Horny temporarily in Fairbanks, we flew to the continent's northernmost
settlement, the Inupiag Eskimo community of Barrow. After
a frigid day of chasing Arctic life-list birds in a rented truck,
we enjoyed the comforts (and Mexican restaurant!) of the Top of the World
|Chukchi Sea ice pack||Birding truck||Goodbye Barrow|
The next morning
we took a small plane east across the frozen tundra of the Arctic coast
to Deadhorse, hub of the Prudhoe Bay oilfield. Here we joined
a ten-passenger tour van for local sightseeing (Spectacled Eider at last!)
and Polar Bear initiations for the hardy (not us) in the icy waters of
the Arctic Ocean.
|Cozy Cape Smythe Air||North Slope tundra|
|Grizzlies roam Deadhorse||Polar Bear Marg Granger|
After a night
in the comfortable hotel for oilfield workers, our tour group followed
the Alaska Pipeline south on the unpaved Dalton Highway (Haul Road).
Traversing the coastal tundra and climbing over the Brooks Range, we overnighted
at primitive truck stop Coldfoot, ceremonially passed the Arctic Circle,
and crossed the mighty Yukon to rejoin Horny at Fairbanks.
leader Samantha Wilson
luxury at Coldfoot
crosses the Arctic Circle
This page created with Netscape Navigator Gold