The Grizzly Bear in the tundra when leaving Deadhorse, AK
We left Deadhorse, AK after one overnight stay and our visit to
the Arctic Ocean. This day was dreary
and rather dark, not offering anything sunny yetbut we were always on the lookout
for wildlife, hoping to see the evasive musk-oxen. There had been sightings of a grizzly bear in
Deadhorse but we’d not seen him. Then off in the distance we do see something,
could it finally be a muskox?
Admittedly they are the same color and similar in size, too
but as we got closer the beautiful animal we saw was a grizzly bear and not a
muskox. We parked at the side of the
road and watched him dig and scrounge for his food in the tundra. Grizzly bears are omnivores and they eat fish
and meat as well as seeds, roots, grasses and insects. Notice the claws, which help his digging on
the search for these foods.
|Alaska Brown Bear|
The coastal population of grizzly bears found in Alaska and
Canada are referred to with their correct scientific name for the species,
which is “brown bear”, by the locals up here.
The “grizzly” term is used in the southern 48 states. This fellow was oblivious to us. We stayed inside the vehicles; he wouldn’t be
as likely to smell us and run. We would
enjoy watching him for close to half an hour.
Tundra is “one of the vast, nearly level, treeless plains of
the arctic region”. The permafrost is a
layer of dead plants and frozen soil that goes down 450 metres (1476’) under
the surface of the tundra. In southern regions
of the Arctic, the surface layer above the permafrost melts and forms bogs and
shallow lakes that welcome insects and migrating birds.
|Rainy Dalton days|
We had several rainy times during this part of the
adventure. The condition of the road we
were on was definitely more challenging with wet roads as the majority of the
road was dirt. Permafrost would be the
biggest problem to maintaining any kind of road up here as it creates heaves
and bumps in the ground. Best speed to
travel is a slow one, which also gives you better opportunities to enjoy the
view and avoid the big ruts in the road.
|Atigun Pass in Alaska|
Once again we travel over the Atigun Pass. This photo might indicate the slope of the
hill as we were coming down from the north, climbing to the top at an elevation
of 1422 meters (4752’). This is part of
the Brooks Range.
|Forest fire haze|
There were some serious forest fires while we were on our
northern travels. We were in some very
dense smoke several times, including this time between Deadhorse and Galbraith
Lake in Alaska. Thankfully we were never
in close proximity to these, but we did see what was left of several fires from
As we approached Coldwater, we could see a crew doing
maintenance on the pipeline. The occasional
necessary maintenance or repairs must be well planned in order to avoid as much disruption as
possible to the flow of the oil passing through the pipeline.
The little hamlet of Wiseman is situated a short distance
off the main road and an interesting stop.
Wiseman was established in 1908 and has existed ever since with all
properties being privately owned now.
The Wiseman Trading Company was established two years later.
“Clutch” is the owner of the Koyukuk Miners Museum and a
cordial host as he gave us a great tour of his property. Should you stop at Wiseman, located not far
from Coldfoot, Alaska, be sure to say hello to Clutch and have a look through
to see a rainy day and other sights on the Dalton.
Incredible Grizzly pictures. The same year as Wiseman was established, 1908, was the year my Grandfather Leary brought his family to the Islands.ReplyDelete
Love your 'Gorgeous Grizzly' picture. What a beautiful animal; Robert Bateman would love it too.ReplyDelete