Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 11

I am incredibly tired today so this will be short and sweet. I'm going to try and catch up on sleep tonight. Yesterday I got pretty dehydrated and all the water I drank before bed kept me up at night.

I still haven't seen a bear. I've been hoping to see a polar or grizzly bear but have had no luck. However one guy saw one last night in town. He was wandering around about 5 miles from our camp (glorified trailer complex) and came across a big grizzly. Nothing happened but he decided to catch a ride back to camp. Not really sure why the genius decided to waltz out of camp alone, but at least he's not on my crew.

The helicopter is still broken so we couldn't fly. Besides, the fog was as thick as I have ever seen. This place is weird, I woke up at 5:15 and it was gorgeous; blue skies, sun shining, and a light breeze. Within a half hour the fog had rolled in so thick you could cut it with a knife. A giant knife made of polar bears and narwhals battling to the death while walruses cheered in glee and baby seals flung themselves wildly in the air. After breakfast we jumped in the truck and headed out.

About ten miles out of town I looked out the window and saw a bird racing us. I am not sure what kind of bird it was, it kind of looked like a kestrel, but this thing was hauling ass. We were cruising along at 50 mph and it paced us directly outside our window for at least a mile before it veered right and flew over our truck. Crazy.

We drove for about 80 miles to our first site. We are now starting to get into the foothills of the Brooks Range, which is a nice change of pace. The mosquitoes here are absolutely horrific but today was a picture perfect day. It was probably 60-65 degrees, blue skies with enough wind to keep the bugs down slightly. A group of 4 on motorcycles rode by so I took a photo of them. A lot of people ride up to Deadhorse for the adventure. I wonder if it's a disappointment.

As we pulled up to our second site, we saw a red fox. They are huge up here. It saw us pull over and wandered right up to our truck. It stopped about twenty feet away and then wandered off. While this is all good and fine and we were quite impressed, apparently rabies is a huge problem up here. He worked the hillside for a while and then wandered off. We worked the stream for a while and then wandered off.

After finishing our second site, we didn't have enough time to start a third site so we drove up the road to see what we had to look forward to. It's going to get good. The sites are absolutely stunning and I can't wait to get into the mountains. And the streams are actually going to be streams, not the piddly little swales we have encountered so far.

That's it for tonight, I'm going to bed.

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