Thawing permafrost under the pipeline

There’s a section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline north of Fairbanks that is threatened by thawing permafrost, and steps are being taken to prevent or mitigate damage. Jack says the work is not visible from the Dalton. We’ll provide photos in the future if they become available, but for now here are some of the thermosyphons that are used to keep the permafrost cold under the pipeline, photos taken by us several years ago at about 26 Mile Dalton.

The below image is from Inside Climate News, Arthur Chapman via Flickr Creative Commons.

Refreezing Thawing Permafrost

The Dalton Highway in September

Last fall we took a camping/hunting trip up the Dalton.  We were lucky to get tons of beautiful weather.  Only a little rain.  Summer is almost here!

Minus 57 degrees!

Happy 2020!  Jack has been seeing very cold temperatures up on the Dalton.  It’s been as cold as 40 below around Fairbanks but closer to 60 below up north.  Here are some photos from the recent weeks.  Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and has a terrific 2020!

Click here to go to the Anchorage Daily News and find out what happens at these cold temperatures.

 

Hilltop Truck Stop, before heading north

Jack takes a break at Hilltop before heading down the road.  This is sped up very fast so you can see the daylight fade.  At some point the camera’s time clock locks up.

The Shelf Road of Colorado

If any of you are very familiar with the great state of Colorado you may have heard of the Shelf Road that runs between the towns of Canon City and Cripple Creek (lots of Cs in that part of the world).  It’s a mountainous dirt road with steep drop offs, hair-raising corners, and not even a hint of a guard rail on the whole 24 miles.

The Shelf Road is actually part of the Gold Belt Byway, a string of scenic roads in Colorado so called because of the gold mining in the area.

The average person wouldn’t drive this road, but my husband is not your average person.  After buying a pick up in Texas and a camper to sit on top of it in Colorado, he chooses to christen our new rig by taking it on the Shelf Road.  Let me just say right now, as the person who sat on the side of the ledge, that it was total insanity.  It may have been enjoyable in a Jeep or something but as it was, our huge lumbering beast met a small truck and I was so busy white-knuckling it that I forgot to take a photo!

Below are photos of the drive, with some captions that you can see if you click on the image and scroll to the right, and below those are some photos of Cripple Creek and the mountaintop mine nearby.

Our reward for completing the harrowing Shelf Road was getting to Cripple Creek, a town that is clearly proud of their mountaintop removal!  Here is a satellite image of the mine and some from the town itself.  Hope you get there someday if you haven’t been already.

 

Heavy haul load with 2 push trucks

For some reason, years ago, Jack documented this heavy haul load quite thoroughly so why not share it with you guys.  This is a 2006 heavy haul load with 2 push trucks going up Atigun Pass on the Dalton Highway, and coming down the other side.  The load might be some kind of heater, maybe to heat the oil going down the pipeline, but Jack’s not totally sure.  It’s an outside unit so didn’t need to be covered.  Click on the first one and scroll to the right.

Jack’s new truck & Palo Duro Canyon

Jack bought a new pick up truck!  We picked it up in Amarillo, Texas and drove through Palo Duro Canyon State Park before heading on to New Mexico.  Click on the first one and scroll to the right if you are interested!

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