May 5, 2010

Driving The Haul Road In Spring

The 2010 Arctic Expedition has officially ended!  Over the weekend, I drove up the Haul Road to pick up Joe and the team at the rendezvous point.  It was so great to see them.  All the dogs looked SO beautiful, their coats lush and bright.  Their muscles are solid and they all look incredibly healthy. 

I’ll tell you what…driving the Haul Road in the springtime is a lot less white-knuckle than it is in the winter.  I didn’t take a single photo on my way up, though, so I apologize for that and regret not having proof of the huge black bear that crossed the road in front of my truck just north of the Yukon River, but I was so focused on the road.  It poured rain for the first 250 of 500 miles, so it was really muddy and seriously foggy in places.  Regardless, it was a great drive and in addition to the black bear, I saw lots of caribou, ptarmigan, and a gray wolf.  The wolf wasn’t far off the road, and a heavy fog cleared just enough to reveal him staring at me as I drove past.  It was very cool… :)

Anyhow, here are some photos of the dogs in the final days of the expedition.


The snow’s still really deep up there!



We camped out together for a few days, loaded up all the trailers and the dogs and hit the road for home.  This time, I was a passenger and the weather was great, so I got some photos of the Haul Road.


We saw quite a few caribou.



And the mountains were pretty.



Starting the climb up Atigun Pass.


All you see at the top is this white mountain face.  It’s huge…it consumes the whole view.


The valley below.


Another caribou on the south side of the Brooks Range.




Yukon River bridge.  The river is starting to break up now.


Ah, pavement.  Getting closer to Fairbanks!


It was a fantastic season.  The dogs loved their National Dog Food and did very well on it.  They powered through very deep snow day in and day out, tirelessly.  They’re settling in back home now and getting ready for the off-season.  Time to relax, guys!  You earned it! 

Joe’s already looking forward to whatever adventures next season will bring.  And I am looking forward to driving the Haul Road again in about eight months…hahah!  ;)

Since Joe is finally home with all his photos from the season, we will share more pictures from the season throughout the summer as well as current stuff from around home. 

Finally, we would like to thank Merril and Vicky for their time and support on some of the logistics for mob/demob at the beginning and end of the season.  We are also very grateful for a wonderful house/dog sitter, Joey, who keeps the dogs happy for us when we’re traveling.


  • Tim McElravy

    very nice pictures…the Haul road looks alot different than it does on Ice Road Truckers :)

  • Emma Rose and the Duchess

    Great pictures! I bet you are glad to have the whole family together again! Congrats on a successful season.

  • Marit

    Fantastic photos from a fantastic part of the world! The dogs look great too! Wow!!

  • kbelleque

    Thanks for the coverage this winter. I enjoy your WordPress format. Have a great summer. I look forward to reading about Joe and his Malamute adventures next winter!


  • sartenada

    Omg what photos. Although those scenery photos are interesting, I love most of all the second photo. In my life I have not seen anything like that. It is really awesome.