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  • Day20

    Along the Dalton Highway

    June 4, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 64 °F

    We made several stops along the Dalton Highway:

    Grayling Lake - two to three thousand years ago Native people stopped here to camp and hunt for caribou and moose. Many of their tools used for hunting were found during the building of the road (Photos 1 & 2)

    Finger Mountain - is not really a mountain but hills. The rocks on the hills were formed over 100 million years ago from magma seeping through the surface and then cooling. The Anthapaskan Indians lived and hunted in this area. (Photos 3 & 4)

    Yukon River Camp - one of the stops where truckers can get a meal, room and fuel. We stopped here for dinner. The bridge crosses the Yukon River and is 2,295 feet long and 30 feet wide. The driving surface of the bridge is wooden planks supported by a steel deck attached to a pair of steel box girders. The wooden deck has been replaced in 1981, 1992, 1999 and 2007. (Photos 5 & 6)

    Arctic Circle - The Arctic Circle is the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude as shown on maps of Earth. It marks the northernmost point at which the noon sun is just visible on the December solstice and the southernmost point at which the midnight sun is just visible on the June solstice. The region north of this circle is known as the Arctic, and the zone just to the south is called the Northern Temperate Zone. As seen from the Arctic, the Sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year (and therefore visible at midnight) and below the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year (and therefore not visible at noon). The position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed; as of 23 May 2018, it runs 66°33′47.2″ north of the Equator. Its latitude depends on the Earth's axial tilt, which fluctuates within a margin of 2° over a 40,000-year period, due to tidal forces resulting from the orbit of the moon. Therefore, the Arctic Circle is currently drifting northwards at a speed of about 49 feet per year.

    Permafrost- permafrost is ground, including rock or soil, at or below the freezing point of water 32 °F for two or more years. Our guide stopped and dug up a small area only a few inches deep and we got to put our hand in the hole and feel the ice! Plants in this area have a root system that doesn't go deep in the ground. (Photo 9)

    Joy, Alaska - is a trading post. This place was originally set up as a lemon aid stand along the highway. The owners children set up the stand to serve to truckers along the highway. They dug down several feet to keep the lemon aid cold to serve at the stand. Soon, they began to sell other items such as cold drinks and candy bars. The trading post then followed, as a stop for the truckers to come in.
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