Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mt McKinley

Mt McKinley, or Denali, meaning "the high one" is a stunning feature on the horizon. Sometimes it seems to take up the whole sky and more.  At 20,320' (6,196m) it is truly amazing.  These images were taken along the Parks Highway between Wasilla and Broad Pass.


Denali Park, Alaska

I arrived at Denali on Monday in a snowstorm. I found HR and Housing, completed the paperwork and got a key to my room. I've unpacked and settled in and will start work tomorrow.  Lots of snow, friendly folks, but not too many familiar faces. It's still very early in the season and very quiet, nice.  Next week: photos of my office and first days on the job.

Company housing for managers.

Company vehicle.

My view. Behind the snowbank is the Nenana River.
Across the river is the National Park.

Nothing fancy, but very adequate and functional.
Through the door is a shared bathroom.

Basically room for a bed, dresser and desk.

Denali National Park sign at the park road entrance. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Denali National Park

Actually not Denali - but the drive to Denali.  The mountain was out today.  That means clouds were not obscuring the view.  Mt. McKinley (Denali) at 20,320' (6,194 m) stands majestically on the horizon and is one of my favorite mountain views.

The Parks highway through Broad Pass.

Mountains surrounding Broad pass.

Mt McKinley, Denali.

Denali, Mt McKinley.

I was enjoying my lunch at my favorite Thai place
and a car came crashing through the intersection...

Everyone was OK, but the car is messed up.
Lots of snow and slick roads today.

And of course, it wouldn't be my blog without an
image of some big equipment when possible.
This is an Alaska Railroad SD70MAC.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I made it!  I got to Fairbanks today.  Had an awesome drive from Seattle.  2,411 miles in 50.5 hours over 5 days. Averaged 482 miles a day and 48 mph. One bad weather day with snow and  slick roads, but the rest were just beautiful.  Clear blue skies, amazing mountain views and great wildlife sightings.

One weird thing today, a Canadian C-130 was circling overhead near Haines Junction as I drove through. Of course I had to stop and see what was going on.  After all, I deal with these kind of planes in Antarctica, so I was curious.  They came in very low and were dropping stuff out the back, but I couldn't tell what it was.

 A Canadian C-130 circling overhead.

Circling around (the moon) for another pass.

They flew right over me.

You can see the ramp is down.

Beautiful snow capped mountains along the road all day today.

Empty roads, I was surprised at the lack of traffic.

I made it to Alaska!

The Alaska pipeline crossing the Tanana River.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Whitehorse sites along side the Yukon River with a population of over 25,000.  Whitehorse owes its existence to the White Pass & Yukon Route that terminated here on the banks of the Yukon river in 1900.  Nearby, a tent town, grandly called Canyon City, was created in 1897 by the gold miners heading to the Klondike. It was abandoned after Whitehorse was established.

I left Watson Lake (WL) this morning, but not before stopping at the Sign Post Forest to look around. It's much bigger than I remember from almost 20 year ago (well, duh!).  As I was leaving WL, I stumbled into a distressing scene, the local Tags Food & Gas station and convenience store had caught fire.  Disaster!

Today's stats: In the first two hours (about halfway) of driving from Watson lake to Whitehorse, I drove 128 miles and encountered 14 other vehicles, saw one moose and 27 caribou.  Caribou are almost twice as common as other vehicles... I only drove 278 miles today so I could enjoy more time in Whitehorse.

Watson Lake is famous for its sign post forest.

Signs from all over the world, Montana too.

It would have been fun to go exploring,
but there was way too much snow.

Watson Lake fire at Tags Food & Gas.

Some of the dozens of caribou I have seen.

Nice roads today.

Nice mountains. Keeping an eye on things?

WP&Y Railway station in Whitehorse.
The paddle wheeler "Klondike" in Whitehorse.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


British Columbia is beautiful, but after three days I am ready to be somewhere else.  I left Fort St John, BC this morning at 6 and got to Watson Lake this evening at 7, a long 13 hour day.  A record long 560 miles as well.  Sore muscles appreciated the quick stop at Liard hot springs.  I drove through some nasty snow on some bad roads, but had some nice weather and awesome animal sightings as well. I saw caribou, a moose, big horn sheep and lots of bison, a great day.  These pictures tell a much better story than I can...

The day started out nice...

Soon some flurries,

then more snow.

Beautiful mountain pass.

Nice horns on this rocky mountain big horn sheep.

Yeah, you.

A Bison standing in the snow.

more bison.

Dark clouds and a break between snowstorms.

Damn, it's really hard to see where the road is.

The day ended rather nice.

Welcome to the Yukon!

My dirty, but dependable car.