Trip Log: Wednesday, July 17, 2002
We awoke from Marion Creek Campground to a blue sky, despite a small shower that occurred at 5:30 am. During yesterdays travels, Our kitchen truck had guzzled up more gas than expected, so Roland and Judy went to get gas for the truck. Its amazing the inconvenience of having gas stations 100+ miles apart! But maybe it was a good thing, because they got to see a grizzly bear on the road as they returned with the gas.
As we drove along the Dalton Highway, the guidebook Roland so graciously gave us read like a Dr. Seuss book: And in the bedrock to the West, youll see some Blue Schist, Green Schist, Albite-Epidote-Amphibolite. We passed some amazing scenery, including a quadruple rainbow (left)! Can you believe Roland let us stop for a camera moment?
Our first stop was Sukakpak Mountain, a mountain of marble metamorphosed from Devonian limestone. But the big highlight of viewing the mountain wasnt actually the mountain itself. It was talking to Hans Heinrick Samuelson of Denmark who flew into Buenos Aires, biked down to Tierra del Fuego, and is now headed by bike to Prudhoe Bay! He is only on his third set of tires, though he probably had to change a set just to get over Atigun Pass. Hes a geographer who will write a book about his travels entitled Half a World.
As we continued along the Dalton Highway, we encountered our first Dall Sheep! We watched a mother and her lamb feeding along the road. More Kodak moments. Lunch was at Atigun Pass, at an elevation of 4623 ft. It was beautiful there with 2 cirques in view (cirques are basins at the head of glaciers where snow accumulates). We looked at the conglomerates and, of course, took strike and dip. As always, Phil filled us in with information on the local flora, including the Alaskan poppy.
We wanted to also mention pingos, which are mounds of some sort, but were still blurry on how exactly theyre created. Other note of interest: the Dalton Highway runs parallel to the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, which at some points zig-zags and other times hides underground and later resurfaces. At last we got to our campground, which is adjacent to Holden Creek whose waters were so soothing to our feet.
Reporters for the day: Peg and Phelana
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