Traveling to a place not many have been and seeing an animal not found in the continental US!

Prudhoe Bay Travel Blog

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from the Alaska Airlines plane

Tuesday, we would be going to the "Ends of the Earth" or "Top of the World",  by our standards anyways. We had booked this specific cruise/land tour for this reason, to go above the Artic Circle! I was really hoping to come face to face with a Polar Bear, so you will have to read on to see what happened! This was exciting to us, even though we were told not to expect much with the accommodations there. Of course the hotel in Anchorage (Captain Cook) was beautiful on the inside, including the public bathroom! The only not so good thing was being awoke 3 times by housekeeping ( 8am, 8:15 & again at 9). Not sure why she was so persistant! We decided to have lunch in the hotel.

the Artic!
$8.95 wasn't a bad price for a chicken ceasar wrap that came with fries and was good. Our waitress was originally from Hawaii- what a change in climate! It was a clear, sunny day in the 60's.

 When we arrived at the Anchorage airport after noon, there were some flight attendants quietly picketing. Not sure why though. The process went quickly, except I forget to put my contact lens solution in a see-thru bag. We left for Prudhoe Bay around 2pm. Of course Mount McKinley wasn't visible through the cloudy sky, but there was some awesome scenery anyways. It soon turned to mountains covered in white as I thought, If we crashed now, we would really be in trouble. I was looking for a Polar bear with my naked eye, but no such luck. Maybe when we land. We arrived safely at 3:30 in a small airport and boarded our Princess busand met our male guide, Greg.

such vast landscape
He took us to our accomodations at the CARIBOU INN which was 2 minutes away. The front exterior looked like a long blue trailer. We entered through a hallway which led to a huge dining room and then past that were 3 long hallways. After trying all the hallways, we finally found our room. lol It wasn't fancy but plain, but most important it was clean and the bathroom was huge (larger than the ship's)! We also had tv with basic cable and extended phone service. Phone service was better than in the ports. We filled out lunch forms for the next day as there would be no restaurants on the way to Coldfoot.

At  5pm, we all (about 50 of us) met in a room and attended a talk about wild animals of the Artic and watched a video about the oil fields and how they live and to keep hydrated.

can't get around without a truck
We then had a 2 hour tour of the oil fields by coach bus with Greg and Chris, a worker in the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay. There was of course, snow on the ground being 22 degrees F and the roads were all dirt. We weren't far in the tour when Greg told us we were coming upon Muskox! How exciting! They are the closest to a pre-historic animal there is today. They were right there in the open, about 9 of them near the road by the oil fields! We weren't allowed to get off the bus, so we had to take pictures through the windows.  He told us about bears and how grizzlies & polar bears are different and with Grizzlies "you remove the bear from the people but with Polar bears, you remove the people from the bear". He had a brief encounter with one & they do short charges.
Roads of Deadhorse
He also told us a story about a "pet" grizzly & how it rummaged through the camp's food.

We were let out by the frozen Artic Ocean though. Chris gave us Polar bear instructions if one happened to show up. Get in a group and put out our arms to look big! Chris would honk the horn if one was seen. He said none were in our imediate area at this time or else we would not be allowed off the bus if there was. We got off and trudged through the snow. To the left was Prudhoe Bay, Beaufort Bay was on the right and not a polar bear in sight! We were here about 20 minutes in the 20 degree weather but it didn't feel that cold except for my feet. Thank goodness I bought that coat in Ketchikan! haha One girl posed for a picture as an ice skater, some of us made or attempted to make snow angels in the frozen hard snow.

our room
It was fun to be on the Artic Ocean. The horn never beeped, but we had to return to the bus to finish the tour. We got to see the big workers' camp and hospital. We saw the muskox again on the way back but they were further away.

We had dinner which was a buffet for $20 that included caribou stew, vegetables, chicken with currey, scalloped potatoes, salad, ice cream and cakes. It was pretty good. We then gathered in the same room (where we watched the video) and listened to Robert, an Inupiaq native speak on hunting seals, their blubber and how tasty it is! He has also hunted Muskox, Beluga whales & 5 caribou. He also worked 12 hour night shifts, making the cookies for breakfast. We went back to our room & watched the finale of "Dancing with the Stars" and saw Kristi Yamaguchi win.

our room
 Our room was lighter than the hallway and the sun would not be setting for 80 days. (until August)

Still not adjusting well to day- night, it was 10:45pm and we decided to walk around, go outside, take pictures of geese and the parking lot. It seemed colder, and we took a silly picture of my breath. Saw that the trucks had their engines plugged in, to keep them warm so they would start. Some guys in a truck waved at us, to my excitement and then back inside we went. We then talked to Jim the main guy that ran the inn. We got some hot chocolate from the buffet and we were the only ones walking around. Everyone seemed to have went to bed, including the workers. Back in the room, it took 2 of us to get the blind down since it was still light outside at midnight. This will make for a difficult time sleeping...

Word for the day was Tasty!

euphemy says:
Yes it was amazing!
Posted on: Sep 16, 2008
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from the Alaska Airlines plane
from the Alaska Airlines plane
the Artic!
the Artic!
such vast landscape
such vast landscape
cant get around without a truck
can't get around without a truck
Roads of Deadhorse
Roads of Deadhorse
our room
our room
our room
our room
view out our window
view out our window
hallway at night at the inn
hallway at night at the inn
our hotel
our hotel
It was just a little cold
It was just a little cold
another road in Deadhorse
another road in Deadhorse
scenery of Deadhorse
scenery of Deadhorse
more roads
more roads
MUSKOX!
MUSKOX!
Arent they pretty!
Aren't they pretty!
Alaska pipeline starts here
Alaska pipeline starts here
approaching the Artic Ocean
approaching the Artic Ocean
Its still frozen over
It's still frozen over
Greetings from the Artic
Greetings from the Artic
part of our group
part of our group
trying to make a snow angel
trying to make a snow angel
Bernie & I pointing to the North P…
Bernie & I pointing to the North …
our snow angels!
our snow angels!
Working is the main thing in Deadh…
Working is the main thing in Dead…
our bus that took us to the Artic …
our bus that took us to the Artic…
Deadhorse at dusk, its about 11pm…
Deadhorse at dusk, it's about 11p…
workers vehicles
workers vehicles
these are plugged into the engines…
these are plugged into the engine…
the No ALcohol policy
the No ALcohol policy
Help the Bears!
Help the Bears!
Im looking for a Polar bear
I'm looking for a Polar bear
Prudhoe Bay
photo by: schochon