Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Road Less Slogged

Wet Ridge Road


Oh, to be Lost

View from The Hill

“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.”
— John Steinbeck, “Travels With Charley”


Kodak No.2A

Of Marten and Men

Lake Time

Quartz Lake

I spent three days last week with some friends out at Quartz Lake. As the pictures show, we had beautiful weather. The two shots above make a great panorama, but I have no idea how to line them up properly on here. Most of the pictures on this trip were taken using the WideLux, and I have not developed the film yet.

Something on our end of the lake seemed to attract a couple of large raptors. At first, we had a bald eagle flying at tree top level above our fire ring. Then a golden eagle took over. Three times it flew down to the shoreline in front of us, only to climb again with empty talons. Twice, it landed in a tree top directly over our heads, surveying the situation. We did have a dog along, but being a mastiff, I doubted that the eagles were interested in her.

An American Marten

After an afternoon of hauling a dock out into the lake to get to the boat, I was relaxing at the campfire ring with my bare feet up on the rocks. A marten had been zipping about the camp, and at one point, the little weasel charged my feet. It looked determined to take a bite out of my toe. When it was within inches, I simply raised my legs in the air, and the marten ran off to the edge of the clearing.

We had two moose feeding in the reeds off the shoreline, and a camp robber landed on my arm, even though we had no food out. Two red squirrels were chasing each other around the camp. One ran all the way to the end of the dock, only to return with the second squirrel right behind it. At one point, the first squirrel ran in front of us and up a tree. The second ran into the circle, looked up at me, and jumped up onto my leg. A quick flick of my leg sent the squirrel five feet up in the air as an offering to the eagles. They declined the offering, and the squirrel skittered off under the deck.

To top it all off… the rainbows were biting.

USS Bennington 1958

The USS Bennington passes the USS Arizona on Memorial Day, 1958.

Photo courtesy of the USN

Land Rover on safari

Photo credit: Land Rover

The Map of the United States of America…

…from the perspective of Alaskans.


That cartographer earned his pay.

Alaska’s “Haul Road” under water

Flooding over the Haul Road

Extreme flooding has overtaken the Dalton Hwy just south of Deadhorse, prompting the DOT to close the highway north of milepost 375. At some locations, over two feet of water is flowing over the road.

Dalton under water

This is the second time this year that the Sagavanirktok River has forced the closing of the Dalton. In March, river overflow sent water and ice over the road, forcing its closure.

There is no time frame for the road to reopen. The river is expected to crest in four days, meaning the “Haul Road” may be closed at least a week.

I have already seen several early tourists on motorcycles coming back from the Dalton. I was wondering if they tried to make it to Deadhorse, considering the amount of mud packed onto their bikes. Now it looks like they wouldn’t have had to ride very far to collect all that mud.

The Dalton is an interesting road. I’ve driven up it when I needed four wheel drive for a hundred or more miles, and you couldn’t tell what color the truck was when I was done. I’ve also driven it in the Beetle, when we simply cruised the entire way and only sent clouds of dust in the air behind us.

Photo credit: Alaska DOT

'48 Ford