United States
Lakloey Hill

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3 travelers at this place

  • Day18

    Made it to the North Pole!!

    June 2, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Before I tell you about today's travel I wanted to show you what it looks like at 3:00 in the morning - see photo 1. The length of day is 20 hours and 36 minutes and the length of visible light is 24 hours meaning it really never gets dark like we know it. We also met a couple from Delaware at the Tok Campground. We spoke with them and found out that they live in Lewis - a town about 30 minutes away!! Also, I wanted to tell you something else about Chicken. At Chicken they have no electric or running water! All electric to run the cash register, lights etc. are with provided by a generator. Water is brought in - no flushing toilets - just out buildings. And, no cell phone coverage.

    We left Tok and headed north-northwest to Fairbanks, our most north location we will be staying at. We are actually staying at a campground just outside of Fairbanks proper in a town called North Pole. About halfway in to our trip, outside of Delta Junction, we stopped at Rika's Roadhouse. The roadhouse is named after Rika Wallen, who acquired it from a man called John Hajdukovich and operated it for many years. It became a hub of activity in that area of the interior. With the construction of the ALCAN (now Alaska) Highway and the replacement of the ferry with a bridge downstream, traffic moved away and patronage declined. The roadhouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The roadhouse was built on the banks of the Tanana River. The Tanana River was one of the major rivers to be crossed by travelers along the Valdez-Eagle trail. A ferry was established just upriver of the Tanana's confluence with the Delta River. Several log cabins housed the telegraph office, a dispatcher, two repairmen and their supplies. Rika eventually became the postmaster and served in that position for many years. Last year, he Alaskan government wanted to end its support of the Roadhouse so a family from Delta Junction (a city just down the road) purchased it and now runs it. The Alaska oil pipeline crosses the Tanana River not far from this location also.

    The campground is located on the Chena River. The Chena River is a 100-mile tributary of the Tanana River. It flows generally west from the White Mountains to the Tanana River near the city of Fairbanks. We took our camp chairs to the river bank and enjoyed the view. We were surprised at how fast it flows.
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  • Day19

    What do you do when at the North Pole?!

    June 3, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    You visit the Santa Claus House! In 1949 Con and Nellie Miller arrive in the community, North Pole. In 1952, the Millers had decided to build a trading post. The story goes that one day, while hard at work on the new store, a young Alaskan boy thought Con was Santa Claus and asked, "Hello, Santa Claus! Are you building a new house?" Inspiration clicked, the new store would be called "Santa Claus House!" In those days the Santa Claus House offered more basic necessities than it did Christmas treasures. Situated between two military installations and right in the middle of developing North Pole, Santa Claus House became an impromptu gathering place for area residents. In addition to purchasing their groceries, locals could mingle at the soda fountain or pick up their daily mail, as Santa Claus House, under the direction of Postmistress Nellie Miller, was a mail contract station and served as North Pole's first Post Office for almost 20 years. In 1972 the state rerouted the Richardson Highway, bypassing the store's location. The Millers built a new storefront just off of the new four-lane highway, where it still is today. Inside, the store's emphasis on Christmas items have replaced the aisles of well-stocked canned goods. Santa even makes a daily visit (when not busy in the toy shop!). The Santa outside the store is 42 feet high and weighs 900 pounds (photo 1).

    We then stopped at the Golden Heart Plaza. This plaza was created to celebrate the silver anniversary of Alaska’s statehood in 1984. Our next stop was the Ice Museum. The museum is located in an old movie theater. You start with a 25 minute film about the ice sculpture contests held annually in March here in Fairbanks. After seeing the film you enter into the "freezer" where it's kept at a cool 20 degrees. You can slide down an ice track and take your picture sitting on or next to numerous ice sculptures. There then is a demonstration on Ice sculpting.

    It was then on to something a little warmer. Rod was able to play a round of golf at the North Star Golf Club. It is located in Fairbanks and it is not only the Northernmost golf course in America, but also one of the most unique. This is not just because of the unusual and ever-changing lay of the land but also due to the likelihood that you will share the golf course with any of a host of wildlife species. We, unfortunately, did not see the wildlife. The golf course has a visitors special where they rent you clubs, balls, tees and you also get a logo hat. The cart path is dirt/mud - you need an ATV instead of a golf cart. Rod played a good round of golf.
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  • Day20

    The Dalton Highway

    June 4, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    There are only 3 roads in the world that cross the Arctic Circle and the Dalton Highway is one of them. The Dalton Highway is a 414-mile road. It begins at the Elliott Highway, north of Fairbanks, and ends at Deadhorse near the Arctic Ocean and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Fields. Once called the North Slope Haul Road (a name by which it is still sometimes known), was built as a supply road to support the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in 1974. The highway, which runs parallel with the pipeline, is one of the most isolated roads in the United States. There are only three towns along the route: Coldfoot at Mile 175, Wiseman at Mile 188 and Deadhorse. Fuel is available at the Yukon River Bridge (Mile 56), as well as Coldfoot and Deadhorse. The road itself is mostly gravel or packed dirt and very primitive in places. The nearest medical facilities are in Fairbanks and Deadhorse. Anyone embarking on a journey on the Dalton is encouraged to bring survival gear - in fact our guide was trained in survival methods, carries a first aid kit, food and a satellite phone for emergencies. Our van also had a CB radio which she used to inform truckers at certain locations that we were on the road or pulling back on the road from a pullover area. The truckers travel fast and don't move for oncoming cars and there are no shoulders. Truckers that travel the highway have given their own names to its various features, including: The Taps, The Shelf, The Bluffs, Oil Spill hill, Beaver Slide, Two and a Half Mile, Oh Shit Corner and the Roller Coaster. The road reaches its highest elevation as it crosses the Brooks Range at Atigun Pass, 4,739 feet (which we saw in the plane). We traveled through Beaver Slide, Oh Shit Corner and the Roller Coaster. They are doing some 'repairs' (putting more dirt on the road and smoothing it - somewhat!). It took us nearly 10 hours (with some stops along the way) to travel the Dalton Highway.Read more

  • Day20

    Along the Dalton Highway

    June 4, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    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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Lakloey Hill

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