I had some coffee with Bill and Rosie before saying thanks and goodbye and starting my trip for the second time about a week later. I headed South and they headed North in search of the elusive Musk Oxen herd by pump station #3.
It was a glorious day and being on the bike again felt great. After about 9 miles, I saw some Dall's Sheep on Slope Mountain to the West. I passed Toolik Lake and then Galbraith Lake. I stopped for lunch at the Galbraith Camp. There was an airstrip that Alyeska Pipeline Co. uses to bring people in and out of work every two weeks. There was a helicopter there when I arrived and I asked the pilot what he did. He patrols the pipeline for security. We talked about the animals he sees and the weather in the Brooks Range to the South. Before he took off for his rounds, he referred me to the two workers in the airport building for info on the surrounding facilities, such as bathroom and water.
One of the workers was kind enough to allow me unlimited access to his big cooler full of ice water. So I filled up and began to prepare lunch on a very bright and sunny day. I put on long sleeves and pants to avoid the sun and mosquitoes. I made split pea soup and ate that while I cooked black beans and rice for later.
After a nice lunch and rest and a little bike maintenance, I headed for Pump Station #4 which was just near Galbraith Camp. I started to face some tough headwinds. I was also slowly battling the gradual inclines that led to the Brooks Range.
My thoughts were wavering whether or not to attempt the Atigun Pass (4,800 ft) tonight or do it tomorrow. It was getting late and my knees were telling me to give it a rest. I ended up doing a fair bit of climbing before crashing out at an abandoned work camp. I even got to sleep on a matress! A bit dusty but very comfy. (66 miles)