Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Leaving Toolik

Saturday I woke up to fresh snow on the ground. And the honking of some 150 geese flying south. They were way late, for being that far north!

After breakfast, Anja and I left Toolik to drive back down to Fairbanks. Anja needed a ride, and I was happy to have company. Half a mile from Toolik, just before we got back onto the Dalton Highway, there was the group of ptarmigan I saw a few days earlier again on the side of the road. I only realized there were some thirty of them once these ones took off and the other ones, right next to me, joined them in the air. They are real well camouflaged.

Shortly before Atigun Pass we saw the first patch of blue sky.

Some places names along the Dalton are funny. Here, the "Oh shit" corner that one should slow down on, no matter which direction one is heading:

And eight hours later, we arrived in Fairbanks.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


This morning it was 4F on the thermometer (-15C). Cold and clear. Everything is white or black or brown or various shades in between.

The group of ptarmigan that is hanging around Toolik and making their noises just flew to the shrubbery a bit further away as I walked out of my weatherport tent to take a picture.
A closeup on one part of the picture above, showing the birds in flight:
Here is closeup of one bird from Monday. They are definitely changing their plumage to match the landscape. The red above the eye only shows up from some angles. I love their feather boots. Now if they just didn't make so much noise, I would never know they are here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

View this morning from Toolik

How the weather is depends which direction you're looking. One way clear and beautiful. The other way a wall of thick fog. Everything is frosted from the 14F nighttime temperatures.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Almost 100k

Crazy. We've put almost 100,000 miles on the car since March 2002. And
I thought we don't drive that much.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cold licks

Sharing ice cream at Hot Licks


Fleeting glimpses into the lesson happening in the classroom