s couple hours at a time. Sleeping outside is another story.
 

Matt Derrick

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i could be mistaken, but i believe @Cornelius Vango hitchhiked to the article circle in alaska this past summer. frankly i think this is an extremely poor decision on your part given the time of year, but we'll drink a beer for you in the obituaries section...
i feel slightly guilty about that statement, since my intention is not to crush your dreams or stomp on ideas for doing unique/interesting things. in fact StP is really here to encourage people to do do crazy things... but i think you need to temper those ideas with a dose of reality as well. If for no other reason than for your own personal safety. i just don't want to see you turn into another Chris McCandless.
 
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Deleted member 21429

I deleted myself
Don't know ya but I do hope you are prepared. The road to Tuktoyaktuk sometimes closes because of weather and there won't be any vehicles and there is NOTHING around. One bad spell of weather can be deadly if you are inadequately prepared. I'm planning a trip there but not till 3 years from now because of the costs involved prepping just my vehicle. Special fluids and oils (even windshield washing fluid has to be rated for -40f), relays, wiring, etc... All that. I thrive in the cold and have lived in extreme climates so I know my personal gear is all set for walking around up there when I get there. I wish you the very best of luck. ~ peace and just to give you an idea of prep, when I was getting ready for a possible assignment in Antarctica, I had to have six metal fillings in my mouth removed and replaced with plastic compounds so my teeth would not shatter from the metal expanding. That was in case shit hit the fan and I was faced with unexpected exposure.
 
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Django

Django

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Joined
Oct 3, 2018
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119
Location
Alaska-Argentina on a bike
Thanks for the video, it was super interesting. I watched it a few years ago. There's should be a part about the doutg if I'm not mistsken.

I appreciate all the concerns mentioned. I don't know what I'm going for,
But it hasn't stopped me in August 2018 when I started cycling, with ZERO experience, from Brooklyn NY and now, over 5,000 km later I'm in Vancouver (well, right now I'm back in Calgary, getting ready to my next mission).

Unfortunately some people have to taste how mistakes feel like. I'm one of those people. So far all the extreme stuff I've tried went well, so I keep pushing myself.

When an idea comes to my mind I can't help but to chase it, and eventually make it happen. That's how I became a skydiver, a marathonist and now cyclist/hitchhiker in the Canadian winter.

I know that this next adventure might be deadly. I will do my best to prepare and be safe as I can. Truth to be told, the story of Chris McCandless (movie and book, plus mini documentary on YouTube) has lots if magic for me. The north west has a certain impect on me. The mountains don't need us. The ocean don't care about us.

I managed to trade two of my bags for a bigger one, and also got more warm clothing from a supporter of my journey.

Thank you all for your "two cents". I appreciate that. Hopefully I will make it to the far north and back. Alive. If not,
It would be a hell of a story
 
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Django

Django

Wanderer
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
119
Location
Alaska-Argentina on a bike
07:00 Calgary-lake Louise 170 km
16:00 Lake Louise-Cochrane gas station 153 km
17:00 Gas station-Sicamous 450 km
02:45 Sicamous-Kamloops 127 km
08:00 Kamloops-Kamloops 10 km
14:30 Kamloops-Revelstoke
+Revelstoke-Canmore 520 km
14:30 Canmore-Crossfield gas station 140 km
17:15 Gas station-Edmonton/hwy60 275 km
08:30 Gas station-Hinton 267 km
12:00 Hinton-Jasper 75 km
Jasper-Jasper x2
14:00 Jasper-Prince George 380 km
Two days in P.g
08:45 Prince George-Dawson Creek 380 km
15:45 Dawson Creek- Fort St John 75 km

------------------------
Day 0: I replaced two small bags for the big black one. I made a few signs in advanced, two sided.
I got good vibes from a thai restaurant with lots of "I love Tuk"

Tomorrow should head to lake Louise, spend the night there and then keep going on Saturday.

