Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 17

Well, the last three days have been a trip. It's been a little bit good, a little bit bad, and a little bit ugly.

We left Deadhorse ready for the change. It was going to be an easy three days (or so we thought). The weather had been relatively nice so far, we were headed to the mountains to see some fresh scenery, we had three travel days with only one day of real work, and we were about to head home for a week of relaxation.

Huge herd of caribou along the Dalton Highway

We made our way south toward Galbraith Lake, our home for the next two nights. Along the way we stopped a couple of times to look at the impressive views.

Heading into the Brooks Range

We eventually found our way to Galbraith Lake and journeyed down the bumpy dirt road leading into camp. It was different than Deadhorse; absolutely gorgeous but rugged, and we were excited.

Galbraith Lake

We checked in, put our gear in our tents and went for a hike. The area was absolutely stunning and we followed a creek upstream for a while before we headed up to the top of a bluff.

At the top of the bluff we looked around and decided that the  best way to appreciate this wonderful place was to bust out the hackey sack and play what may be considered "The most beautiful game of Hackey Sack in the world".

We made our way back to camp, ate dinner and retired to our tents. It was about this time we realized that we had no heater, no sheets, and one tiny blanket thinner than a towel. Needless to say, it was a cold, miserable night. However, always one to make the best of a bad situation (ha ha), I managed to take a couple of great shots during the half hour that the sun was setting/rising.

12:23 AM

The next day was rough. It rained all day long and there was water everywhere. I was tired and grouchy after my horrible night of sleep, and we had now been working for nearly three weeks straight. We trudged through and tried to have some fun.

Eventually the day ended and we made our way back to camp. After a friendly discussion (ahem) with the camp manager, we had more than enough blankets and heaters to keep warm. I slept well last night knowing that I was close to coming home for a week of rest and relaxation. One thing that is great about this camp (and most of the remote camps) is the food. These guys can cook and last night we had fresh salmon with rice, peas, and some sort of stew; followed by banana creme pie for dessert.

In the morning we slept in, ate a great breakfast with much coffee, and headed back to Deadhorse. It was still raining and the rivers had swelled, turning chocolate in color and flowing with incredible force.

We got stuck behind some road construction, saw a few musk ox, and eventually rolled into Deadhorse. Tomorrow we are going to fly to Fairbanks for our debrief and a night in civilization (drink lots of beer), and the following day I head home.

This may be the last post for a while. I am coming back up on the 8th of August and will be traveling from Coldfoot to Fairbanks. However I suspect I won't have access to the internet and updates will be few and far between. This phase is done and I have had a great time. I can't wait to come back up, but I have a few things I need to purchase before I do. In the meantime, I am going to spend time with my girlfriend, hang out in the garden, work on my fish class, and ride my motorcycle. I'm excited.

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