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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > 2015 Summer Journey, Crossing Alaska..part 11

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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 05/21/17 11:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2015 Summer Journey
Alaskan Crossing, part11
Dalton Highway
AKA “The Haul Road”

July 05, 2015…day 2 on the Haul Road.
Morning came early at Blm’s “five mile” camp, since the darkness of night never came, thank s to the fact I made window blockers our camper was dark as a cave. By now Julie and I have settled into a morning routine, she makes breakfast and I go outside for some morning photo shots.

[image][image]

Other than our campsite host we were alone at the campground, there were a couple of trucks down at the Hot Spot Café. Daylight was burning away, we didn’t want to run out, so off up the road we did travel.

[image][image]

Along the way I decide to stop and take a photo of our rig in front of the famous Alaska Pipeline, so I backed right up to a locked gate by the pipeline that had a good view of it.

[image]

During our easy scenic drive fireweed covered the hillside by the hundreds of acres as we motored on.


[image]

A large number of Kettle ponds lay beside the roadway, this made for easy photographing of waterfowl.

[image]

For awhile I thought we had Dalton Road to ourselves till a vehicle whipped around us and was soon gone from sight. I though, “what’s the hurry?”

[image]

It wasn’t long before we noticed a change in our surrounding terrain, I don’t know what you call it but to me it looks like the land was recovering from a fire some time ago. The air still had a smoky scent to it, most likely from the fire far south of us.

[image][image]

Despite the heavy haze, maybe smoke, we could still see the road far ahead of us. The pipeline was still running fairly close to the Haul road and just about the time you think the road is to yourself a vehicle comes along.

[image][image]

Gentle rolling hills lay before us as we cruise along, off to the east of us is a small rock formation almost like a wizard hat, but it wasn’t. A sign came into sight; we’ve reached the “Finger Mountains”

[image]


This is a good place for some more photos and to use the facilities here. According to the information board this area was used for hunting by the First Nation people, the animals would come foresting for food around these rock of granite. Now a day’s bush pilots use them for landmarks while in the air.

[image][image]

There’s an easy to follow trail that wanders among these ancient granite rocks, several information signs are posted along the way describing the many animals, plants and birds that look for food among these rocks.

[image][image]

After wander around a bit it was once again time to get moving, our rig waiting for our return. Out by the roadway was a reminder of how dangerous this road could be a lonely cross marking of some long ago tragic event.

[image][image]

Motoring once more north, more of the finger mounds could be seen along with ever increasing number of kettle ponds.

[image][image]

Wandering around like a snake once more the pipeline came within sight, a house was wedge between it and the Haul Road. It looked worn down no doubt from enduring many of these sub-zero winters. This could be a house of broken dreams or maybe a house that the dreams came true, I just don’t known.

[image][image]

Coldfoot was another 71 mile ahead of us on a road that has gotten a bit rougher. Julie and learned early on just to pullover and stop when oncoming truck come along.

[image][image]

The Kanuti River came up and I decide to pull in to try my hand at a little fishing.

[image] [image] [image][image]

I noticed that there are some birds that made mud nest under the overhang of the bridge.

[image][image]

I didn’t have any luck here fishing wise, but none the less beautiful opportunity came along to do some nice photos.

[image]

Our next sight to see was the famous Arctic Circle, near the wayside we pulled over once again for more trucks, the drivers waved as they went by.

[image][image]

A large dirt parking area greeted us, penalty of room for even the largest of Rv’s and the place was busy, there was a good group at the sigh already. We took our turn when they cleared out.

[image][image]

BLM has a campsite at the Arctic Circle (fee area) we decided to check it out, watch video link for this.
Arctic Circle and BLM Campsite Video

It was so long Arctic Circle and on to Coldfoot, on the way we stopped at Gobbler Knob (132miles in) which gave great view of the lower valley yet to come. What could be seen were Jack White mountain range, Pope Creek Dome, Prospect Creek drainage, Pump Station #5, south Fork Koyukuk drainage and on the northern horizon the Brooks Range can be seen.

[image] [image] [image] [image]

[image]
It wasn’t long and we are pasting by the very Pump Station #5 we saw from Gobbler Knob.

