Truck in the ditch

More snow in the engine, but this time it’s from someone going in the ditch!  It seems to happen to everyone eventually and it’s better to land in the cushy snow instead of just about anywhere else.  After it got pulled out they cleaned the snow off and drove it away!

(Identifying marks have been removed for privacy.)

Snow-filled engine compartment

Jack snapped these shots after going through numerous snow drifts before he got into Prudhoe Bay.  The engine is operating fine and he didn’t need to do anything, but it’s interesting to see how the snow gets into all the available spaces.  The keypad looking thing is actually the air intake for the cab and the vent above it is the intake for the motor.  Even though the engine is 200 degrees plus it’s still not enough to melt the snow at these temperatures, about 20 or 30 below.

The engine after going through snow drifts

Snow filled engine

Memory Foam Clouds

Jack took these photos a couple of days ago.  The clouds have a really weird consistency to them, like there are air pockets underneath that are pushing them up in patches.

 

Mod Lift at Alpine

Hard to believe this was 10 years ago, Jack says.  This is a mod lift at the Alpine oil fields (mod is short for modular), back when he was doing heavy haul.  Since it’s been so many years all he had to say about it was that he hauled this prefabricated unit to Alpine from Valdez and the workers there got busy lifting it off his truck.  It took all day actually.  That was one part of heavy haul he doesn’t miss.

 

Donjek River Bridge, follow up

A few months after Jack helped haul bridge beams to the Donjek River Bridge in Canada, he went back to haul the beams from the staging area off the road onto the ice where they were constructing the bridge. (Best viewed if you click on the first one and scroll to the right.)  See captions for more info.

Elk antlers in a tree trunk

Check out this elk skull and antlers that got engulfed by a tree!  The skull is encased by wood completely; the antler tips stick out on either side of the trunk of the tree that grew around it.  Jack and I found this display at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center in northern California along the Pacific Coast.  Will wonders never cease!?

Hauling Pipe Rack Units to Prudhoe

A few years ago Jack and some other truckers took these pipe rack units from Fairbanks to Alpine, an area of Prudhoe Bay owned by Conoco-Phillips.  You’ll see the units being loaded, then Jack driving behind other units. You can see the pipes in the middle of the structure as well as the valve controls on the top.  These units are lined up next to each other and connected as part of the process of extracting oil and getting it into the pipeline to go south.  In one of the ice road photos you can see a pipeline on the right.

They drive through tundra, over mountains, and finally on the ice roads of Prudhoe Bay.  The last couple of photos, the ones where the road doesn’t look particularly icy, they are passing over a river.  If you are also rather astute (and here I am giving you a clue) you can also see Jack’s reflection in the mirror, as well as a reflection of the small fan that he had mounted on the dash that could turn toward the windshield to defrost it or toward him on hot days.

(The best way to view the photos is to click on the first one and then click on the right arrow.)