Monday, September 1, 2014

Justin's Adventure

I mentioned a few days ago that Justin was soon to be embarking on a big trip.  On Friday afternoon he departed for the mysterious and remote state of Alaska for a two week adventure.  A friend of his lives there in Wasilla, and for months they have been planning this major trip into the wilderness, where they will be hunting and camping.  Where they are is so remote that there is no phone or internet service (for the love of God!).  I just looked up some of the destinations on their itinerary and they drove on the Dalton Highway, which is listed in National Geographic magazine's "drives of a lifetime":

This highway starts north of Fairbanks and runs straight up to the Arctic Ocean.  It was built as a service road for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and at the end of the road are oil fields of Prudhoe Bay.  It's called a highway, but apparently much of the road is gravel!  It is over 400 miles long and there are only three populated towns along it.  Justin and Nate (our friend) only went to mile 334, the location of the Happy Valley air strip which is where they will take a plane into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Then they will raft down the Ivishak River for several days, stopping to hunt and camp.  The map below shows these places. 

I didn't do much research about these places before he left, and I must say that I am fascinated with this highway.  I have always enjoyed a road trip and the Dalton Highway definitely would be one to remember.  I would probably have to bring my own Diet Coke though!

You may be wondering about the safety of this trip, with the bush plane, the rafting, the hunting, the camping in the middle of nowhere in a wildlife refuge where bears live, etc. Well, although there won't be any phone calls or texts because there is no service and no where to charge devices, they do have a two way satellite communicator with GPS which is able to send a message each day to Nate's wife and myself.  It emails us (I don't understand it either!) The message from today was "checking in, all ok".  Good to know!  It also sends their location in map form with GPS coordinates.  I took a screen shot of the one from today so you could get an idea of where they are.  That is the air strip.  I think they will fly out tomorrow. 

That's WAY up North! 
And here is a picture of what they are hunting: 
This is an image from Google.  There were many photos of hunters with their caribou but I felt weird putting a picture of a person I don't know on a blog.  So, although quite adventurous, this trip is a "thing" that a lot of other hunters have done.  There are plenty of caribou in Alaska so there is a very good chance that I am going to be tasting caribou meat in a few weeks. Yes, it's getting shipped home!

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