Days are getting longer and brighter around here now, but we’ve still got tons of great footage from the dimmer days of winter. Here’s our current favorite.
Over the course of about 2 hours after leaving Prudhoe Bay, Jack drives by Pump Station 3 on the Dalton Highway, then heads down into the foothills of the Brooks Range with Galbraith Airport and Pump 4 in the distance. After communing a few moments with a curious raven, he goes up and over Atigun Pass then down The Shelf, passing Chandalar state camp near the end.
Below you can see the unique snow phenomenon that Jack saw on the Dalton when he came over the top of Gobbler’s Knob a few weeks ago. The first video shows him seeing it and the low sun casting alpenglow into his cab. The second is a compilation of clips of it with real audio of he and another driver discussing it and other things. The third (at double speed) is coming up and under it and the blowing snow on the road. And the fourth is later that day, just a beautiful drive going south at 4x speed.
Jack believes the snow phenomenon was a localized wind storm that kicked up snow into what looked like a cloud or even a mountain from far away. It was a windy day overall.
Jack participated in the Joy Wiebe Memorial Truck Convoy last Saturday that started at the Colville yard (Joy worked for Colville) on Van Horn Way and ended in Fox for a gathering. There are 4 videos here with the 1st, 2nd and 4th being sped up versions of the convoy, as viewed from the dash cam in Jack’s truck. The 3rd video in the sequence is “Joy’s Last Call” and comments from truckers over the radio, then the convoy goes by the pipeline viewing station where many onlookers are gathered and Jack lays on the horn like he was told to do. There were 70-80 trucks in the convoy.
Below are the videos of the Memorial “Joy Ride” and here are a few photos Jack took of the procession and gathering. If you aren’t interested in the sped up versions of the convoy and just want to see the real time comments on the radio just watch video #3.
We are sad beyond words to learn of the death of Joy Wiebe. She was a beautiful vibrant soul who brought cheer to the lives of many a trucker on the Dalton Highway. Jack considered her a good friend, not just a fellow trucker. Many an afternoon or evening was whiled away on the road in conversation about this or that, always a positive experience with Joy who improved the mood of each day and situation she was in. Full of energy, always wanting to be a better person, the world lost an asset the day she died.
I was able to meet Joy in Coldfoot about 2 months ago. I liked her immediately. Her smile and attitude were kind and open. She was a humble person, small of stature but strong and able and energetic. She touched my life for only a couple of minutes yet I find myself crying for a person I barely knew. Why Joy had to go and why her family has to now be overcome by grief and the question of how they can go on, we’ll never know. We can only feel deep sadness and pain at a world without her.
Jack and I send our deepest sympathies to the family of Joy Wiebe. We cannot imagine their grief. We want them to know that this trucker, as well as so many others, thought the world of Joy. She was a shining beam of light on a dark night, on the Haul Road. She was a Joy.
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 Jessee, just hauled a cement panel to Fairbanks for the new LNG tank.
LNG tank at Fairbanks Natural Gas under construction. The large crane on the far right picks up the panels first.
Two cranes and multiple man lifts, moving in coordination to place a panel (on the right).
The yellow strongback is being attached to the cement panel on the back of Jack’s truck.
Picking up the panel.
The strongback prevents it from cracking when they pick the cement panel up.
One cement panel is 95 feet long and 8 feet wide and it runs the full height of the tank.
A cement panel is being secured.
A crane and parts of Jack’s truck are in front of the inside of the tank.
The panels are held in place by 4 temporary supports (2 on top and 2 in the middle).
Here’s two 2-minute clips of a section of the road that is about 130+ miles from Fairbanks. At the beginning, Jack passes by Chucky’s Corner on the right. Chucky was a trucker who lost his life on that corner and it’s memorialized with the name, and the cross.
Jack welcomes you to the Dalton, but kind of in the wrong order. Instead of just getting on the Dalton, he’s just leaving it. At the very end you can see the Elliot Highway to the right where it continues on to Manley, and at that point he has left the Dalton and is on the Elliot. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds. The Elliot Highway was finished in 1959, goes north from Fairbanks and turns west toward Manley, a town a few miles from the Tanana River. The Dalton Highway was built in the 1970s to supply and access the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and starts where the Elliot turns west to Manley. If Jack could, he’d redo this video so it goes the right away, welcoming you to the Dalton at it’s beginning. But it’s such a beautiful day!
Travel to another planet with Jack when he drives by one otherworldly track rig after another. This might be the best video yet so don’t give up half way through when there’s a lull in the traffic…there are more of these crazy rigs coming! (There’s music but it’s quiet at the beginning.)