Our New Ranger and the Arctic Circle

The Corp of Engineers certainly strives to keep their hosts happy. Just got our new Polaris Ranger to use for transportation to/from our host site and the office/shop area, and all around the nearly 20,000 acres of the Chena Flood Control Project. Note Bullwinkle in the background. But why is the calf tagging along with a bull?
Allens-Mills-w-Rangers Allens-Mills-overlook Ranger Jake at overlook
On Sunday afternoon, July 3, we explored some of the area around that 20,000 acres. Stopped to take in the view of Moose Creek. Connie drove our new Ranger (fearlessly) with Cyndy hanging on for dear life; and Cliff drove the older Ranger with Ed because their new Ranger was shined up for North Pole’s 4th of July Parade. We were led by Senior Ranger Jake Kresel riding his 4 wheeler. Jake is a great guide and anxious about his upcoming Minnesota wedding July 17 to Shelby. Note the difference between the Polaris Ranger, and Jake the Ranger. No comparison 🙂 
Cliff drove their new Ranger in North Pole’s July 4th parade while Ed, Connie, and Cyndy threw out Corp of Engineers Water Safety frisbees. The Ranger pulled a little flatbed trailer with a canoe and the moose calf, wearing a life jacket (PFD) of course, from in front of the office, but the hit of the parade was COE Bobber, the water safety dog. Ranger Cole said it got very hot! Bobber also wore a PFD or course.
Parade-Bobber-getReadyBecause Ranger Jake is the Senior Ranger, he delegated Ranger Cole (our host coordinator) as Bobber for a day. Here is Jake helping Bobber put on his tail 🙂 As a side note, Bobber (not Cole) is kept in a real kennel when not out and about. Good news: no poop!
DaltonHwySignEd and Cliff drove the James W Dalton Highway on Monday July 6 with a goal of making the 270 miles from North Pole to Coldfoot. The Dalton Highway was built as a supply route to Deadhorse oil fields around Prudhoe Bay on the northern slope, the head of the Alyeska Pipeline (Trans-Alaska pipeline).
YukonBridge YukonPipelineXing YukonRiverThe Dalton Highway Crosses over the mighty Yukon River about 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle, and is the only road that crosses the river in Alaska. The pipeline runs adjacent to the highway close enough that we saw mile after mile of it as we drove. More than half of the 800 mile pipeline to Valdez is above ground. A picture above shows where it crosses the Yukon on the E. L. Patton Bridge, which has a unique story of it’s own.
After 180 miles of chuck holes, dust, and the gravel road, we made it to the Arctic Circle from Fox (12 miles from Fairbanks) around noon. There were several guys on large dirt bikes also stopped. We met up with James Plumb from Mead, CO of all places. James owns Plumb Construction and builds homes around the Mead area. He had rode his bike alone, all the way from Mead and was returning from Deadhorse, having spent a night in Coldfoot. With advice from James, we decided to avoid the additional 60 miles to Coldfoot, along with all the chuck holes on the 3 hour round trip and started back.
Over 300 Forrest fires have been burning in Alaska this summer. We have had very thick smoke throughout the North Pole and Fairbanks area. It clears up from time to time, but hasn’t left completely yet. We saw several fires burning on one hillside along the Dalton highway on our trip to the Arctic Circle.
Since Ed drove, Cliff offered (co-erst really 🙂 ) to buy dinner at the Silver Gulch Brewery in Fox on the way home. Ed enjoyed their Old 55 Pale Ale, and Cliff had his root beer as usual. Connie and Cyndy enjoyed a day of sewing and boasted about the great steaks that Cyndy cooked on their Weber grill. The guys got back around 7pm (before dark 🙂 ) and we all enjoyed popcorn and a movie.
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