‘nother Brick In the Wall (Brick 6)

30 07 2010

The pipeline, which I saw a lot of on my way to start the Denali Highway, is a pretty major part of Alaska.

  • The Trans Alaska Pipeline System was designed and constructed to move oil from the North Slope of Alaska to the northern most ice-free port in Valdez, Alaska.
  • Length: 800 miles.
  • Diameter: 48 inches.
  • Crosses three mountain ranges and over 800 rivers and streams.
  • Cost to build: $8 billion in 1977, largest privately funded construction project at that time.
  • Construction began on March 27, 1975 and was completed on May 31, 1977.
  • First oil moved through the pipeline on June 20, 1977.
  • Over 15 billion barrels have moved through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System.
  • First tanker to carry crude oil from Valdez: ARCO Juneau, August 1, 1977.
  • Tankers loaded at Valdez: 19,625 through April 30, 2008.
  • Storage tanks in Valdez – 18 with total storage capacity of  9.1 million barrels total.

Additionally it crosses 3 fault lines and was designed to withstand an earthquake of 8.9 on the Richter Scale. This design was tested on November 3, 2002  when The pipeline’s earthquake design withstood a 7.9 earthquake that was centered along the Denali Fault, in the interior of Alaska, approximately 50 miles west of the pipeline. Estimates indicate that the ground along the fault moved 7 feet horizontally and nearly 2.5 feet vertically. The 7.9 quake was the largest on the Denali Fault since at least 1912 and among the strongest earthquakes recorded in North America in the last 100 years.

Now if only the same amount of preventive thinking had gone into the drilling in the gulf…. but I digress.


‘Nother Brick in the Wall (Brick 5)

23 07 2010

In 1915 the record high temperature in Alaska was 100 degrees Fahrenheit at Fort Yukon; the record low temperature was -80 degrees Fahrenheit at Prospect Creek Camp in 1971.

Temps this summer have been great, mid 70’s into the low 80’s, but in true Alaskan fashion there have been some 45 degree days thrown in the mix as well.

Have you ever seen a moose, kissing a goose down by the bay?

21 07 2010

So far my moose count for the summer is 13, including twowhile I was on a bike…. a little close especially since it was a mom and a baby…. but it all turned out well.  Here are some pics of  the ones I saw when I had a camera!

3 moose on the side of the road and one chilling in a lake.

Jennifer, throw another log on the fire

19 07 2010

Over the 4th of July, Mom and I went up to Denali National Park to hike and fish and hang out.  The first day we attempted to hike Mt. Healy, however about half way up we got poured on, and decided to turn back since the terrain was already getting a little iffy.  Mountain hiking on slippery rocks and tree roots is not a great plan.  So we came back ate at Lynx Creek Pizza (yum) and then settled in while the weather periodically got better and worse.  In the afternoon we went down to Savage River (as far as you can drive into the park) and hiked around until it started raining again.  Then a very important event occurred…. FIRST CAMPFIRE OF THE SEASON!!!!!  Wahooo!  Hot dogs and S’mores YUM!

The next day the weather cleared, thought not enough for the mountain to be out, but enough to tackle the climb again.


Half way to the top

Where we started, more or less is the little village down there with the blue roofs.

Cloudy at the summit of Mt. Healy!

Even the squirrel wanted to enjoy the view!

I love Alaska this much!

These are my confessions

18 07 2010

Hello loyal readers (all 5 of you)!  I’m sure that due to my lack of posting you’ve all been wondering if I’ve been eaten/attacked by a grizzly, like this dude or these peeps .  Perhaps you were concerned about my being stampeded by a moose on a bicycle like some unfortunate folks earlier this week.  Thankfully, none of that is true.  My confession is just that I’ve been pretty darn busy between working and adventuring to post regularly.  I’ll try to get my pics and posts of my trips to Denali National Park, hiking Mt. Healy, canoeing the Chena River, fishing for grayling, and driving the Denali Highway up by next week.  In the mean time: Alaska is awesome, and I’m alive and fantastic!