Friday, August 17, 2018

Last Trip to Utqiaġvik?

Off again on another trip north. I was thinking that this may be the last trip to Utqiaġvik as the contract is ending soon. The plan has always been to transition IT support to UIC Science, the local company providing logistic support to the science community doing work up here, but it sounds like they aren't going to be ready by the end of September. The forecast for the north slope was for temperatures in the low 30s (°F) and a possibility of snow. No snow though I did talk to a rider at the Prudhoe Bay hotel and he said that it was snow, sleet or rain all the way from Atigun Pass. He didn't look very excited about having to ride through that again on his way back south.

At least I had decent leg room on the flight to Prudhoe. This was one of the older 737 models that only have one over-wing emergency exit on each side. But it's not like the flight is very long. The wait in Deadhorse was almost four hours but at least they have decent, free Internet that usually works. But not on Monday, the day I was traveling north. I'm not sure what is going on in Utqiaġvik but the plane was packed. Maybe it's all of the school teachers arriving back after their summer break.

They have this on display at the BARC. The original marker from the crash site of Wiley Post and Will Rogers in 1935. It was recovered sometime in the last couple of years by an archeological group working in the area. The ocean is gradually claiming more of the coastline including the crash site.

It’s not really obvious in this picture but the wind is almost strong enough to lean into. The NWS also has a high surf advisory with water possibly washing over the road. Heavy rain and even thunder this morning. Another pleasant day up north. The whalebone arch is probably the most photographed thing up here. But now it is located off the beaten path as the road is always under repair. It washes out almost everytime there is a storm.

Another shot showing all of the ice being blown into the shore from the west winds. Or at least I think that's the term for when the wind is coming from the west. Yesterday, you could see an occasional bit of sea ice. Nothing like this. Earlier in the afternoon, the waves were almost coming up to the top of the beach.

Actually, by the time this post is up, I will be back in Fairbanks.

10 comments:

  1. Richard,
    Way too early for snow....let them know up there.

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    1. I let them know but I'm not sure I talked to the right "them". There were flurries on Tuesday morning...

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  2. I'm with Coop ... way too early for snow and ice. Keep working on that Richard.

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    1. For there, this is about normal. Their “summer” is a couple of weeks near the beginning of July. Unfortunately, the storm surges washing out the roads is becoming way too common.

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  3. Wow, what a tough environment up there! At least your trips there are brief. ;-) Imagine having to live and work there!

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    1. It is a tough environment. But it really is a nice town with some fantastic individuals.

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  4. living on the moon would be easier

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  5. Wrong direction, Richard. South's the way to go... your RV needs the exercise.

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    1. I felt like I was doing something wrong...

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