Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Beautiful Day

Today was a perfect day for a 5 mile run around the lake.  I even got out of bed when my alarm went off instead of rolling over and forgetting it ever happened.  Even though I took yesterday off, I was pretty slow today.  Not really sluggish, just seemed like my calf muscles were kind of achy and I didn't have much incentive to push hard.  But that is probably what I was meant to do today.  I guess I didn't have much choice because that's all I seemed to be able to do.  But it was a really enjoyable run.  I was surprised at how heavy the traffic was since I had left early hoping to avoid the 5 pm dinner rush. Apparently the rush must go on all day. 

The advantage of running early was that it allowed me to shower, eat dinner, and still have time for a drive down the road to look for wildlife.  I had heard that the damage to the road from last month's floods was quite interesting to see.  So I got the chance to see it first hand.  It really was amazing to see as the detour road circumvented the major damage. It looked as if the earth had just opened up and swallowed up the Dalton Highway.  I could see where they had added many new culverts in hopes of avoiding a similar disaster in future years.  Once past the construction area I could drive freely and look for wildlife. I didn't have any luck finding anything but was able to make it all the way down to Franklin Bluffs to have a look at Caren Pond to see if my sign had survived the winter.  It was still there but is in dire need of some blue touch up paint.

Caren Pond
I will need to bring up some paint and a brush when I come back in September.  I noticed that now the pond joins the one next to it with a narrow channel.  The channel looks like it may be manmade. It seems to have lowered the level of Caren Pond somewhat.  I wonder if it was made to help keep water off the road during the worst flooding.  The river was quite close to the road most of the 20 miles I drove.  I was also surprised to see huge amounts of ice all along the east side of the road.  At times I heard loud crashes as ice floes would suddenly break up.  It looks like winter will linger in that area for a while longer.

Sagavanirktok River Ice
On my way back to Deadhorse I finally saw some caribou.  They were not really close to the road but I was at least able to get some pictures with my 600mm zoom lens.  I heard later from a friend that there had been a large herd of musk ox along the road but it seems that occurred a couple of hours after I passed by.  I was delighted to see the caribou though.


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