Northern lights & Davidson Ditch

Here are more photos of our late summer camping trip up the Steese Highway.  Chilly, but hardly a cloud in the sky…

You’ll see Davidson Ditch, a water pipe built in 1920s, that runs 90 miles along the Steese Highway.  It used to bring  about 180,000 gallons of water per day to the gold dredges in Fox, Alaska from the Chatanika River.

(Click on the first one and scroll to the right.)

Jack’s first grayling

You’d think that someone would start small and work up to a 75 pound salmon but Jack does it the opposite way.  When coming to Alaska years ago he caught the huge salmon first and then is working down and crossing the small fish off his list as he goes.

This summer he got his first Arctic Grayling.  Six to be exact.  We kept the first few and cooked them for dinner, but they were a bit mushy and muddy tasting, at least compared to the beautiful trout we’ve been getting.  From now on we’ll catch and release grayling.

Arctic Grayling are actually endangered in the lower 48.  In Alaska though they are quite abundant.

Here are some photos from our late summer Steese Highway camping trip and Jack’s first grayling.  Click on the first one and scroll to the right for the best viewing.  Hope you all had a great summer.



Fairbanks is saved by the dam…again!

Recently Fairbanks and the surrounding areas have been getting a lot of rain.  So when Jack and I visited the Chena Dam the other day the floodgates had been lowered in order to prevent high water from flowing downstream toward Fairbanks.  This results in the river backing up into the reservoir area behind the dam but saves Fairbanks as it has many times since it was built almost 40 years ago.

Dermot Cole of Alaska Dispatch News wrote in 2014 when the floodgates were lowered then that Fairbanks’ “most effective flood insurance policy … takes the form of an unusual dam with four 30-ton gates that operate like giant garage doors, stemming the flow of high water when the river rises. The floodgates are one element in an extensive federal flood control project that cost a quarter-billion dollars by the time of its completion in 1979.”

Click on the first photo and scroll to the right to read the captions.

For more info:  a slideshow on the Army Corp website and this pamphlet for a little more in depth information.



Cow moose with twins…!

Jack and I had an amazing moose experience in Healy a few days ago.  Otto Lake is moose haven.  We saw at least 6 moose in a 24 hour period.  Here is a photo story of a cow moose and her two babies, and her yearling that she is trying to shoo away.  Be sure to click on the first one and scroll to the right to see how it all went down.

Jack’s first heavy haul load

This was Jack’s first heavy haul load.  He wasn’t actually part of the a heavy haul division yet but obviously it was a landmark load for him.

You can see the partially melted snow and the dry road.  We are almost to that point in the year right now, and you can probably believe that it is an exciting time for us Alaskans who have snow 8 or 9 months of the year!

Happy Spring and Happy Easter!

Jack's first heavy haul load