Haul Road Ease
Our trip began with Ben getting picked up by helpful cab driver in Anchorage and a hop with 4 heavy bags to Fairbanks. Allen then left to pick me up in our UAF 8-passanger van we rented from Facilities. Next we picked up Ben at airport coming in from Anchorage, Andy at Pikes, and we were off with only minor stops. The sloping Yukon R bridge, Coldfoot, and Atigun Pass were low, middle, and high points, respectively.
We met a trucker at one stop and got quite a story about how terrible the winds in Deadhorse; kind of unbelievable, but also very reassuring that we changed our plan to fly there and drive south. That would have been backtracking and counter to our general theme.
Arriving at Toolik, we could start to see down the slope toward the coastal plain. Perfectly nice here at the toe of the Brooks Range; almost no wind and very clear and sunny. Temps were probably above freezing some of day.
Chad welcomed us in and gave us the run down on what was happening in camp. Rested a bit and then actually got a fair bit done. Filled about 95 gals of unleaded and 15 gal of diesel into 8 drums. Charged batteries, sorted gear, and checked out the status of 13 totes of food we bought and shipped up about 2 weeks ago.
We also saw 5 snowshoe hares, dozens of ravens and snow buntings, and at least one squirrel.