Our Family

Our Family
Liberty, Heather, Glade, Ryan, Kim

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Wilds of Alaska

At the end of July, Ryan and I had the unique opportunity of driving up into the Brooks Range of Alaska. We dropped our appropriately named friend, Brooks, and his brother off for a backpacking trip in Gates of the Arctic National Park. It was a nice drive up into country that is wild and remote. It was gorgeous though. We saw lots of neat things and had a good time. Katie and her sister-in-law kept the kids so that we could take them up and drop them off. It was nice to have a little time with just us two.

We drove over the Yukon River. It was gigantic. Neat to see.

There is a Visitor's Center by Coldfoot, AK for Gates of the Arctic. It is a really neat place. We enjoyed looking at all of the neat displays they had. Here is a huge globe showing the Arctic Circle.
Another display of animal skins they had. Look at this enormous wolf!

One thing that is unique about the Dalton Highway (of Ice Road Truckers fame), which is the only one going into the Brooks Range that I know about, is that it is only paved on and off. After Coldfoot (about halfway to Prudhoe Bay) I think it is completely dirt. The mountains were beautiful and besides the big trucks driving by occasionally, it felt pretty isolated. We had a little rain and so the roads looked like this:
This is what happens when you drive several hundred miles on a dirt highway.

At the drop off location, Brooks, Jack, Ryan, and (of course) Jessie. She is a great dog for this kind of trip. We loved keeping her for a few days and were sad to see her leave.
The riverbed where we dropped them off. Cloudy, but beautiful!
They had to cross a river first thing. Looks a little cold, don't you agree? I think Ryan was a little jealous of them at this point.
The camp Ryan and I made up stream a bit. It was a glorious place to stay. So quiet and peaceful. We enjoyed a little fishing, but didn't have any luck in the blue crystal waters.
Not that many people can say that they've been to the Arctic Circle.
It was a nice little getaway from everything. We enjoyed being together and experiencing a new part of Alaska. Hopefully someday we can go see Brooks and Katie in the village where they are teaching, Anaktuvuk Pass.