Nirvana, Prudhoe & the Weather

In 1991 Kurt penned a song called “Territorial pissings” – it appeared as the 7th track on Nirvana’s anthemic Album “Never Mind’ and gives an alien like perspective on man’s propensity to want to mark his territory by taking symbolic journeys.

Over the last few weeks as we’ve pushed North and the torrent of Harley’s and Gold Wings has given way to mainly GS Adventure bikes and their equivalents, every rider has had the same two questions. “Are you going all the way to Prudhoe Bay” or “Have you done Prudhoe”?

Created 30 years ago to allow construction of the Pan Alaskan pipeline, “The Haul Road” is a 500 mile, mainly dirt, road that goes from Fairbanks to the Artic Sea. It’s the symbolic end point for the yeasty cadre’ of North American adventure motorcyclists. And seemingly the litmus test for true grit.

As well as being abused by Tractor & Trailer Units, permafrost and calcium chloride, its incredibly sensitive to weather. We’ve met people who have been up and back in 12 hours of good weather and dry surfaces. We’ve met others who have taken 30 hours in one direction and been challenged by big offs, busted spokes and holed tyres.

In two day’s time it’s our turn. Could be the weather makes it just another dirt road and effectively a storm in a teacup. On the other hand, septic weather might make for a more colourful expedition. We wait and watch the weather channel and wonder what Kurt would have made of it all.

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