Alaska, Arctic, Deadhorse, Drilling, North Slope of Alaska, Oil, Photography, Photos, Prudhoe Bay
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!)
Remind me of time I worked on meteorological artic stations in Mould Bay and Eureka, NWT. Have to find money and time to get these kodachrome slides numerised…:)
You know, that sounds like it would be a good project. I was just reading back through this and thought I would love to see those photos.
Some day I will…:)
It’s funny to me that the topography of the “glimpse of the tundra” photo looks almost exactly like the Google map. And, naivety showing as I’ve never been that far north, is that pretty much what the Alaskan landscape looks like?
Oh, and I LOVE the shot of the building on palettes. There’s just something no-B.S., common sense about that. “You want that built up? Okay, no problem. Jack, get me some palettes!”
The North Slope is definitely like that. they are called Thermokarst lakes. Essentially, there is nowhere for the ground water to go. It doesn’t evaporate much and the ground is frozen, so it just sits there. Smallish puddles never dry up at all. So, the land looks like swiss cheese.
I liked that building too. I’m pretty sure the palette looking things are made of iron. that building was pretty big, but yeah, nice and simple, just pile ’em up underneath the beams.
Moriah LaChapell said:
Those are great pictures. My Uncle is a Teamster that works for Alyeska. It’s fun to see the pictures. He has great stories every time he comes to the lower 48.
That’s one of the benefits of living in Alaska; you don’t have to work as hard at finding something to talk about when you come South. 🙂
Deadhorse…duh…why was I thinking of Whitehorse, YK? (Smacking palm on forehead.) The booties look like a great idea given the mud.
I think it was just because you have a soft, kind, heart. 🙂
thanks for stopping by my post last week, sorry i am late saying thank you, i have been ill with vertigo. I looked through all your photos here and thanks for my vacation from my chair.
Hi madsnapper, I can beat you on the tardiness. I am combing through my blog for comments I missed and found this. Thank you for your kind comment, and I am glad you liked the pictures.
Great photos, but the one which really caught my eye was the ‘plug-in’ car heaters. Are they for real? If so, I’m going to have to include that in my collection of fascinating facts I learn off other bloggers.
They’re probably commonplace to you, but to me they’re weird and wonderful.
They were a definite surprise when I first came up here, but now they are old hat. You need one in the car and one on the oil pan, or you can forget it. If the car sits without one for long you’re sunk. …yep, realsies!
Rita M. Stebbing said:
Interesting photos for someone who has not traveled much. If if were not for bloggers and post like yours I would never get to see the world.
I liked the hotel art. Simple and realistic. Your sunsets were spectacular.
It was interesting artwork, that is for sure. I hope you get to travel yourself some day. I’m also glad to have given you a chance to see it from your chair.
From The Pews said:
Thank you for sharing what you see 🙂
Especially for letting ME SEE LOL!!