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 Arrival at Toolik Lake Field Station View next topic
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Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 8:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Greetings from the Arctic! The trip to Toolik Lake Field Station took 2 travel days; one to fly from Eau Claire, WI, to Minneapolis, MN, to Anchorage, AK, and finally on to Fairbanks, AK. I took off from Eau Claire at 11:30 AM Central Standard Time, and landed in Anchorage at 7:30 PM Alaska time. The first part of the flight was very cloudy, but the sky cleared up in time to see the Canadian Rockies in a snowy splendor, and some glaciers that were visible from the plane. We followed the coastline into Alaska, flying above islands and then mountains into Anchorage. We were able to view Mt. Mckinley on our trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks. The skies were clear in Fairbanks upon my arrival, and the temperature was warmer than it was in Eau Claire. It had reached temperatures in the 70s in Fairbanks that day.

At 6:15 I was picked up by the Dalton Highway Express, which brought me as far as Cold Foot, AK. Along the way the scenery was beautiful, with sweeping views of wooded mountains, rivers and streams. We followed the Trans-Alaska pipeline for much of the way, which carries oil from the oil fields of the North, to Valdez in the southern part of the state. We didn't see many animals on the way to Cold Foot, a moose, some ducks, some robins, and a few mosquitoes. We stopped to take a picture at the Arctic Circle.

Hahn and Halim from the Microwave Geophysics Group traveled to Cold Foot from Toolik Lake to pick me up. They were both excited to see trees again, and had seen a red fox on their way down. On the way to Toolik we spotted another moose, and were very excited to see 4 caribou, a bull, two females, and a calf. We also saw a total of about 60 white Dahl sheep as we crossed through the Brooks Range. Another picture was taken by the last tree, and we were then beyond the tree line, with small willow shrubs now the tallest vegetation.

Our last bit of excitement on the drive was to have to stop for a large machine clearing a lot of snow from the road. There had been an avalanche between the time Hahn and Halim and driven down to Cold Foot and the trip back. We watched for brown bears, but so far have seen none. I do prefer to see those from a vehicle.
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Toolik Field Station Lena River, Siberia Svalbard, Norway Summit, Greenland Prince Patrick Island, Canada Healy Icebreaker Caribou Poker Creek Barrow, Alaska