I'm sorry if I'll spam double or triple messages, it's a really comfy platform to upload pics and write notes. I'll make an effort to edit this message.
Day 1:
Day one started great.
A friend I met on my way west (I cycled from NYC to Vancouver and spent a few days in Calgary) offered me a ride to Lake Louise, and that we spend the day together. I found a rare couchsurcing host in Lake Louise and planned on sleeping there, and hitchhike to Jasper the next day.
You make plans and the spaghetti monster laughs.
Due to a significant avelenche, hwy 97 (famous icefield parkway, Banff2Jasper) was closed, won't be open for at least a few days.
So I hitchhiked from L.L back east to a major gas station (south of Cochrane) with two cool guys, apperntley one of them is an Olympic athlete, and was fifth on the winter Olympics in Korea!
From there I got a ride to Sicamous, and was dropped there on a gas station torwards Kamloops at dark.
I'm here at the moment. Hope to make it to Kamloops. Couldn't sleep during the ride unfortunately. Stuck in a gas station just 100km from my next big destination.

I hitched today total of 750 (including the ride with my friends).
Over dosed on poor coffee. Got some expired food.
At 2:42 finally got a ride with a truck driver to a big truck stop just before Kamloops, hopefully will catch a ride north. Got there at 4 and I slept in the ride. I needed that.
Day 2:
I have time to test this spot and if it's bad I'll try to get to hwy 1/97. Kamloops is not easy to hitch north from. Especially not in the weekend.
So at Kamloops I was dropped just east of town, and there was another hitchhiker, sketchy person who kept annoying me. It was a bad spot and I was extremely tired, and kept falling asleep for short periods.

Failing to hitch out (got there around 4am), the night shift venders took us into town. They wanted to give me money for bus to another petrol station, I refused. I walked uphill about 30 min to traffic lights just before hwy 1. Problem was that all the drivers were heading to Vancouver (5 south), and I needed Prince George (97 north).
At one point police spotted me and told me to stop hitching there,
So I walked to the gas station, from which I was also told to stop "harrasing" drivers.

I was lost. Not allowed to hitch anywhere, super tired and frustrated. I fell asleep in the small shop.
I went back to hitchhiking, no success and I really lost faith of my ability to pull this off. I can't even get to the northern roads of BC!

I decided to use my harmonica for the first time, and just played nonsense Rythms to myself, and danced. It really made me feel better.
A car left the gas station without stopping, but after a few seconds the driver called me.

A really sweet woman, we had great chimestry from the beginning and she later told me it was the harmonica and the dancing that made her stop.
We stopped in Revelstoke, she invited me to see a movie (which I slept through), we slept in the car (long story. Nothing sexual) and continued torwards Calgary the next morning.
Day 3:
I asked to be dropped at Canmore,
From which I got a ride with a mother and her two young kids, without even asking! I don't usually approach mothers, but she just asked where I'm headed to.

She dropped me at a big gas station near Crossfield (just north of Calgary).
I had hoped to get a ride further north/west from Edmonton, so I kept declining ride offers to there. I put my signs so they are visible.

A truckie noticed me and offered a ride to Edmonton, I agreed. I like big trucks.
He eventually put me on a great spot on a major 24hrs gas station on hwy 16. He even tried to hook me up with his buddy that was supposed to go to white horse.

Hopefully I'll get a ride tonight, or at least some sleep. So far I travelled just over 1,000 miles (1750 km), most of them a complete waste of going east-west (but great ppl).
I didn't get a ride but I did find an open shower at the lounge with a used towel, so I got to shower!!

Unfortunately my socks still stink but it was a great feeling. There was even a soap bar that doneone left.
I didn't bother hitchhiking at night time, nobody was driving. Instead, I slept pretty good on two comfy couches (singles. What's the word for it?) that I put facing each other.
Day 4:
At 5 am I started talking to truckies, no success. Other direction or just not interested. I then got on a ride with a Canadian red neck that was extremely suspicious at first. He was going to Jasper and even though it wasn't my plan I took it. That was around 8:30 am.
I asked to be dropped in Hinton, which is a great spot if you wanna get any further west (or icefield parkway south).

