So, compliments of a couple flight delays, I recently spent an evening in Deadhorse. I’ve touched ground here a number of times, but I never managed to get off the plane. It was difficult to get a sense for the community in a short time and without a vehicle, but it was a fascinating glimpse into an interesting community.
No, I did not find a bar full of drunken, brawling brutes, so that’s strike two against The Grey (awful movie). In fact, Deadhorse is a dry community, though my shuttle driver could tell me of times long past when leaving $10.00 on your pillow could get you a bottle of Jack Daniels (sh…). For the present, however, it looks like people keep their nose pretty much to the grindstone while they are up here. The urge to party can wait to folks finish a stretch and fly home. The town has few permanent residents, but its temporary workers number a few thousand.
I arrived to find the power out at the airport (not to worry, the runway lights were doing just fine). My first step outside led me to the Prudhoe Bay Hotel, ..but alas, I was not to set foot inside it.
My own reservations were at the Aurora Hotel, which was a lovely place. To control the inevitable muddy boots, guests were expected to wear booties about the place. The food was good (though not as good as Mike’s cooking at the Marsh Creek Inn). Guests could be found sleeping at all hours, and many rooms had signs posted to that effect. Production continues here at all hours, so I suppose it should come as no surprise to see that sleep does too. The Hotel had a nice gym on the 2nd floor (yeah right!) and a nicer lounge on the 3rd floor (that was tempting), but I wanted to take a walk.
I was told to be careful as a mama bear and her cubs had been hanging around town for a couple days. I said; “she’s here already?” Seriously, I thought I left them in Kaktovik! At any rate, these bears never put in an appearance, which is just as well, cause I was on foot.
Getting up at 6:30 in the morning, I really didn’t think I needed to leave a note on my own door, but I learned otherwise at about 4:00am. Apparently, housekeeping at the Aurora is also a 24/7 affair.
And that’s that. Home safe and sound!
(If you click them, they will grow!)