Friday, August 27, 2010

dalton highway...six

as we drove it got foggier and foggier. we would once again be doing the atigun pass in the fog, but at least it would be daylight. more traffic, more trucks, but no ice.
we had our line up. this day though we had our walkie talkies, the first two cars anyway. we had a more cohesive group. it was good to have radio contact with julie and the other car. added to the fun. i was "dog box" and they were "sand box". i have been thinking of changing my license to dog box. i like it better.
despite the fog, the scenery was still beautiful. always love seeing a place in all the various lights and shades.
i think the fog emphasized the fall colours. the reds were coming through beautifully. we could still see many caribou off in the distant hills, when the fog lifted, but our eyes were forced downward to enjoy the other elements of the tundra.
so why am i home again tonight. work called at 6:30 as i was getting set to head out the door to put me on call again. it was a headache day today. i occasionally get a migraine. a little nausea, but never vomited. the headache is still here but it has subsided. so my vacation has just been extended a few extra days. i really have to work tomorrow night. if only to make sure all my vacation days get put in so i can get paid. busy week next week. signing papers to get this whole refi completed. mixed emotions about it all. i lose all the interest i've paid, but still gain more than the days when i was just renting. it's best to get the lower interest rate and more reasonable payments.
the pipeline was still always with us...except when it went underground. it likes to come and go like that. we were always playing a little hide and seek with that pipeline.
the tundra is beautiful. all you have to do is look closer. it's always easy to look out at something and not see the details. the fog forced us to see the details. the tiny colour changes, the lichens, the berries. it's a special place out there. a place unfamiliar to most, but a dear place that deserves our attention. it's easy to forget a place like this in the big picture...oil, but this land is hardy and delicate at the same time. it survives winters and conditions you and i could never endure and yet, once marred it is nearly impossible to return it to it's natural state. when a car or 4 wheeler runs over the tundra the damage is permanent.
i love that we were lucky enough to see some of the fall colours coming through. probably this week is even more spectacular. next week, even more and then winter will come no doubt.
another picture of blossom that i loved from the trip. she is just so dang photogenic. wish i had that gift. perhaps it comes from being cute and fluffy!
we stopped a few places along the way just cause the colours were too spectacular to not stop. the dogs love to get out as do we.
we were happy to see the fog lift a bit as the day came on.
it's such a beautiful place up there. there are so many gifts we are given on this earth. the great beauty of it is the most precious. one that so many people often overlook. day to day life can overwhelm people and they forget to see the gifts that god has bestowed upon us on this earth. not gifts to use up or destroy, gifts to appreciate, linger in. you can completely fill your soul out here. anything that is missing or lost is quickly found and filled.
the mud did continue to build up on the cars. never seen anything like it. i probably should have taken it to the dealership before i'd hosed it off, but it was still quite dirty for them. funny too as there is still a long line of mud going down my street from that hose down.
more colours...
love the reds. just awe inspiring out there. what else can you say. nature is the heaven that god has created for us. it's amazing that so many religious people see this as a gift for us to use up. it just seems lost to so many people. like they enjoy a photo of it, but god forbid you ask them to protect and defend it. i think that was the most stunning realization watching that movie/doc "jesus camp". they believe god will just creat us a new earth so we can use this earths resources without concern for the future. god is coming so why bother, he'll just creat a new one. strange logic.
scott and jacqui went for a stroll in the tundra. liked the look in the fog.
more scenery and pipeline action...
i'll always stop for a nice reflection shot.
these little ground squirrels would pop up all over. hard to catch a picture of them. cute though.
we thought this was a bear off in the distance, in the end it was a musk ox. we never did see any bears or fox or wolves for that matter.
close up of the tundra. lots of dew out there too.
saw these tiny purple flowers. aren't they cute.

more scenery...
i can't remember where this was out up there or why these trucks were all lined up, but i really love how it turned out.
if we'd gone a few weeks earlier we'd have hit the peak of the wildflowers. they are supposed to be amazing up there. of course, with them you'd run into alot more mosquito's. mosquito's/wildflowers. such a difficult choice. i could literally go insane from the mosquito's though. nothing more miserable that those little buggers. seems to be a resurgence here since i've returned.
we stopped and watched a group of beautiful caribou with brilliant racks being stalked by a pair of bow hunters. must take hours and a great deal of patience to be a bow hunter. those caribou gets spooked. i think the bow hunters have to get within 50-100 feet. probably closer to the 50 ft.
hard to tell but these are the hunters here. hard to blend in out there. no place to hide in wait but out in the open.
there are some great racks out there.

more caribou at the pipeline.

we stopped at happy valley, at mile 334. planes were taking hunters off to more remote places and lots of hunters were camping in the area there. i watered and walked the pups, left their water bowl behind here.
there were caribou and moose signs about. definitely a hunters paradise.
not sure what the bus is doing way out here?
that is about it for happy valley.
we ran into the musk ox on the way back as well.

this looked to be musk ox tracks.
another musk ox in the distance.
this is actually the control tower for the happy valley airport. pretty basic.
guess that is enough for one night. it's midnight and i may as well try and call it a night before the night calls me. little walk in the rain today, but mostly i just tried to stave off the headache. i really could use myself a nice massage. lots of knots.

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