Bulker goes off the road

The Dalton claims another truck!

Jack calls this kind of trailer a bulker.  It carries dry powders like concrete, sand, or ammonium nitrate.  This one probably carried concrete or sand.  He says they use air to transfer the product from one place to another.  Unloading a bulker is called “blowing it off” to the people who do it.  In Prudhoe they store the product in silos.

Don’t forget you can increase the resolution on a YouTube video by clicking on the settings symbol in the lower right hand corner and choosing a higher number than what YouTube picked for you.

 

Engine on fire

A few years ago a truck engine spontaneously caught fire.  It was an electrical issue with the truck.  It had popped a breaker and when the breaker was flipped back, the fire started.  That’s what is thought to have happened.  In the photos you can only see smoke, and the Fairbanks Fire Department working to put it out.  We can imagine it was some seriously toxic smoke, as it is anytime a vehicle catches fire.  The Carlile employees including Jack moved the vehicles that were next to it immediately but couldn’t do anything about the fire.

(For those of you lucky souls who don’t have to deal with the cold temperatures, trucks and all vehicles are plugged in before driving to heat up the oil and anti-freeze.)

Click a photo to see it full size, then scroll through.

Ravens on the Dalton

Jack and I found the most amazing sight back in 2006 when we pulled into Happy Valley along the Dalton Highway.  Happy Valley is a former pipeline camp at about mile 335 that now is a gravel pullout where various storage units are kept.  There’s an airstrip that hunters and Fish & Game use, and Jack has seen mushers there too.

A raven built a nest in a set of moose antlers on the side of a building and 2 young ravens were in it!

This raven nest, with 2 babies in it, is built in a set of moose antlers on the side of a building!

This raven nest, with 2 babies in it, is built in a set of moose antlers on the side of a building!

You can see how much of a mess the raven family has made with guano all over the steps, propane tanks and the side of the building.

Ravens nest in a set of moose antlersWhat a work of art!

Raven young in nest

The “babies” were absolutely quiet and watchful while I snapped photos and even climbed up on a nearby truck to get on the same level as them.  They did not seem traumatized. :)

Jack had a close encounter with a very friendly raven a few years ago too.

Raven sitting on Jack's truck hood and peering inside the windshield.

Raven sitting on Jack’s truck hood and peering inside the cab.

Don’t worry, I discussed with Jack how it’s not appropriate to feed wild animals and that it might even be against the law! :)

They are amazing creatures.  So smart!

Old blind dog found after 2 weeks in the cold

FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER Blind Dog Survives Two Weeks In Cold Ed Davis poses with his dog Madera at his home Thursday morning, February 26, 2015. Madera, who is 11-years old and blind, survived two weeks in sub-zero temperatures after wandering away from home earlier this month.

FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER
Blind Dog Survives Two Weeks In Cold
Ed Davis poses with his dog Madera at his home Thursday morning, February 26, 2015. Madera, who is 11-years old and blind, survived two weeks in sub-zero temperatures after wandering away from home earlier this month.

During a recent cold snap an old blind dog wandered away from his home and was lost.  Two weeks went by and his owners figured he was lost for good.  They live in the Ester area of Fairbanks, near Jack and I, and the man works at one of the pump stations along the Dalton.

Believe it or not, someone who had a bell on his own dog and was out on a trail ride on his fat tire bike found him a half mile away and brought him home.

It’s a sweet story, and Jack and I can relate to having an old blind dog (Rest in peace Sport and Tigger).  The dog was safe except 14 pounds thinner.

You can read the whole story here.

 

Driver has a bad day

Another truck goes off the road!  This one is about 20 miles from Prudhoe.

Happy Sunday everyone!  We’re having a beautiful sunny day after some snow and a wind storm that cut out our electricity for a couple of hours last night.

 

Upside Down Truck

Here’s a short video Jack took the other day at about mile 86 of the Dalton.  The truck got too close to the edge when it met another truck and went off the side and rolled over.  A tree trunk punctured the tanker and according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation about 3,000 gallons of ultra low sulfur diesel spilled onto the ground.  Here is a link to the local newspaper’s article about it.

Jack carries approximately 9,200 gallons in the tanker he uses.  Other tankers are larger or smaller.  All or most tankers have different compartments though so when one has a spill most likely it’s only that compartment that empties.  Having different compartments enables truckers to carry different types of liquids and/or put weight at different places in the load.

(YouTube has a bad habit of giving you the lowest resolution so if you want to see more detail try clicking one of the HD choices under settings in the lower right hand corner of the video screen.)

 

Pushing a crane

It’s quite common for a really heavy load to have one or more push trucks behind it to push when going up inclines.  Push trucks are commonly used on the Dalton Highway as well as the Parks and Richardson when the loads are outrageously heavy, otherwise it would take a very long time and so much fuel for the truck with the load to get up a mountain, and it would also impede traffic for long periods of time.  The push trucks just follow the load when not going up hills.

Taken 11 years ago, these photos really show how close Jack’s push truck gets to the load he’s pushing (a crane).  You can see the pad that the push bar pushes against, how the trucks make contact.