Monday, June 21, 2010

Haul Road - Day 1

We left Fairbanks in proper form this morning and made our first stop at another pipeline viewing station and visitor center, mostly because they offered coffee. I pointed to the sunrise/sunset sign, and warned Rob that the sleeping trouble he was having in Fairbanks due to it being light so late was going to get even worse when we were in 24-hour daylight above the arctic circle. This is, after all, the summer solstice.

When we reached the proper start of the Haul Road, we stopped for the mandatory photo and regretted that we didn't have any stickers to add to the collection. Almost as soon as we started rolling, we passed this sign and Rob gave me a sideways look. I think he was finally figuring out what kind of trip he had signed on for!

The pipeline is your constant companion on the Haul Road, as are the big rigs which hurtle down the road and pass you at every opportunity. The road itself is paved in a few stretches, but is mostly hard gravel with lengthy patches of dirt/mud thrown in for good measure.

All of which explains why Darth was already looking pretty colorful by the middle of the first day. We also stopped for the mandatory photo at the arctic circle, but mostly we just motored on the seemingly endless road through endless expanse toward Coldfoot Camp.

Here are a couple of video clips from our first day of driving the Haul Road:

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