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 > 2015 Summer Journey, Crossing Alaska part 13

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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 09/08/17 09:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2015 Summer Journey
Alaskan Crossing, part13
Deadhorse/ Prudhoe Bay

July 11, 2015…Day 11 in Alaska and we made it to Deadhorse/ Prudhoe Bay by using the Dalton Road (aka The Haul Road). Today we would be hunting down a tire shop, for a number of miles the right rear tire had a very slow leak in it and not for the lack of trying to find it the leak remain elusive.

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Video from our first day in Deadhorse , click on photo
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I saw on the map a place called GBR, Unfortunely he was booked for the next several days and was kind enough to point us to another place that could take care of us, Peak Oil Service Co.

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Cruising though Deadhorse was on the slow side due to the low posted speed limit and all the gravel used on the road came from a local gravel pit. Later I would learn that everything in Deadhorse/ Prudhoe Bay was elevated above the tundra.

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Arriving at Peak was than adventure; this town without a doubt is a working town no fancy or frills here. The guy’s at Peak had our tire fixed in a short time; it was a tiny rock that had been driven into the tire. They patched it after water tanking it all for 20 bucks. It was off to find the Tesoro fuel station and see what else was to be seen here.

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I had some difficulty finding that fuel station, you wouldn’t think so with a road system that basically was a big circle. I waved down a truck and asked for direction, the driver said follow me, I’ll take you there. I thanked him for his help; you wouldn’t get this type of kindness from where we come from. I was expecting fuel to be very expensive here, 5.50/gal for diesel; well it’s the only game in town.

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We found our way to the general store and the NAPA auto parts, the largest one I’ve ever seen. Across the way was employee housing, metal siding painted blue with white trim. All of the building we saw here were generally the same type of construction.

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Our Prudhoe Bay tour wouldn’t start till tomorrow and there was nearly a day to kill, so out of town we went to one of the bodies of water south of town for a little fishing. The wind was kicking up a bit and temperature was dropping.

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We did find a little spot along the Haul Road, no luck here for fish. Mother Nature notched up the wind so I went from a fishing pole to my camera, there was a bird flying around trying to distract me from finding it’s young to fly baby that was nearby.
video, click photo
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It was time to head back to our boondocking spot by the Sag River as we headed in the clouds are rolled in; temperature is dropping some more as we motored on back.

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Arriving back by the Sag River the skies had darkened the daylight to almost as if it were twilight time. A new arrival is there, someone we crossed paths earlier, he had retired from working in Prudhoe Bay and was full timing it in his trailer.

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Tomorrow we would have to be at Deadhorse Camper at 08:00 hours for the inside tour of Prudhoe Bay, outside thermostat showed 28 degrees, it was 19:41 hrs.

July 12, 2015

Just like the night seems to never arrive in this place, time to get up was here without a conscience notice. It was just coffee and a small bowel of corn flakes this morning. The morning air was on the chilly side, the whole area seemed to be inside a gray sack.

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Parking near the tour van, we when inside and were told to wait in the guess lounge. The room filled up quickly since most of the sight seers stayed here, our guide showed up and did a check in, off to the van. All the guides are part of the security force of Prudhoe Bay and our guide was also of the First Nation Indians.

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Our guide (couldn’t remember his name) started out with some basic information on Prudhoe Bay, non employees don’t get into Prudhoe Bay unless they’re on a tour. We motored on by an aircraft navigate signaling (VHF) building.

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Our guide explained to us that most of the drilling is done during the winter months when the tundra has frozen over and won’t be damaged by the self propelled drilling towers.

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Prudhoe Bay uses a central control system for all the companies that work here, for supplies, employees and for who pumped how much oil into the piping system.

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Our guide told us it was our lucky day, the normal route was closed and we would have to go the long way around, more to see.

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This change in route would let us see more of the Prudhoe Bay and its operations.

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There are several communication towers in Deadhorse/ Prudhoe Bay.

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Motoring on by some square buildings, our guide told us that these are the well heads inside those buildings. Well 32 can be seen from our van with the piping going directly into a nearby building.

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Employees have even named some of those over grown ponds, there’s a few of these signs around.

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Moving on our guide pointed out to a building that has a stack doing a burn off, the heat was so intense that heat waves could be seen from where we were.

