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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Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Ward, I'm very worried about the Beaver." - June Cleaver, "Leave it to Beaver"



I know it doesn't look especially finger-y, but this is Finger Rock, at Finger Mountain. From another view, it looks much more finger-esque, but that photo wasn't as good. I know that's like showing you a picture I took of Mt. Rushmore from inside Lincoln's nose, but, hey, you get what you pay for.

As we drove farther north, on the right I saw a rock that looked like a finger, jutting proudly out of the ground, as if some gigantic stone megalith man was attempting to free himself from the millions of tons of earth smothering him. It reminded me of what Mel Gibson feels his career is like right now.

We stopped a mile down the road at . . . Finger Mountain. In the rest of the free world, Finger Mountain would be a good excuse to put in a gravel pit, crunch up some rocks, and continue mankind’s attempt to pave the planet. At Finger Mountain, it was a good place to put some bathrooms and a few placards. The first placard described a local herb that grows in the tundra. Said herb makes a tasty tea, with the unfortunate side effect that it contains an incredibly powerful laxative. Where are the junior high kids when you need them?



This plant probably allowed many a native Alaskan to play some wicked practical jokes on explorers. "Tea, sure, we've got tea." Snicker.

The best part about Finger Mountain is that it allowed us to get up and walk around a bit. We had begun to contour our bodies to fit the seats in the vehicle, and getting out and stretching felt good. For a five-year-old who’s normally extraordinarily active to be placed in a car and see . . . yet another batch of scraggly trees, well, Finger Mountain was good for The Boy’s soul. When’s the last time you were so happy you danced?



The distortion field is on again. Did nobody ever tell The Boy to not mix his camo patterns?

Looking north from Finger Mountain, the pipeline and the road stretched off into the distance, toward Prudhoe Bay and the sweet, sweet oil. If you look at the pipeline from the air, you’ll see that as the road curves up and around it again and again it makes endless $ patterns, like the one you see here. It also makes endless $ for Alaskans. I think that maybe a secret cabal designed this. It surely couldn’t be . . . coincidence.



Where money and oil intersect . . . oh, wait, that's always. These are just road intersections with a pipeline.

As I said before, most of Finger Mountain would be gravel in your state, and, frankly I can’t why that’s not a bad idea here, as well. I think if we keep digging, we’d find that the Earth is made of . . . rocks. Most of ‘em just like these.



That's the problem with Alaska. Have a random pile of rocks? Make it part of a national park.

As we closed in on the Arctic Circle, lots of things went through my mind, but the continually repeating one is that we were nearly 200 miles from the nearest spare auto parts and wrecker, and I’m driving a car that I maintained. The road continued to be good, and aside from the few times that I hit washboarding so bad that my car was essentially no longer rolling but bouncing from the tops of these (not so good for steering control) I’ve got to say that the road was far better than I’d expected.

Also, there were occasional signs to lighten the mood in the car:



Yeah, the sign really says that. No trees around here, either. Beavers musta got 'em. Either that or Meryl Streep clear cut the tundra.

NEXT: The Arctic Circle and Home Again

10 Comments:

Blogger DogMa said...

GREAT PICS!
Does the boy get his fashion sense from his father?

11:29 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

The Boy acts and looks like the miniature version of my Son Cam, the Rock Star.(think he will be at the bottom of my front page today)
I come back twice a day waitin for the continuation to the story. Geeze I am really becoming a blog stalker! I just cannot get enough of this trip to the Arctic Circle! You build a great story!
I am so amazed by the terraine! Once I commented on terrain between Colorado and Utah saying it is like Man was never meant to set foot there. I feel the same about this tundra terrain I am seeing in your photos. WOW!

8:19 AM  
Anonymous CWH said...

I really like the photo's but I'm starting to think like the mission to mars conspiritors. Maybe you are just photo shopping all this from your basement because the agony of a 1 and 5 year old in a car for longer than an hour is too much (like a trip from my house to the grocery store 2 miles away on a normal day here in CA). Either way I do really like the photo's, and even if you are handling your children in inhumane ways (thank goodness you don't live here and do that) I suspect the Mrs. wouldn't let you get too out of control. Gotta go, the wife's on the phone with some kook from up North.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Al said...

Finger Mountain? That little thing is called a mountain? In A Land of Big, that must be the smallest mountain or the biggest finger ever!

6:25 PM  
Blogger Shawn Kielty said...

I say big finger. that boy looks a bit like you John ...

1:05 AM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

Those really are some great pictures there. Nice work.

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Tiffany from PA said...

You do like to draw out a story, eh? :)

The pictures are great and the man child, he seems to be a load of creative energy. Good for him.

Still patiently waiting the whole story. Sigh..... feels like an Alaskan soap opera, minus the sex.

5:59 AM  
Blogger John said...

dogma,
Sadly for him . . . yes.

lynn,
It's a good time. Especially the bouncing.

cwh,
Heh heh. Pugsly rides well. The Boy just gets a tad bored.

and repetitive

and repetitive

and repetitive

al,
Yup. Tiny mountain. Don't let the US Forest Service name stuff.

shawn,
A bit! But he has hair.

duck,
Thanks!

tiffany,
why say in a day what you can say in a week or two? The Boy is a good one.

Ah, the "s" word. I love soap.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll have to make a trip to Arizona...there is Dry Beaver Creek and Wet Beaver Creek...my hubby has your sense of humor and insisted on pictures there...

8:16 AM  
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6:51 AM  

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