Jack’s been doing a little bit of heavy haul this past week. He took a 95 foot cement panel from Anchorage to Fairbanks. The panel was just one small part of a natural gas tank that is being built in south Fairbanks, as you can see in the below photos. It was about a foot of cement poured on a thick metal sheet that is slightly curved. We stood on it to take photos.
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.
You can barely see the surrounding hills and mountains while Jack drives during a snowfall. Just a nice calm driving experience with a little music to make it more interesting.
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.
About a week ago the State of Alaska triggered some avalanches on Atigun Pass and then cleared a path through for the trucks. The first video is a short one taken right after the loader and blower were done and the second one is longer and that’s when Jack was heading back the other direction, toward Prudhoe Bay. Thanks to the State for being proactive in keeping our truckers safe!
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.
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!
An amazing thing happened when I was on the road with Jack one time.
We woke up at what the truckers call 62 Mile, a good-sized pullout used by truckers and tourist buses and just anyone traveling the road. It was late September and the drive up north had been sunny and crispy cool. I could not have gotten luckier on a time to be on the Haul Road. Orange and yellow autumn colors abounded and even a pink birch tree showed up every so many miles. (Click to enlarge.)
I discovered frost-covered fireweed, spider webs glinting in the morning light, and best of all, an absolutely stunning mist rainbow. I hadn’t known they even existed before, but now I have proof they do. As the frost was evaporating off the tundra, the water vapor in the air created a rainbow that shimmered in the sun’s light. As I stood watching, the sunlight slowly burned off the frost on the ground, leaving plants thawed on one side and still frozen on the other, and the glorious rainbow eventually faded away with the warmth of day.
A moment of astounding beauty. Luckily, I took a quick video and lots of photos, some of which may give an inkling of how amazing that morning was. If anyone ever tells you that the arctic tundra is a frozen wasteland with no redeeming qualities, here is proof that it is not true.
(Click on the first one and scroll to the right.)