Sunday, October 08, 2006

Vacation, Alaska...just a few more

-This a continuation of the Alaskan saga. My dad has just put some great pictures up here.


I have caved to technology. Couldn't stand the silence in the truck. No radio, so I broke out the ipod. I am listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Diamond Sea cover and feeling pretty warm and content because of it. We have been dipping in and out of blinding patches of snow and fog all afternoon.

I don't know how the few animals that I've seen up here survive at all.

The people seem mostly miserable, and some close to death, either that or horribly figured in some way. The fraternal wave from other drivers is a comfort at times. It's an acknowledgement that we both share the difficult circumstances of driving on a dirt road in the snow a hundred miles or so North of the Arctic Circle. It reminds me a bit of the underhand salute that motorcycle riders give eachother in SF. Again, a vague understanding that you are enduring the same thing. Driving this road had a certain romantic appeal to it, but being here I realize that people do it every day for work. It must be how some people view my job, when I see it as laborious and repetitive. This sure is an odd place to be a tourist. Beats the hell out of Times Square, though. Atigun pass got a good deal of snow. The mountains looked so different, all gleaming white in the sunshine.

I pushed on for a few more hours to the town of Wiseman. I followed a road out to a gold mine, but remembering the protective nature of the Humboldt County weed growers, I thought it best to keep my distance from the men and their gold. We managed to park the truck on part of a riverboat that had dried enough to drive over.

We walked along the river for miles.

The stones here are so amazing.

There is no one here to look them over and take the good ones home.

We saw lots of tracks. Plenty of animals come down to the water to drink. There were plenty of Moose, Fox and Wolf;

even a few bear.

The temperature is easily 20 degrees warmer down here than in Deadhorse (we are, after all, 6 hours south), but I have still amassed quite a pile of firewood for tonight. I plan on staying warm.


Had to pull out of the river bed last night when the rain started. I woke up on the side of the road today in a strange mood. I was anxious and jumpy from having all of this time to myself to think and process. I feel like there are so many things that I just don't have time to think about in my daily life, and now it all rolls over me. I did a lot of driving today, about another 6 hours. We left the site by the river and pressed South. We had talked about hitting some hot springs, but made it just near the end of the Dalton highway and pulled off to the side of the road. I got into the camper and read, avoiding the rain and mud outside. Woke and drove the remainder of the Dalton in a few hours. I saw one car the entire time. The road was starting to get washed out and the unpaved majority was a giant mud slick. I felt that, at times, I had very little control of the truck that was barreling down the road.

I am tired and in need of a shower. I woke up in the middle of the night and listened to the rain beat on the aluminum roof of the camper for an hour or so before I fell back to sleep. We pulled into Fairbanks at around 2. Civilization, paved roads, Wal Mart, Barnes and Noble, magic. We started to pick up a few radio stations about an hour out of the city. It started with just one gospel channel. My dad took the truck to get washed as the back door was almost sealed shut with mud and had been gettivg progressively worse.

I picked up some food and a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo to read in the camper and headed down to the Chena hot springs.

I am now coiled up in a warm hotel room. The hot springs were hot, and this place has an air of resort about it with a pool and restaurant, even ATV rides and boat trips.

I have to say that I don't really mind after the last few days. Right now I just need some booze and some Salmon.

Beard of Bees

Jack Hole

That reminds me of the time I....wait, what?

I am a little out of touch with the current state of political correctivness, but does this strike anyone as just, well, wrong?

Look at how far your so-called 'technology' has gotten you

A friend of mine has one of those new Macbook guys with the built-in camera and photobooth thing that turns you laptop into a funhouse mirror. I haven't had as much fun since that 20 questions game came out. Yeah that thing kind of blew my mind. I am easily impressed. That said, look at my head...hahahahahaaaaa

Wanderlust Reconsidered

I am wallowing in a pit of despair and cardboard box at the moment, but I am still grateful for the time off that I've had. It's been nearly five weeks since I've set foot on a tour bus. I was beginning to dread the impending tour (which leaves on the 25th), and this photo really solidifies that fear. The life of a touring professional, not unlike that of a pirate, can have adverse effects on one's psyche over time. Case in point: