Thursday, November 15, 2012

NARL@noon

I'm in Barrow again this week and after fighting with the new VoIP server (Opensips v1.8.2 on Fedora 17), I decided to take a little walk. This is what NARL (Naval Arctic Research Lab) looks like at local high noon. Still kind of dark due to overcast skies on the southern horizon. Sunrise was at 12:03pm and sunset will be at 2:20pm. Tomorrow, the "day" will be 23 minutes shorter and on Monday, November 19, 2012, Barrow will have it's last sunset until January 23, 2013. This is looking north from the BARC (Barrow Arctic Research Center) facility towards the old power plant.

This is roughly looking south and you can see the low clouds. The wind has died down to only about 15 mph and the ocean near town is now frozen. This is in contrast to only a few weeks ago where spray from the ocean was coating everything with ice. I'm told that the ice isn't grounded yet and you can still see darker sections where it is still thin and if the waves pick up, it could break up the ice. I'll post an ocean view later on.

At the airport in Fairbanks, I ran into another local BMW rider who ended up purchasing the other Cozy sidecar I had looked at to put on his K75. I thought that it needed paint and some bodywork but he is planning on spraying it with bed liner inside and out. It should be a very durable finish and I'm looking forward to seeing it on his bike. He also has an R75 airhead but thought that the K75 would be a better tug. The challenge is finding a subframe.

Thursday evening - Here is a Google Earth image of the NARL campus. I circled the BARC facility and showed the directions that I took the two pictures in this post. The first picture is looking north and the second one, that looks like a lake, is looking south. The blue dot shows that Google knows that I am in hut 268. There is a lake on the southeast of the BARC and another lake south of hut 268.

This satellite image was taken in March 2009 as that is when the Canadian research group was flying the balloons southeast of the BARC. If you look closely at the Google image, you can see the orange balloon next to the shed out on the tundra.

17 comments:

Martha said...

OK. I'm totally disoriented here. Am I looking at phone poles, utility poles along the frozen water? And they actually look like they are IN the water?

These are wonderful photos. I have been in such bleak lighting several times. Otherworldly. There is a nice Barrow webcam. I should look at it tonight and tomorrow and see what else going on up there!

Martha said...

Are you anywhere near the "Sea Ice Webcam" ?

RichardM said...

The power poles are going across tundra. I think it is classified as wet lands as it's really swampy during the summer. Last summer, I posted a photo of this truck with huge tires that the power company was using to run new power lines.

Really bleak lighting. The only functional web cam up here that I know of is the one on the top of the bank. There is another one on top of this building but it seems to be off line and another one on the "theater" next to the ocean. That building lost power last night and they are still working to get it going again.

RichardM said...

The Sea Ice Webcam is a UAF project and they have their camera and radar unit on the bank building in town. The bank is one of the highest buildings in town and is about 5 miles SW of where I am working. Their "network problems" are due to the reliability of the commercial DSL service they are using to upload their data.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

Richard,
Thanks for the photos. It sounds like there is a Cozy explosion going on in Fairbanks.
~k

RichardM said...

I think that there are more Cozy sidecars laying around Fairbanks just because there is a Royal Enfield dealer here. Cozy sidecars are sold as a dealer installed accessory. Or maybe because they are cheaper than most other options...

redlegsrides said...

Will you ever ride your sidecar rig, once assembled and dialed in, to this location Richard?

Dom

RichardM said...

There isn't a road to Barrow. Every few years they get a grant from somewhere to have an ice road put it in. It isn't put in every year and if something has to be brought in during the winter that doesn't fit in an airplane, then rologon's are used. These just travel cross country across the frozen tundra.

Most of the vehicles here come in by barge.

Geoff James said...

Richard,
I just love your commentary and photos about weather in Alaska. It brings a human perspective to a world you only see in abstract terms on documentaries. Thanks and keep 'em coming!

SonjaM said...

Oh my, those pictures remind me of my three months sojourn in Winnipeg during winter (I am still traumatized).

RichardM said...

It isn't common for anyone to visit this part of the world especially for those living in another part of the world. Not the most hospitable climate and no roads.

If the weather isn't enough, I've run into more than a few individuals up here who seem to be affected with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or depression from lack of sunlight.

RichardM said...

I have heard that the wind in that area makes it feel much colder than many parts of Alaska. In Fairbanks, we rarely have to deal with wind. Here on the coast, they do get their fair share of wind and combined with the lack of sunlight, it can really feel cold. Not that the sun really adds anything but it's nice to see.

Sorry for adding to the trauma. Not my intent...

Unknown said...

Richard:

you photos remind me of Dr Zhivago when they were in that ice palace. Beautiful but as viewed in photos from a warm office

I can't recall being anywhere that cold. One thing for sure, I won't need my Crocs© if I ever came to visit you

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

You will need the winter Crocs© which are lined and no little holes. Supposedly, they are warm and as long as you don't need to venture into deep snow, perfectly adequate.

The snow in Dr. Zhivago was much prettier...

Trobairitz said...

The photos are eerily pretty.

I still think it would be odd to have a last sunset for that many months. We don't see the sun much in winter but at least we have some daylight. The coming of light gives you something to look forward to.

Trobairitz said...

There is a reason Winnipeg has the nickname "Winter-pig" Or at least that is always what we called it. Damn cold in those parts too.

RichardM said...

I think it's the blue color that seems eerie. Even after there is no longer sunrise, it still gets light during the day. You just don't get any direct sunlight. But I think that many people in town look forward to seeing the sun again.