Jack pulls over for an oversize load

About an hour after leaving Prudhoe Bay, Jack meets a pilot car for an over-sized load so he stops at a pull-out and waits.  You’ll see the trucks in back of the big load go around it, then a truck that will be traveling faster than Jack goes ahead of him.

The big load is a 400,000 pound mod (modular unit) and there were four 70,000 pound push trucks to get it from Fairbanks to the last hill which is about 60 miles south of Prudhoe.  Only one push truck is needed to get it the rest of the way into Prudhoe and that’s the one you can see here.

(Your volume needs to be turned up on this one.)

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Jack driving next to the pipeline

Here’s several clips put together of Jack driving next to the Trans-Alaska pipeline.  (Loud music)

We can now be found at Instagram under the name jackandjudy.

How fast is Jack going?

Recently someone asked how fast Jack is driving in these videos.  The answer is, the fastest Jack drives on the Dalton is 55 miles an hour.  His truck is governed at 55, meaning it is programmed to be unable to go faster than that.  The speed limit of the Dalton Highway is 50 miles an hour, so he is given that extra 5 miles an hour in order to let him gain a little speed before going up the steep grades of the hills and mountains.

Of course he drives a variety of speeds.  Things he slows down for are curves, rough patches, frost heaves, and animals.  And when you see him meeting other trucks as a general rule he slows down to about 35.  That is for safety primarily, but also etiquette.

So here’s another video, this one of a night drive, which is what the Haul Road experience consists of most of the time in the winter.  (Don’t forget, the volume is loud.)

The road is cleared!

Recently the Dalton was drifted shut near Slope Mountain.  This video starts right after 2 blades (graters) clear the road and one parks in front of Jack.  If it weren’t for the plowed path, you can’t really tell where the road is unless you watch the delineaters, those reflective markers on each edge.

Typical day in Jack’s life, but to music

This is an amalgamation of video clips from the Dalton Highway between the Brooks Range and Prudhoe Bay.  You’ll see the Trans-Alaska pipeline and a glimpse of Pump 2.  It’s not in perfect order, as road aficionados and time clock watchers will notice.  I’m new to video editing and sometimes you just have to accept a less than perfect product, to Jack’s chagrin.

Driving into Fairbanks at night

Here’s a new video of Jack driving into Fairbanks the other night, sped up so it’s not too tedious.  It’s pretty late so not much is going on.  Some trucks cleaning up the Steese Highway, that’s about it.  It’s in HD so don’t let YouTube show you a poor quality video, if you have decent internet.  And it does have some music on it so you may want to reduce the volume if you are sensitive to that.  When you add music through YouTube, you can’t determine the volume, so it’s loud.

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.