Sunday, January 9, 2011

Do You Have a Spirit of Adventure?

I've taken a picture at this location before during the summer. This the view north from Brower's just short of noon. It still looks pretty dark to the north. It kind of makes one wonder what would make someone, say an early explorer, consider heading north from this point to try and reach the north pole? Maybe I must not have that spirit of adventure. I was warned not to go out walking around NARL as there have been multiple polar bear sightings around the campus. This may be all the adventure I need.

On Friday night, I went to a shed about 5 miles south of the NARL campus to check on some equipment. It was dark, cold and very windy with lots of blowing snow. Just the couple hundred feet across the tundra was a challenge due to the soft snow drifts and the blowing snow. Power had apparently been disconnected from the shed as it was kind of like a scene from Doctor Zhivago with frost hanging from everything. The only thing missing was daylight. By the time I got back to the truck I was frozen. I went back out Saturday morning just to see if the wide area wireless system was working (it was). There was a hint of light on the horizon and it didn't feel anywhere near as cold or desolate. From this location you could still see the streetlights of Barrow but it looks pretty black in other directions.


  1. Oh my, I am getting frostbite just reading this. Need to head over to Key West Diary for warm-up. Stay warm and be safe.

  2. Yeah, what Sonja said!
    Now I need to go fetch a blanket. Sure looks desolate there...and no place to hide from polar bears!

  3. Apparently, I do not have as much sense of adventure as you do. Holy Mother of PEarl that is beyond cold. And the thought of having to fend off polar bears as well? Um, no thanks!

    Hang in there and stay warm.


  4. RichardM:

    since you are on the northern edge of nothingness, where men fear to tread, then what is the reason for the wireless network ?

    I don't think I could be an explorer like Shackleton where his ships got frozen in ice. I need warmth. I'm going to KW too

    Wet Coast Scootin

  5. Dear Richard:

    Thank you for the uplifting post and the kind of editorial good time that just lures me from the clutches of the Amish. I have always wanted to live in the kind of place where carrying a high-powered hunting rifle (7mm Ruger) is de rigeur for running out to the store, or taking a piss behind the bar.

    I have read that polar bears are especially agressive.

    I cannot imagine dealing with months of dusk... I am now starting to hate waking up in the darknes at 6am, here in Pennsylvania. I was never this way before, but have become so in my advanced middle age.

    I guess you wreen't out on your bike.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  6. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. So far in all my visits I've only seen one polar bear. But then again, I'm usually not out looking for them.

    The facility and the wireless network is there to support scientific research. Groups come up to study a variety of subjects from sea ice to the flora and fauna. The area to the south of the new facility has been set aside since the 40's for research. The carrier grade wireless has a range of over ten miles around the NARL campus to facilitate the remote collection of a wide variety of data.

    A 12 gauge with slugs may be more appropriate. If you work out in the field bear guards are sent with you to watch your back and allow you to focus on your work.

    Also, Barrow is damp i.e. no bars.

    And you are correct, I haven't been out on the bike.


  7. I'm curious about what it is forming the archway?

    I also hear that polar bears are making a comeback. Must be all the wandering IT guys!

  8. This time of year I prefer the Arch I see as I walk to lunch.

    I'm afraid I'm not very adventurous. Tagging along with you from this distance is just about right for me.

  9. Irondad:
    The arch is made from whale ribs. The skull and jaw is in the center and skin boat frames are on each side.

    BTW, thank you for the magnetic light. I'm sure it will come in handy with all the repairs I have coming up.


  10. Bugger off we're all full up down here in Key West. It was a brisk 1am ride to work too. It's not all beer and skittles.
    I like the whalebone arch but the darkness sucks. It looks like the inside of my freezer.

  11. I don't know much about polar bears. Are they more prone to attaching? They say black bears are more scared of us then we are of them. And will only attach if their young are in danger. Grizzly are just unpredictable and scare the crap out of me just thinking about them. So polar bears are more like grizzlies??

  12. Lori:

    I'm told that polar bears are much larger and more vicious than even grizzly bears. I'm told by folks living in Barrow that polar bears will actually track and hunt you as you are simply food. Plus they don't hibernate. When researchers go into the field up north, heavily armed bear guards are required to keep watch so the scientists can focus on their tasks. I'm told that with the area covered by the polar bear is expanding. All this is what I've been told. No experience or expertise myself.