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July 7th, 2014 | in Friends, Scenic | Leave a comment

You might have seen the other post with the animals and such, well this one is totally dedicated to the fire that we almost literally ran into. As we were stopped at one of the overviews, Mark N. noticed that there was some smoke “over yonder”.

 

Sure enough, it was smoke and not just a funny cloud. We continued on our plan but kept a wary eye on that smoke that was getting darker the closer we got to it.

 

Since it was a long drive up to the Arctic Circle, we decided to pass by the fire and hope that it didn’t cause any issues on our way home. We find out later that 5 minutes after we passed the fire (it was close to the road), they closed the road!  We were happy in our ignorance up toasting our arrival with a small glass of beer Winking smile

 

We head back to the only stopping point where you can get food, gas, etc which is just south of the circle. We have a little dinner (not very good Sad smile ) and then start to listen to the others talking about the fire.

 

We ask the questions about is the road open, can we get thru, etc. We are told, no, the road is closed and will probably be closed until morning. Luckily (for them), there also happens to be a hotel that we could stay at. We decide since it never gets dark, we will take our chances and head down the road to the fire line to see what we can learn first hand. It’s only 1 hour away from the hotel, so if we can’t get thru, we aren’t out too much.

 

We get to where they actually have the road closed (even though they have a sign at the hotel) and chat with the gentleman watching & turning people around. We don’t see anything but white smoke at this time so we start asking questions. He told us he would check to see if someone could take us thru the fire using a pilot car. The answer is yes, but it would be a little over 1 hour before that happens.

 

You have to remember, they do not fight the fire, it has to go out on it’s own. Luckily for us, while we were enjoying our beer at the circle, a storm had come over where the fire was burning with lots of cold rain & hail really dampening the fire. So when we went down the road, there were only a few hot spots to contend with. We could have done it on our own, even walked it, it was that clear but it was nice that they let us thru and we could continue on our way.

 

So that is the story and I am sticking to it! and now for the pictures that you all have been waiting for Winking smile

 

 

That’s all she wrote for the day, it was a long one but a great drive! ~ Kim

I wanted to get a picture at the arctic circle and this seemed like a great time to do it. Mark N mentioned that there should be lots of animal sightings along the way too, so bonus!  Mark decided he would go up with us so off we go.

 

We leave the campground at 8:00am (early for Mark) with a smile and Jim driving. I brought along a bottle of beer that I have been saving from South Dakota that I wanted Mark to try, so this seemed like a great event to toast once we get to the circle.

 

The scenery is spectacular, we get to see quite a bit of critters: moose, fox, black bear and waterfowl. We did get an additional bonus, a tundra fire! That will come in a different blog post.

 

It ended up being a really long day, but I would definitely do it again. Leave at 8am and return to the RV at 12:30am… but the company in the car made it that more special.

 

Here are the pics I want to share!

 

 

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our toast!

 

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The beginning of the hwy

 

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our first moose sighting and he was a LONG way away!

 

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another shot right before he went into the brush

 

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two cow moose were found at Two Moose Lake, who would’a thunk?

 

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running to catch up with her friend

 

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couple of guys that were riding the gravel road all the way to Inuvik! They were on an adventure.

 

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black bear that was on the road

 

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glacial ice on one of the lakes

 

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just love the various blue colors in the ice, it gets so thick

 

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the two buddies by the lake

 

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heading into the brush

 

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One of the foxes that we saw

 

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here is the other, they were so cute!

 

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lots of iron in the dirt, made everything red

 

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The back window just wouldn’t stay clean

 

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where there is smoke, there is usually fire (more to come)

 

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the dirt/mud is so fine, it looks like a new paint job

 

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it’s official! we made it to the circle

 

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all three of us

 

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the beer that we toasted with

 

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you can see why the back window wouldn’t stay clean Winking smile

 

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every where you looked, it was just beautiful

 

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and we had an almost full moon, so get a neat landscape picture with it

 

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the almost setting sun on two moose lake

 

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the color in the sky once we finally make it home

 

like I said, it was a long but glorious day. It will always have a special place in my Alaska trip memories ~ Kim