Thursday, September 18, 2008

Prudhoe Bay via the Dalton Highway (aka Haul Road)

What a superb drive, starting with glowing gold autumn colours down near Denali, and then becoming more wintery the closer we got to Deadhorse, up on the Arctic Ocean. Well, nearly on the Arctic Ocean; just a few miles short. We had to go on an 'oil tour' so that we could dip our toes in the frigid water. The weather at Deadhorse was extraordinarily good for us, clear and fine, and really not too cold! The cold part was the snow storm we drove through on the way up, and the -12C overnight on the Chandalar Shelf just south of the Atigun Pass. The most challenging part of all was the truck traffic. Quite menacing really, and we had to keep a sharp eye out in order to let them past. There was no way we could drive our camper as fast as they could.
The wildlife was spectacular. Hundreds of caribou, several herds of musk oxen, artic fox, arctic hare, and birds that were hard to identify - certainly one owl that I'll need to look up sometime.
And then we drove down to Wrangell St. Elias National Park, but that will have to wait for another day.

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