Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Monday, September 04, 2006

"He might as well ride along with us; Hell, everybody else is. " - Clint Eastwood, The Outlaw Josey Wales

Yeah, it's a cool roadsign. Wonder if it would fit in my basement?

As long as I’ve been in Alaska, I’ve wanted to go up beyond the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is the point north of which where (astronomically speaking) there’s a day without the Sun ever crossing the horizon (December 21st). In the summer, it’s the point north of which where the Sun won’t ever go down (June 21st). It’s at 66º33’ North latitude.

My obsession to reach a spot surveyed on a map, as determined by the (more or less) random arrangement of the Sun, Earth, and, for all I know, Keebler Cookies™ led me to state that September 3, 2006 was the day we were going. In retrospect, it was probably a bad idea to start watching The Outlaw Josey Wales at 11:45PM the night before, but, heck, it is Clint Eastwood. As it ended up, I didn’t wrestle The Mrs. for the last beer, I was gracious and ceded it after a spirited Ro-Sham-Bo (Ro-Sham-Bo comes from some French words, so for all I know it could be spelled Reaux-Xchampres-Beau). The Mrs. was up before I, and we (groggily) got the gang ready for transit to the Arctic.

Okay, that’s just a cool sentence, primarily because it’s true. One foot over the Arctic Circle, you’re in the Arctic. On foot behind, you’re not.

To get ready, we packed:
  • Four Spare Tires
  • Floor Jack
  • Jackets
  • Food
  • Guns (it’s Alaska, okay?)
  • Whiskey for Bullet Wounds
  • Gas Can (with four gallons gas)
As it is, the only road I know of in Alaska that can get you to the Arctic is the Haul Road, or Dalton Highway, which is of course named for actor Timothy Dalton, who played James Bond. Locals call it the Haul Road, because they’re still irked about Dalton’s portrayal of Bond.

The Haul Road is the road that they used to build the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. It’s the road still used to get mail, pipe, Pez™ dispensers, and whatever else you couldn’t to put on a boat during the fifteen or so minutes a year when you can take a boat up to Prudhoe Bay. Prudhoe Bay is, of course, the place where the sweet, sweet oil comes from.

Primarily, the road is intended for truckers, not cool-headed Arctic Explorers in Ford Explorers® heading up to rubberneck collect scientific data.

This is a sign on the road. No counties, no boroughs, just a mining district. I guess that means that only mining law is in effect, and so technically The Mrs. is a claim. Works okay. You know what happens to claim jumpers.

Just getting to the haul road from Fairbanks requires driving up the Steese Highway (named for Wilberforce Steese, inventor of the Floo-Bee®) to a mining down named Fox, followed by a trip up the Elliot Highway (named for Sam Elliot, star of Road House) to the start of the Haul Road. Just outside Fox the first sign shows up saying that the next services are 118 miles away. That’s the sort of sign that you don’t see everywhere, except in desolate godforsaken locations like Wyoming, northern Canada, or Oakland.

Next: Start of the Haul Road

Below is an ad for "Left In Darkness". A horror movie, I'm betting. Several of the last few have been okay.


Blogger DogMa said...

I'm sorry John but I read the post twice and I still don't know what kind of scientific dadta you are trying to collect...but I do love Sam Elliott. I'll go read it again, just to be safe.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Coldfoot said...

I might just have to make room in my basement for the:

< Coldfoot
> Yukon River


You up for a road trip? I've got a hacksaw.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

And I thought Bo-Sham was the name of that guy in the other Clint Eastwood movie, "Unforgiven." Or Beauchamp or comething French like that.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

I hate to put the kibosh on your let's-cut-down-a-sign road trip. There will be no ill gotten booty in my house. Besides, Coldie has to come home and finish gathering wood for us before snow falls. The only place he is putting his saw is in some wood.

Coldie: Heh-heh, heh-heh. John, she said "booty" and "wood." I'm gonna get some wood. Heh-heh.

John: Heh, heh. Dude, like you're putting your saw in some wood. Heh, heh.

10:32 AM  
Blogger HP said...

Dude, the beginnings of your adventure sound excellent.

Here's something else you might want to put on your "to-do" list:

Apache Junction, AZ.....take Rt. 88 past Tortilla Flat, past Fish Then get on Rt. 188 to Globe. That's cool. They groom the dirt roads 4 hours a day so that they can open them for traffic another 4 hours per day.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Joann said...

That Oakland sign would read: Next services where you might not get shot...

3:14 PM  
Blogger Al said...

Reason number 9 for moving to Alaska: wrestling women for beer!

When I get my AARP card, I may move to Old Man Camp. Please send photos since you will be going right by.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

All is good when you can take guns on a day trip.
I am assuming it is a day trip.

I cannot imagine sleepin over in a tent on the haul road!

6:03 PM  
Blogger John said...

The data we were trying to collect involves how often you can irritate The Mrs. and live. The answer is a bunch, I'm guessing. Still haven't been to the center of that particular lollipop.

Ohhhh . . . We are so busted.

The Mrs. likes "Unforgiven" best. I like "Outlaw Josey Wales". It's like Van Hagar or Van Roth, except both are Clint in this case.

Okay (kicks dirt, head down) . . . wood heh heh he heh.

I love the names . . . Torilla Flat, past Fish . . . We just have that crummy Timothy Dalton.


Ahhh, that would mean the Raiders are in town . . .

When you wrestle a woman for beer, rarely is there anything but a win-win.

As to Old Man Camp, that name has been changed to "Retirement Recreation Center."

Day trip. No one-year-olds in tents.

6:31 PM  

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