Wednesday, May 18, 2011

North Slope This and That

I've been in Alpine, Alaska for the last 2 days. Yesterday it took two trips on a tiny plane to make it to Alpine from Prudhoe Bay. The first time we attempted the trip the town of Alpine was fogged in making for a dangerous attempt to land. The second trip was better.

Alpine is actually a pretty cool place for being an oil drilling site. The food is cafeteria style except for the fact that it tastes awesome, is open almost 24/7 and is free, and there is lots of pie! Safety is a huge deal here, you can get your ear chewed off for not using a hand rail while going down 3 stairs, and you can't go outside without being escorted to your destination (essentially killing all birding opportunity).

I've identified two species of birds in Alpine; Greater White-fronted Goose and... wait for it... Snow Bunting. The ground is still completely frozen and covered in snow.
View from my window
We were supposed to fly to our field camp today, but our helicopter has been grounded outside of town 5 miles to the south due to icing conditions. It finally arrived this evening, so we will be flying out tomorrow afternoon, weather permitting. Instead, we did some helicopter and sling loading training, then some Polar Bear training, and ate lots of food.

Not sure if my 3G coverage will last once at camp. If not, I'll see you all in 2 1/2 months! David OUT

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