|Screw this, I'm making a break for it!|
|It almost looks like a massive wave on the ocean.|
However, we're not exactly suffering here. Quite frankly, we are having a blast. There's a bizarre quaint charm to this place, with its animal pelts, resident dogs, and friendly people. The truckers are amused by us and seem to be impressed by our determination. I think they like anyone that's willing to come all the way up here in the middle of winter. We've had some nice long chats with them and they've been a wealth of information on the region. It's been really nice to just take a break and do nothing for a day. And frankly, some people needed time away from their co-drivers. This gave us time to mix with other people. I had a blast rooming with Steve and Bill last night, our personalities are meshing perfectly and we're becoming fast friends.
|Security isn't really an issue here.|
|Bill does his best impression of Ralphie's brother.|
|The sign says I'm in the Arctic, and that's the story I'm sticking with!|
At one point boredom set in, and Steve introduced us to "Arctic Punch", although we agreed "Antifreeze" would be an equally appropriate name. Apparently if you mix straight ethanol (a small amount!) with some juice or soda, it's totally drinkable. He owns a brewery, so it's the only reason I trusted him. With orange juice, it tasted a little like anisette. With root beer, slightly Kahlua-ish. We're all alive and not blind, so I guess it was ok.
This has given me time to appreciate some of my gear choices. The hat that looked so silly home is absolutely the only thing I'd want to wear here. It was completely warm and the fur did exactly what it was supposed to. My balaclava is necessary now, as the air hurts my face too much to go without it. My oven mittens are toasty warm, as is the puffy Norrona jacket. I was so comfortable, I didn't even notice how cold it was. The Jetboil is coming in very handy for food and coffee purposes, as well as steam heating cinnamon buns. The camera is rock-solid in this cold, and the lens has performed supremely on this bumpy roads and cloudy days. I can even change my shooting settings with my mittens on, that's how well-designed the camera layout is.
|Suddenly the real fur made a lot more sense. It's entirely functional in this environment.|
|It's a tough life living at the Arctic Circle.|