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> Arctic Tundra Ecosystems: Toolik Lake, Alaska

Flying Over Arctic Ocean


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Description: The Arctic Ocean was still partially frozen close to the shore in some areas. I was hoping for a chance to see polar bears since I was flying over the ocean; however, I did not see any.

Prudhoe Bay Oil Field


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Description: This is another very small section of the gigantic oil industry in Prudhoe Bay.

Prudhoe Bay Oil Field


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Description: This is one very small section of the oil field. British Petroleum (BP) owns and operates most of Prudhoe Bay.

Touching Arctic Ocean


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Description: This is a picture of me touching the Arctic Ocean. The couple taking the picture were from Sweden. I would have never guessed I would have met a couple from Sweden in Deadhorse. It just seems unlikely! The water
was thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit. One boy in his twenties jumped into the water for a minute. laugh.gif

Alaska Airlines


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Description: There is one very small airport in Deadhorse operated by Alaska Airlines. There are 3,500 transient workers in Deadhorse. There are only five residents as shown by the United States Census Bureau!

Arctic Caribou Inn


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Description: The picture shows the front of the Arctic Caribou Inn where I started the tour in the vehicle you see parked. All of the buildings in Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse look the same. There are only two hotels - Arctic Caribou Inn (pictured) and Prudhoe Bay Hotel in the small area. There is one building which contains a general store, post office, movie rental business, and Napa Auto Store under the same roof. The airport exists in Deadhorse as well. These are the only buildings besides the oil industry that exist.

End of Dalton


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Description: This is the sign on the general store/post office/NAPA Auto Parts building that displays you have reached the end of the Dalton Highway in Deadhorse, Alaska. I drove the entire length of the Dalton Highway. It was quite beautiful.

Rocky mountains


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Description: This is a picture of rocky mountains lining Atigun River Gorge. There were amazing to view!



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Description: This is a great view of the valley where we hiked. We hiked six miles in five hours. It seems slow, but the terrain was not easy at times. Plus, we stopped for a long lunch by the beautiful Atigun River. Then, we hunted for geodes, fossils, and flowers as well as photographed everything.

Path of Sheep


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Description: As we were hiking, we noticed several well worn trails made by Dall sheep. Look closely to find the trail.

Dall Sheep


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Description: When we were hiking in ANWR, we spotted at least fifty Dall Sheep. This picture shows some of them that were fairly close to us. You must double click on the picture and really look closely.

Atigun River


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Description: This is a wonderful view of Atigun River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We hiked through Atigun Gorge which was absolutely breathtaking. We were near the river at one point so you can see how high we climbed. The total hike was six miles, and the terrain was challenging.

Oil Pipeline


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Description: We hiked in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or ANWR on Sunday, June 25th. We had to cross underneath the oil pipeline before we began our hike.

Mosquito Fame


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Description: This mosquito was determined to get his picture taken. There were one trillion mosquitos on top of Jade Mountain. We hiked and canoed the three and a half hour journey wearing our bug jackets the entire time. It was well worth every minute. The views were stunning.

View #2 from Jade Mt.


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Description: This is another spectacular view from on top of Jade Mountain. It felt so great to reach the top!

View from Jade Mt.


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Description: After an hour and a half hike, we reached the top of Jade Mountain. The view was so fabulous. It is not possible to take a picture and show the immense beauty

Bug Jacket


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Description: This is a picture of Megan, a doctoral student from Canada, wearing a bug jacket on our hike to Jade Mountain. The mosquitoes were the worst we have seen. This is a picture of a mild invasion.

Caribou Skeleton


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Description: We noticed an animal skeleton floating near the place we pulled our canoes to shore. The picture shows a partial skeleton of a caribou. Notice that there is still some ice remaining near the lake.

Canoe Ride


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Description: We had the best time taking a canoe ride across Toolik Lake. The lake is crystal clear. It is seventy feet deep. We decided to reduce our hiking time by taking the canoe across the lake. It was really fun!

Beginning of Journey


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Description: This is a picture of Jade Mountain. This is not the real Jade Mountain in the western part of Alaska where jade is mined. This is a Toolik name for the mountain near us. It was given that name, because it is a beautiful green color in the summer due to the vegetation. Jade Mountain is the one in the middle. When I started the journey, I was contemplating from this vantage point how I was going to make it to the top.

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