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No tour is complete without going by the dump and gravel pit, both which are huge.

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Our journey brought us closer to the Arctic Ocean for the temperature had become a little colder and the skies a little darker, strange for the land of the midnight sun.

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Passing by many more building, many of them from the same cookie cutter design, we arrive at the summit of the tour, the Arctic Ocean.

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Disembarking from our warm shelter on wheels, the cold snap of the arctic air got your attention; disembarked people pulled their jackets a bit tighter to themselves.

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Julie and I stuck our fingers into the cold Arctic water, didn’t leave them there long and it was enough for me to known I didn’t want go swimming, no Polar Bear membership for me!

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We walked out to the end of this little finger of land and looked around, some people were taking photos and others were heading back to the warmth that was inside the van.

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Speaking of taking a dip in the Arctic there were two brave souls that decided to join the Polar Bear Club. Both father and son did a quick drip and hurried back the warmth of the waiting van, dry clothes and the cheers of the others.

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Once back at Deadhorse Camp building we headed south out of town, hoping on making good time. A few miles outside of Deadhorse we saw our first caribou, alone and without antlers making its way across the tundra.

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We thought we could reach Antigun River 1 before settling down for the “night” and the solid cloud cover was breaking up exposing some blue sky.

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Pulling off the road in a wayside there were a group of motorcyclist, the ones we had pointed the way to the Tesoro fuel station a couple of days ago, they were running on their reserves. An information kiosk was close by about the Tussock Tundra surrounding us.

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We left our motorcycling friends to tend to their repacking, we continue on the Haul Road southbound. Passing by Happy Valley and soon the north side of the Brooks Range could be seen.

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Along the way another Japanese trekker was spotted taking a meal break from his journey, stopping there to hopefully to get some information about his journey but at last he spoke no English.

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Our blue sky was slowly giving away to a blanket of clouds as we neared Galbraith Lake area and the ongoing road construction.

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Awhile back our motorcycling friends passed us up only for us to catch up with them when traffic was stopped.

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Our southward travel halt wasn’t long and once again it was moving. We divided to Galbraith Lake campground just to check it out and the rain started up again.

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There’s a small craft airfield with a couple of planes we saw while passing by them on our way to the campground.

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Reaching the campground with clouds covering the mountain tops behind us, the lake could be seen in the distance and access was by a brush filled trail.

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Galbraith campground has one pit toilet that was seen while cruising around. A table and rock fire ring was at each site along with a critter or two.

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Back on the Haul Road and to our stop for the day, Antigun River 1, this wasn’t that far down the road.
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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 pervious Alaskan Crossing,part 12

Working on part 14 of our 2015 Summer Journey, Alaska Crossing, I will post it as soon as it’s done.

Thanks to everyone for following along, Alex Blasingame aka c.traveler2


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Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

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Posted: 09/08/17 10:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What an adventure. Thanks for posting.


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jefe 4x4

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Posted: 09/09/17 03:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alex, thanks again for the current installment of, "As the TC turns". Most of us will never see what you saw along the Arctic Ocean.
Great stuff.
jefe


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Grit dog

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Posted: 09/09/17 06:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So cool! Worked out of Deadhorse. But never was able to drive up. Simply amazing!


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trackhead

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Posted: 09/09/17 08:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We found Deadhorse difficult to navigate as well. FYI: If you need potable water there, we found it at one of the hotels, can't remember the name. They have it in the laundry room. Otherwise, potable water there is difficult to find.


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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 09/10/17 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

trackhead wrote:

We found Deadhorse difficult to navigate as well. FYI: If you need potable water there, we found it at one of the hotels, can't remember the name. They have it in the laundry room. Otherwise, potable water there is difficult to find.


You definitely saw a lot more large animals than we did, only one caribou, no wild musk ox,no polar bears and only one brown bear were seen during our entire journey in Alaska. Maybe our second trip will be different.

Ramp Digger

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Posted: 09/10/17 07:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

These trip reports just keep getting better. I know it a lot of work setting them up. It is very much appreciated. Am looking forward to the next episode. Ramp


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zb39

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Posted: 09/11/17 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just awesome, thank you for taking the time to post this.............I want to drive this road .........some day.


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c.traveler2

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Posted: 09/11/17 12:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ramp Digge and zb39, thanks to the both of you guys for reading my trip reports and following along.

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