I had my Prince George sign and a driver picked me up real fast. Only after a few minutes he told me he's gonna drop me in Jasper. I didn't want to be there but too late.
Long story short, in Jasper two cool people gave me two different short rides to hitch from the traffic light.
I was alone and cold in a traffic light, nobody was going west and who ever went didn't stop.
I wanted to head back to Hinton to the warmth of McDonald's.
Then, lucky me, a French guy stopped and got me to Prince George (offered to Smithers but I was affraid hwy 37 will be too empty).
Great fella.
He opened an hotspot for me, so I sent requests on couchsurcing as we were driving and I was lucky to find a nice host, to have a shower and laundry.

I hope tomorrow to hit Whitehorse finally.
Day 5:
 

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Django

Django

Wanderer
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
119
Location
Alaska-Argentina on a bike
07:00 Calgary-lake Louise 170 km
16:00 Lake Louise-Cochrane gas station 153 km
17:00 Gas station-Sicamous 450 km
02:45 Sicamous-Kamloops 127 km
08:00 Kamloops-Kamloops 10 km
14:30 Kamloops-Revelstoke 220 km
+Revelstoke-Canmore
14:30 Canmore-Crossfield gas station 140 km
17:15 Gas station-Edmonton/hwy60 275 km
08:30 Gas station-Hinton 267 km
12:00 Hinton-Jasper 75 km
Jasper-Jasper x2
14:00 Jasper-Prince George 380 km
Two days in P.g
08:45 Prince George-Dawson Creek 380 km
15:45 Dawson Creek- Fort St John 75 km


Day 5:
I don't know if it will work. Prince George, which I thought will be an easy place to get out of (north) is really hard.
Even going back east from here and try the other route (Grand Praire) might be difficult. -19 today
Day 6:
So in prince george I had a couch surfing host who dropped me at the northern outskirts of town (Hart) early in the next morning, I stood there from around 8:30 am, occasionally going in the Tim Hortons to get warmed up (it started -19 and slowly went to -11). I stayed there untill around 4, no luck.
‌I then heard about a 24 hrs gas station a mile down the road (Southbound though) so I thought I'd spend the night there, and be back hitchhiking early in the morning.
‌Long story short, I was kicked out around 8pm by the employees telling me I can't just stay there. Fuckers. Had no where to sleep right?
‌I was so embarrassed but contacted my host and asked them if I could stay another night (after promising I won't be needing any further help, playing tough guy).
‌She picked me up, I stayed the night and was dropped at the same spot next morning. She wrote a facebook post asking people to help me, which got a lot of shares. When I was back at my spot, one woman that saw the post got me a coffee gift card, and another dude that saw me yesterday got me breakfast. All in a good way, no bagging or anything like that.
‌Well, this time I got lucky, and someone picked me up.
‌Now I'll tell you that. That road was fucking sketchy!!! Two trucks in the ditch, snowfall the entire way.
‌Made it to mile zero of the Alaska Hwy!
‌After taking a picture of the iconic Mile Zero sign, and some food (big ass 10$ sandwich), I headed to the Husky at the edge of town and asked people occasionally. Then a guy saw me writing a sign to Fort St John and offered me a ride. I'm pretty chill here, truckies don't wanna take me but I hope to catch a private car to Watson lake or even Whitehorse.

 

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Faceplant

Mmmm . . . Taste the Ballast!
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
403
Location
Boulder Creek Ca
I don't know if it will work. Prince George, which I thought will be an easy place to get out of (north) is really hard.
Even going back east from here and try the other route (Grand Praire) might be difficult. -19 today
Friend, I am one of the skeptical ones, but I am really pulling for you.
 

Cornelius Vango

Chaos Magician
Banned
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
328
Location
Slab City, Ca
Yeah I hitched across Alaska and back this summer. I dont feel bad telling you that youre not going to succeed this time of year with your level of preparation. Try doing some winter camping for a couple weeks anyway, but you wont even make it through canada. Not trying to discourage you. Just being real. Summertime is a blast though. Highly recommend.
 

