Friday, May 25, 2012

Where Am I Now?

Unfortunately, nowhere that I haven't been to before. The approach into the airport in Barrow is from the north so we get a nice look at the sea ice. Some areas are starting to thin (the darker areas) and even a bit of open water. Locals told me that they thought that the ice is thinner than usual and expect there to be open water by the middle of June. Most of the snow is gone from the land except wind blown drifts had built up. It's amazing the dIfference a few weeks make.

I went out for a walk this evening around the NARL campus but it was windy and started to snow. Not enough to actually accumulate on the ground but enough to get you pretty wet. There was an arctic fox still in its white fur stalking a bunch of birds but I didn't have a camera with me. I think that Spring is finally here.

This afternoon, I tried out the tracking feature of the SPOT again and it looks like it it works as advertised. I'll try sending a couple of messages from here tomorrow to see if it's better than the v1 devices we tried a few years ago.

It was pouring rain and still kind of cold (48°F) while riding but I arrived home warm and dry. This Gerbing stuff is pretty nice.

Saturday morning - When I arrived at the science building, I found a line crew getting ready to head out for some pole maintenance. I thought that the vehicle looked interesting as it was only a little bit longer than a pickup but the tires were enormous. This also shows how much of the snow has melted.  


  1. Great pic of the sea ice. What month does it usually all melt? Is June too early?

    I am glad you are enjoying that Gerbings. Mmm warm.

    1. Normally, by the end of June, the area right next to the shore will have started to melt but there is still a lot of ice. So by mid-July there will be open water.

      I almost wish I had it this morning while walking to the science building (BARC). Cold and windy. All of the ponds along the road were frozen again.

  2. Nice picture of a cool truck Richard!

    I bet it doesn't get stuck very often as the tires probably enable it to "float" on top of the snow.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    1. And they can still use it over the tundra with all the standing water. In the winter, they use tracked vehicles on the snow but I think they chew up the vegetation a lot more than these "tundra buggies".

  3. Richard:

    Wow you are fast. You were only just thinking about the SPOT and you ordered, received and playing with it already.

    Hard to believe you still have ice and snow when half of Eastern USA is smothered in a heat wave

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. I had been thinking of the SPOT for a while but after the poor performance of the version 1 model, I sort of dismissed it. The SPOT Connect got me thinking about it again due to the ability to send directly from your smartphone using an app. After Chris L. visited and I saw how well it worked on his trip, I was convinced to pick one up for my trip this summer. I ordered the simpler model, the SPOT v2, and wanted to try it out as soon as possible. And figure out how to get the widget working on the blog page. The documentation leaves a lot to be desired but eventually I think I have it figured out. Knowing when the "message sent" is successful is the real unknown as there doesn't seem to be any reliable indication using the status lights. I suspect that I will simply turn tracking on during the trip and not be too concerned about the various status messages and, hopefully, I'll never need to use the emergency function.

      Yes, lots of ice and snow up here and it'll be around for at least another month. so I'm told.

  4. Oilburner really enjoys my SPOT usage. He loves the track as he can "see" where I am. We worked out a system that when I stop for fuel or food, I click the OK button so he will know I might be in one place for awhile. Otherwise something is wrong. ;). I think your family will enjoy it when you get on the road.

    1. That's a good idea about the "OK" message when stopped for a while. Do you carry the SPOT in your jacket or tank bag?

    2. On a long trip I have a large tank bag and have it tucked into the visible map area where I can get to the buttons easily. (with a fingernail.)

      A couple times I have tossed it in the pelican box. That was a little thick for the reception.

  5. Dear Richard:

    I resisted using heated gear for the longest time, kidding myself into thinking that riding in the low 40's or high 30's wasn't a test for a simple jacket liner. I have five pairs of specialized gloves for autumn cold to winter cold. Nothing matched the soothing warmth of a the Gerbings micro-wire liner, nor the supple warmth of the Gerbings Nubuck gloves, which I understand are to be discontinued. If your bike has a decent alternator, there is no reason to even be chilly.

    Quite frankly, as much as I hate the heat of summer... I'd blow my brains out if there was still snow on the ground.

    Thanks for your note the other day.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

    1. The "decent alternator" part is what was holding me back. The airhead only has a 280 watt system so power management will be an issue. Especially if I want the heated grips on at the same time as the liner. Unless I upgrade the system to one of the aftermarket 450 watt systems, I don't even want to consider auxiliary lighting.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.