We visited the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay
We had 230 km (143 mi) ahead of us before we would reach the
Arctic Ocean. With all eyes watching for
the wildlife of Alaska we had hoped to see, we set out on this dark day.
|Misty morning on the Dalton Highway|
We left Galbraith under heavy mist and clouds hanging on the mountaintops. This does make for some dramatic photos at times, but thankfully we will be returning on this same road tomorrow so hopefully the weather will allow better photos.
|Fireweed in Alaska|
Fireweed is a perennial bloom that brightens up the
roadside and fields on our travels throughout Alaska. Fireweed is not the national flower for
the state but many believe it should be, it is plentiful. It grows very well after a fire has cleared
away other vegetation, hence the name, and we did see many examples of that on
our travels. It is also a food with
great benefits, used to make candies, syrups, jellies and ice cream in
Alaska, as well.
|A very flat tire|
We made it to Deadhorse but had a flat tire as we arrived at
our destination. Thankfully, the ‘royal
we’ did not have to change the tire roadside and was at a more convenient spot
when this happened. The mud on the truck
is just part of the travels on these roads, made worse on wet days.
|We have arrived in Deadhorse|
Deadhorse is the camp on the Prudhoe Bay for the oil
industry. It is private property, with
limitations to the public but we signed up for a tour of the area so we could see the Arctic Sea.
|Camp living at Prudhoe Bay, AK|
The seasonal oil industry workers number anywhere from 3500
to 5000 and are housed in this kind of accommodations while they are
there. The airport is a busy place with
lots of traffic bringing workers in and taking them home for their days off
with shift changes.
|Fox, ducks and swans in Deadhorse camp|
On our tour around Deadhorse, we saw several areas of marshy
land and ponds that were home to different birds and lots of babies in the
group. One distant sighting was a fox
family who had a keen eye on the shopping list that could possibly include some
of those same birds for dinner.
|Beach of the Arctic Ocean|
Our tour driver was very familiar with the area and gave us
lots of interesting info about Deadhorse but the most interesting of our tour to me was the fact we were on Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean. Our only access to this is via the tour and
worth taking the time for that.
|Very brave swimmers|
We had booked our tour for the following day but because we
were in early enough, thought it worth trying to get an afternoon tour, there
really is nothing else to do in Deadhorse if you’re not a worker! The tours are not big groups and there was
room for us to join the afternoon tour.
Some of the group were very brave and actually swam in the water, albeit
|We walk in the cold Arctic Ocean|
We did it! The water
was cold, but not unbearable. At least
so that we could stand long enough for a photo to prove we dipped our feet in
the Arctic Ocean. This now adds to the
growing list of oceans we’ve been fortunate to have “dipped our feet” in on our other
Heading back down the Dalton Highway, click here
to see the adventure on the return to Fairbanks trip,.