Since our TN trip the first week of August we have been all around Alaska. It started with a trip to the Brooks Range and all the way north to Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay. It was a combined trip for fall color photography, crystal hunting, and caribou hunting. All roads leads to fun! The only thing missing was Leslie. She was having some shoulder difficulties and needed to spend some one on one time getting that better. So, Andrew, George, and I did our best having fun.
Driving north to a colorful land.
This one is for you Madison. After living in the desert for so long we rejoice in the rain too!
First full day in the Brooks leads to bush whacking our way to the crystal mine.
Just before we got there, the storm clouds that had been building let loose....with hail! It was quite the sight. But, thankfully, we weren't out in the open and had some nice cover under a thick spruce tree. Although Boss laid a little more out in the open and was covered in hail.
Storms all around us as we leave the crystal mine area.
The next day we head north through the Brooks Range and up into the tundra hills. This is one of our favorite mountains called Sukakpak. Andrew and I plan on standing on the top of it one day, sooner than later hopefully.
Fresh snow on the mountain tops.
The mountains give way to rolling hills of tundra all the way north to the Arctic Ocean.
Just north of Atigun Pass we saw a wolf trotting off in the distance. Always a very special treat!
The first caribou we saw.
Of course, three hundred miles from town you would expect to see a red light.
First group of caribou we saw. Across the river from us but a good sign.
About thirty or forty miles south of Deadhorse we saw a small herd of musk-ox. Only our second time ever seeing these critters and definitely the closest we have ever gotten to them.
The best picture we got of the baby! It's so cute!
Because this is the far north there are limited gas stations. Once you go far enough north past Coldfoot you have to either continue going north to Deadhorse just to get enough gas to make it back to Coldfoot or turn around so you still have enough gas to make it back to town. In our case, we were scoping out the caribou situation so we continued driving north to Deadhorse to get gas. And, this is a picture of the gas station. Gas was actually cheaper at Deadhorse at $5.25 a gallon than it was at Coldfoot at $5.70 a gallon.
The first day of the hunt was looking pretty good. This was the closest we got though. The picture is somewhat deceptive, the caribou was still 60 or 70 yards out.
Back in the truck, we had a snowy owl swoop down in front of us out on its own hunt.
We found an awesome campsite with views of two wide hillsides with a small river cutting through the middle. The pipeline runs north and south from the campsite and has a gravel road right beside it used for maintenance which is convenient to walk and hunt. This is the southern pipeline view.
The ravens play and join up around the pipeline. They are entertaining birds to have around.
This raven was having a bad hair day!
You see lots of carcasses and random bones all along the Haul Road and the pipeline road.
The pipeline view north of our camp.
Evening light photos around our campsite.
The fall colors were really nice but not peaking yet.