Cornelius Vango

Chaos Magician
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Messages
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Location
Slab City, Ca
Ah i just caught up on this thread... first off, this quest isn't "possibly deadly" it is quite deadly and if you've made it to Whitehorse, you're experiencing true cold... and it just keeps getting colder. The temperature in Prudhoe Bay as I'm typing is -35F... And I sure as hell hope that you're armed, as you're deep in bear country. I literally slept with my gun in my hand most of this past summer.

You ever seen a bear, wolf, wolverine or moose in the wild with nothing between you and them?

Are you camping or staying in hotels? What kind of sleep gear do you have?
 

Cornelius Vango

Chaos Magician
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Messages
328
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Slab City, Ca
I'd like to point out that the current temp in Prince George is a balmy 22F (-5C), while the next nearest city- Whitehorse- is -13F (-25C). It is also about a 15 hour drive (on a clear summer day) from Prince George with naught but a few bush camps and gas stations in-between as far as "civilization" goes.

The next nearest town to Whitehorse is Tok, AK. It is also around a 15 hour drive on a clear summer day. It is currently -27F (-33C). Tok is a very small town and offers few conveniences.

You're one bad drop-off from being a human popsicle.
 
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Django

Django

Wanderer
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
119
Location
Alaska-Argentina on a bike
I'd like to point out that the current temp in Prince George is a balmy 22F (-5C), while the next nearest city- Whitehorse- is -13F (-25C). It is also about a 15 hour drive (on a clear summer day) from Prince George with naught but a few bush camps and gas stations in-between as far as "civilization" goes.

The next nearest town to Whitehorse is Tok, AK. It is also around a 15 hour drive on a clear summer day. It is currently -27F (-33C). Tok is a very small town and offers few conveniences.

You're one bad drop-off from being a human popsicle.
Well that the kinda shit I'm sick of hearing (or reading).
I'm in F. St John, it's -17 C right now.

You might think I'm this clueless hobo/wonderer, but the truth is, I have done my research, and I've been out there on my own for over a year now, and in every place I did something a bit unusual I had people trying to tell me not to.
Well, you know what, and I'm being humble here, what I do? That's the kinda thing people then subscribe on YouTube and follow Instagram. But no. Not me. I don't share my shit.
This website is the only place I write, only to get it out of my system. But it doesn't mean I don't know what I do.

Just by mentioning Alaska shows me you obviously haven't read my first message (not the extra long one), because I stated that I'm going to Tuk, in Canada.

So for all of you smart asses that keep telling me what to do and what not I wish a fucking happy life, watching the videos people like me put on the internet (oh wait, I forgot, I'm a skydiver as well).

You really got all the shit out of me with your attitude, telling me the temperature as if I don't know, as if I don't plan my route. Hell no I don't carry a weapon, it's only you Americans that are so paranoid about everything. I have a bear spray only cuz someone gave it to me. You're not being respectful with your "concern". You just wait for me to fail so you can write "I told you so". Well, no need to give me more advices. I was very polite replying to everyone here before I started, but I already made it to the Alaska Highway, and this for itself is a major thing, even if I don't make it to the Arctic.
People also told me do t ride your bike westbound in the winter in Canada. Well, guess what, I made it to Vancouver.

Now, if you don't mind, I need to reenergize myself to get my next ride.

Stay safe

07:00 Calgary-lake Louise 170 km
16:00 Lake Louise-Cochrane gas station 153 km
17:00 Gas station-Sicamous 450 km
02:45 Sicamous-Kamloops 127 km
08:00 Kamloops-Kamloops 10 km
14:30 Kamloops-Revelstoke
+Revelstoke-Canmore 520 kn
14:30 Canmore-Crossfield gas station 140 km
17:15 Gas station-Edmonton/hwy60 275 km
08:30 Gas station-Hinton 267 km
12:00 Hinton-Jasper 75 km
Jasper-Jasper x2
14:00 Jasper-Prince George 380 km
Two days in P.g
08:45 Prince George-Dawson Creek 380 km
15:45 Dawson Creek- Fort St John 75 km
 
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