[image]

Motoring on, passing over several creeks, watching the pipeline appear and disappear from view I made a stop at Jim River 3 (144miles in).

[image][image]

From the bridge roadway I could see some Arctic Grayling swiming around, time to drop a line in. It wasn’t long before the first strike and I bring up my first Arctic Grayling.

[image][image]

I found out these are some pretty smart fish, I couldn’t get another bite for a long while they just swam around my fly. Finally one of fishes could no longer resist and I had my second fish.

[image][image]

I cleaned these two fishiest and into refrigerator they went, there could be more fish later. Firing up the diesel and headed northward, along the way many signs were seen, but this gave notice of a bow hunting only region.

[image]

Dalton Highway (Haul Rd.) at this point is elevated above the surrounding land, one has to be careful here and pay attention.

[image]

South Fork Koyukuk River was upon us in a short time, for this was the beginning of the foothills of the Brooks Range.

[image][image]

Uphill, down and round even over the pipeline the road went till we reached the road construction area.

[image] [image]
[image]

Pass the road crew we zipped by, the end was in sight.

[image][image]

At least for the road crew, but we encounter several more areas of repairs being done and more equipment in action.

[image][image]

We’re nearing Coldfoot (175miles in) for the speed limit had dropped to 35mph and we also got a bit of a treat. For a moose cow was just outside the township limits grazing in a pond near the roadway. With her are two calves, I had to stop, pulling over the best I could and walking back to the pond. She was still there with her calves; this was the second set of moose calves we’ve seen during our expedition.

[image][image]

Arriving at the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot, here we found out they have been tracking the moose and her twins.

[image] [image][image]

While in Coldfoot I topped our diesel tank off, it was cheaper here than Deadhorse. Julie and I had a bite to eat here then continue on our way. Coldfoot is the last fuel stop going north.

[image][image]

About 2.5 hours later, we found a nice spot along the roadway for the night or what there was of it, Minnie Creek would be it.

[image]

While there I broke out my fishing pole and caught one more Arctic Grayling, three for the upcoming breakfast!

[image][image]

Thanks to everyone for reading my TCTRs, all comments are welcome and if you have any questions ask them here or PM me.

Link to previous Crossing Alaska..part 10

Working on part 12 of our 2015 Summer Journey, Alaska Crossing. I will post it as soon as it’s done.
Thanks, c.traveler2 (Alex Blasingame).


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fpoole

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Posted: 05/21/17 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice, I was hoping to do it this time, but alas, will have to wait till next year so I'm enjoying your posts...
thanks much..


Frank Poole
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sbryan@vtbryans.com

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Posted: 05/21/17 11:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great photos and comments. We start our journey to AK tomorrow.


Shawn
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c.traveler2

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Posted: 05/21/17 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fpoole wrote:

Nice, I was hoping to do it this time, but alas, will have to wait till next year so I'm enjoying your posts...
thanks much..


Thanks for reading my posting, we're heading back up in 2018 ourselves.

c.traveler2

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Posted: 05/21/17 12:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sbryan@vtbryans.com wrote:

Great photos and comments. We start our journey to AK tomorrow.


Enjoy your adventure, is this your first time going to Alaska?

NGaMountains

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Posted: 05/21/17 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good stuff. Thanks for posting your experiences! We've been to Alaska five times but never up the haul road, so it's very interesting to share in your journey as a preview for our own one day.


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GpnAZ

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Posted: 05/21/17 10:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's always fun and interesting to see your photos and posts, thanks for sharing! We leave for Alaska on the 26th, although it will take us a couple weeks to get there, we're pretty excited!


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c.traveler2

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Posted: 05/22/17 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GpnAZ wrote:

It's always fun and interesting to see your photos and posts, thanks for sharing! We leave for Alaska on the 26th, although it will take us a couple weeks to get there, we're pretty excited!


Enjoy your adventure up north,looking forward to your posting and your photos. By what port are you going to enter Canada?

Clarryhill

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Posted: 05/22/17 03:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alex, nice shots as per usual. I can almost smell those tasty little morsels nestled in the fry pan. Thanks so much for bringing us along.


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Freep

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Posted: 05/22/17 06:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The birds under the bridge are cliff swallows. They migrate from South America every year.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cliff_Swallow/id
http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/cliff-swallow


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