Sunday, August 10, 2008

Part 2: Tundra Tom and the Seismic Sleeper

At Deadhorse Camp, sometimes we sleep in a house on stilts and sometimes we sleep in a trailer on skis. I was in the latter. They hook those things up to caterpillar tractors and pull them across the tundra. The seismologists get out during the day, do their research, and then at night the tractor pulls them to their next camp. Weird. Well, I got to sleep in one even though it was sitting on gravel in a parking lot. Here's the scenic view from the window:

Sorry I don't have a photo of the outside of those things, but the house on stilts is visible in the last photo from the previous post (in the background on the right).

The next day it was time for an Arctic Ocean tour. You see, one used to be allowed to drive all the way to the Arctic Ocean, but ever since 9/11, the only way to see Prudhoe is to take a tour with a security guard who would rather be doing something else. Ours sounded like a bored Rod Decker. It made me bored, as I took boring pictures of boring oil drilling equipment.

And then a stop at the Arctic Ocean, where we weren't even allowed to get out! Rod Decker said that there had been polar bears in the area and that it wasn't safe. He pointed over to a hill where he insisted that a wounded polar bear lay. "That little white spot is the polar bear's shoulder", he said. Whatever, Rod. I'll count it on Megafauna Monday even though you're just trying to get us to forgive you. Here's what the Arctic Ocean looks like from the imprisonment of a bus.
I was really annoyed at that orange thing for being there, but now I kind of like it.

I guess sometimes you have to make your own tour if you want to enjoy it. In fact, you almost always have to make your own tour, so here was mine: Walk across the tundra and look at animals. The Muskoxen were out that day...
Here they are a bit closer.

And a loon or the Loch Ness Monster or something...

And then, are you ready? Arctic foxes!

They barked at me a lot. Tours are so much better when they're free. Two more of the Tundra:

Stay tuned for Part 3.

1 comment:

Kitty said...

Those arctic foxes look really cool!