Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Arctic Circle - Going up ! ! !

Liz and I decided we would like to go to the Arctic Circle. You may well ask, "Why?" Well, it's there and we had never been before and may not have the opportunity to go again. So we contacted 1-Day Adventure Tours and signed up. Pick up time 7 a.m. at the front gate. Signs of the times...7:05 and still no I trotted back to the camp to get my cell phone - I had the number on it. Sure enough before I got back the driver showed up. He was new and hadn't been to Fairbanks (FB from here on out) in quite some time. They closed the entry at one point and created a new one on a different street. So off we go. Well, kind of. We had to stop for gas. Wait a minute Bill the tank is on the other side of the van. Oh, so the pump won't work...go see the guy inside....pump works okay, Bill didn't know how to work it! (Oh, oh, oh! Are we going to have this kind of trip? Yep, looks like it!)

So you need to understand a little about the picture taking on this trip. Depending on where you were sitting and your height in the seat is reflected in your photos. When the driver asked if you wanted a photo of "this" (whatever it might be), it meant staying inside the van and taking a photo out of whatever windows to which you had 'clear' access. 'Clear' access means there was not a body in front of your camera. Liz took some shots for me, as she had a clear shot and I didn't.

Off to Highway A2 going north. First stop, the Aleyska Pipeline and their 'pigs' used for moving oil and cleaning the lines.

Scenery will be plentiful in this post. Here we whiz past some trees with nice 'hill' in the back ground.
A 'road' shot. Shooting from the backseat over the middle seat and between the driver and passenger. Not much to be done about the obstacles.

Where are we? going? coming?

Arctic Circle is not as far as Coldfoot, but beyond Yukon River.
This is at a SST stop at Tolvana River. (SST = Sweet Smelling Toilet)

Need someone to tell me which Flycatcher this is.

Dwarf Dogwood

Willow - plant of many uses. 

Labrador Tea

Pretty flower


The mighty Yukon River.

This bridge is 1/2 mile long and can expand and contract up to 30 inches. This accommodates the temperature range of +90 to -60 degrees. The pipeline runs under it. More to come on the pipeline.

More roads...This is the road that Ice Truck Road show is filmed.

Never know what is just over the next rise! 

They wet it down to keep the dust from blind you as you meet the BT's (big trucks)

 Stunted trees mean 'perma frost'. Tall trees means 'no perma frost'.
 Big Trucks have the right of way. You must pull over and stop to give them that!

No joke?? 
Snow over there.

I thought this was something out there, but couldn't create anything.

And for those of you who follow Liz's blog ( this is payback for the nap photos. The proverbial Butt shot. Thought I had a better one than this.

Lichen growing on a rock.

This plant is called Crow's Feet and is used as pectin in canning. 

I believe this is used for smoking salmon - not birch but alder. May have misremembered.

This is blueberry or I forgot it's name. 

Off we go - back on the road - it's not far now.

See we did make it!!!!!

There we are at the point!

Bill, our driver/guide and the other couple that were with us on this adventure. 

Was that fun? or what? Well the next post has you going back!

Yes, I omitted the 'breakfast' part of the trip. We stopped and really needed an SST but they were working on the water well and there was no water. After breakfast, we drove down the highway and made an emergency non-SST stop. Liz said it was okay as there was dried Moose poop at her bush. Being a birder, I have many a time found a large rock, big tree, little shrub, deep ditch and 'boys in the front - girls in the back' car stop.

That stop brought this photo looking back from the direction that we had traveled. Just awesome!

Okay, get ready we are heading back!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic photos on this trip. I expected it to be all snowy since you had so much snow earlier. I liked the photo of you sleeping. Not too many people could have managed that. Good shot of Liz too but not sure what she was doing. Maybe shouldn't ask. lol.