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

Sunday, September 10, 2006

"I don't want to live in a pipe, buttmunch!" - Beavis, Beavis and Butthead

Ho-Hum. More Alaska landscapes. Click (if you dare) to enlarge.

During our few, blessed miles of pavement, there was a scenic overlook, complete with those steel thingys that the Committee of Old School Teachers (COST) puts information on that only a school teacher would be interested in, and then, only if it was in their subject. Things like, “Cortez discovered he had hemorrhoids at this location in 1522. Amazing!”

In typical Alaska-fashion, these steel sign holders were blank, the signs either removed to patch a camper shell, or, more likely, were never installed. Well, not entirely blank. Someone named Rachel Lovelace was there on Aug. 29, 2006. Likewise, someone had left very good instructions on the steel surface in pencil:

The other thing about the Haul Road is that there are very few bathrooms. By bathrooms, I mean bathrooms with doors. As to other bathrooms, well, there’s 416 miles of them, 832 if you count both sides of the road.

As you drive up the road, you can’t help but notice that something’s following you. It’s the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. It’s sneaky the way it meanders up and down the hills, sometimes poking underground for a while. I guess that’s okay. Pipe can be sneaky if it wants to be, especially if it’s carrying sweet, sweet oil. But it’s still boring. Pipe is just a fancy hole.

The other things following you are trucks and other rubberneckers explorers. A group of us got caught by construction on the road and had to wait about twenty minutes for the road to re-open so we could follow the pilot car through. It was there that we encountered the first flat. It wasn’t ours, but rather a fellow gawker explorer. He waved off our offer of help, and continued spinning lug nuts on his Toyota pickup. Since he was in full view while we were waiting for the construction to let us through, I can tell you that NASCAR is not looking for his application, at least based on how long it took for him to change the tire. Watching the Pipe was more exciting.

Driving on the road is a bit of a hammering experience. Tundra, taiga, big rocks, and, well, that’s about it.

Then, finally, Nirvana: something exciting to look at. The Yukon. After looking at scraggly trees for 140 miles, seeing not only a river but a river was wonderful.

First glimpse of a new river. I believe I'll call it Wilder River. Perhaps not, since that sounds like a water park. Maybe I'll settle on something like John's River instead. Yeah, that has a ring to it.

The Yukon River is about 2,000 miles (17,000 cubits) long, though I cannot vouch for that personally. It carries 227,000 cubic feet per second (7 liters per minute) as an average annual flow. I strongly suspect that someone just made that last number up. Maybe it was Cortez.

Next: The Bridge and Beyond


Blogger Joann said...

I'm enjoying the ride.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So far so good. I feel like a child waiting for the end of a story.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Nellie! Nellie!
Come see the perty Picture!
T'is the most beeutiful scene I have ever seen.

Laura Ingles You's just mad cuz John didnt mention a tribute to you for that there river.

On the real note. I too am like a little kid waitin for the next bed time story.
That photo is amazing.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

What was that story about permafrost and crooked trees? The trees up here seem to stand straight. Is it less cold up North? I'm starting to think that your pictures are all photochopped.

9:41 PM  
Blogger John said...

Wait, it gets wild! Oh, sorry, that was a movie I was watching. Just a family trip here. :)

tiffany from pa,
It's coming, it's coming!

You made The Mrs. laugh so loud she spit out beer.

I love that you get the name!

Beer. Lots of beer. Can't photochop, ran out of mix gas for the chainsaw.

9:12 PM  

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