Journey to the Arctic Circle
Wednesday, February 22
Today we woke up bright and early to begin our 8 hour trip north to the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is defined as the Southern most points on the earth where there are 24 straight hours of sunlight during the summer solstice and 24 straight hours of darkness during the winter solstice. This phenomenon is caused by the tilt of the earth as it rotates around the sun. Here is a quick diagram to illustrate:
Our route takes us 350 miles north of Fairbanks along the Dalton Highway. The Highway was built to service the Alaskan Pipeline, which we paralleled for much of the trip.
For the most part, the keystone pipeline was either underground or not very noticeable behind trees. However, there were times where it did appear as an eyesore in an otherwise perfect wilderness.
There are a handful of outposts along the way, but most of them don’t have anything but shelter. Luckily, we were able to find outhouses to get the full Alaskan winter experience.
We made a few stops during our trip and one of them was right after we crossed the Yukon river.
After about six hours, we were about 50 miles away from the Arctic Circle. The sun began to set and we readied for our final push.
After 8 hours of driving on an icy road, we finally made it!
As we made our way back to Fairbanks, we stopped a few times on the 350 mile route to take pictures of the incredible stars.
About halfway through our return, we started to see something else in the northern sky. It started as a dim haze on the horizon and formed into something so incredible it deserves its own blog post…