A raven’s eye tour of Fairbanks

Flying into Fairbanks one day in 2008 the airplane took an unusual route.  Instead of coming in from the southwest it came in from the southeast, flying over Harding Lake and Salcha and circling over Farmers Loop across north of town into the airport.  Maybe this direction of landing is normal, I don’t know, I have never experienced it before, but this day happened to be beautifully clear and I captured some great photos of the Tanana River and various Fairbanks landmarks.

Click on the first one and then scroll to the right for an overhead, raven’s eye, tour of Fairbanks.

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Photos from a past hauling job

Here are some miscellaneous photos that Jack took a couple of years back at a marine dock in Valdez.  He was there in May of 2012, hauling items for the railroad bridge that’s now finished (although there aren’t tracks leading to or away from it).

Pipe Hammering Device

The above piece is part of the hammer used to drive pilings into the ground.  For bridge foundations in this case.

Pipe roller

This is used to put pipe on so it can roll while being welded together.

Miscellaneous items in marine yardThese are miscellaneous items  used on the bridge job.

Pipe rollerAnother pipe roller.

Piling Driving DeviceJack says this stands on end and the large circular piece drives down into the hole and onto a piling.

Piling driving deviceThis is the hammer that pounds a piling, Jack thinks it’s for 24 inch pipe.

The large circular device in back should be for the large pipe in the far background.

Miscellaneous marine yard items24 inch pipe in back of some other items.

Marine yard miscellaneous itemsSheet piling (which gets pounded into the ground to create an embankment) and miscellaneous steel items.

Six foot pipe in ValdezSix foot diameter pipe that most people can walk though without bending over.

Six Foot Diameter PipeMore six foot diameter pipe with shipping containers in the background.

I must say this marine yard is a tad more attractive than most, surrounded by beautiful mountains and all!

Have a wonderful day and thanks to those of you who follow this blog and make comments. 🙂

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Valdez Avalanche Photos

A major avalanche happened very recently along the Richardson Highway, about 20 or so miles from Valdez.  Below are photos Jack was able to acquire from a friend – taken by Alyeska (and we hope no copyright has been violated by posting them here).

You can see here where the snow has covered the highway and the river that runs alongside it:

Valdez Avalanche 1

Here is the same thing but farther away.

Valdez Avalanche 2And the rest are from another angle, showing the pooling of river water that is covering a long stretch of the highway.

Valdez Avalanche 3

Valdez Avalanche 4

Valdez Avalanche 5

So needless to say the Richardson Highway is closed and people who live in Valdez can only get out of the town by water or air.  Jack says the snow will be removed by loaders but that sure seems like a dangerous job…!

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Still Hauling Pipe

Here are some photos of the job Jack is presently working on, hauling huge pipe sections from the port of Valdez to Salcha where there is a railroad bridge being built across the Tanana River.

Empty trailers, waiting for the pipe.

This is a photo from an earlier post:  the trucks loaded with 2 lengths of pipe each, and more pipe in the background that still needed to be loaded and hauled to Salcha.  Each section is 6 feet in diameter and 43 feet long.  That stack has been transported by now but more has arrived from other barges.

Eight inch wood dunnage cradling the pipe.  It gives space for the forks to pick it up and set it down, and the pipe chalks (upper wood pieces) stop it from rolling until they get it tied down.  Each piece of pipe is 25,000 pounds.

The trucks have to stop at quite a few roadwork sites along the Richardson Highway.  This is in the canyon just north of Valdez.

A couple of days ago Jack was held up at some roadwork for almost 2 hours.  Since the Richardson is one of only a couple of major highways in Alaska, there  must have been a line of ticked-off tourists 10 miles long!

Anyone interested in more information about this bridge project can go to this link:  State of Alaska webpage.

Hauling Pipe from Valdez to Salcha

This month Jack has been hauling huge pipe sections to Salcha, a small community about 35 miles from Fairbanks.  The State of Alaska is building a railroad bridge across the Tanana River in Salcha and these pieces are probably going to be standing supports with concrete poured inside.  Each driver manages to haul two sections a day, you can see them loaded here.  In back of the trucks and in front of the shipping containers there are stacks of more pipe that need to be hauled to Salcha, so Jack won’t be off this project for a while to come.  Yes, work means a paycheck, but ending up with one a a half days off a week is hard when you’ve got a home you want to take care of, and knowing there are only 3 months of summer in Fairbanks.


We’ll post more about this trip soon, so stay tuned and click “follow” if you are interested in getting an email each time a post is made here.