Friday, June 12, 2009

Stardate: June 11, 2009

Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay, AK to Denali NP
620 miles
Riley Campground

Long day today.

Started our day with a Tour of Prudhoe Bay as the last 8 miles to the Arctic Ocean are not accessible to the public due to security reasons.

Jump on a bus with a bunch of "old fogies" and headed to the shores for an hour tour of ocean shores... We could not see much as fog covered most of the area. We did however got the skinny on how this place works and the dude (Grant Arnold - a local from Imuruk Basin) doing the tour was also the local police/guard/EMT/ and quite the joke teller.. I think his salary was around 300 k a year "whoah". He was very interesting to say the least.

Since there are no trees from the Brooks Range to this place, they came up with their own version of a National Forest.

Saw some of the coolest machinery out here, including these "rollagons" which are used during the winter to move about on the frozen tundra. We also found out they only drill on winter time so as to not make an impact on the environment. We also were told they do not drill once it gets past -30 degrees as metal drill bits get brittle and brake right off.

These are Muskoxens which are related to the Buffalo (buffalo soldier brought from SA). Anyways.....

The Brooks Range up ahead but since weather was not cooperative we did not get to see it at its finest....Still a very impressive place to visit !!!

Big trucks making their way on this narrow road... we opted to pull out of the way as it was a on and off rainy day and the spray from these trucks was just too much !!!

Atigun Pass which is only 4k and change on elevation but deadly for some. The side rails along this section was all smashed in from 18 wheelers loosing control on severe weather conditions.

Poser shot !!

As soon as we went across Atigun Pass and the Brooks Range the tundra changes dramatically and we got to see this big guy right on the road and growled at us as I took this pic.... He was a HUGE bear of a bear !!!

Alaska Pipeline and part of the Brooks Range on the background

The Dalton Hwy with a beautiful sky full of clouds....

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