Kavik River Camp

Kavik River Camp

Distance between Fairbanks and Kavik River Camp

I just returned from a visit with my friend Sue.  Aka Super Sue, aka, Tundra Babe, aka Susan Aikens.  Last winter when she was here in town recuperating we had talked about doing this for her upcoming 50th birthday but then I didn’t hear any more about it until the week before her birthday.  I didn’t bring it up again as I didn’t want to feel like I was inviting myself lol.  She chartered a plane and brought several of us up there to help her celebrate in style.

Super Sue's Pre Part

Those of us going met at 11:00 am on Sunday morning at Everts Air here in Fairbanks.  KT had driven up from Wasilla the night before and stayed at my cabin.  Suzette and her husband drove up from Anchorage and stayed in a hotel taking advantage of the jacuzzi tub after their long drive.  Lori, Mike, KT and I all went out to the Howling Dog Saloon for a Saturday night outing.  For Lori, Mike, and me, this is our regular Sat. night.  Oh, I also transported a retired sled dog up to her.  Ermine arrived at my house earlier in the week.

Ermine

One of the most unique views of the trip is flying over the Brooks Range.  Many of you know of it from watching Ice Road Truckers.  They cross at Atigan Pass on the only road that goes up there, the Dalton Highway, also known as the Haul Rd.  This is the mountain range that divides the main portion of Alaska from the northern coastal plains.  North of the Brooks range is called “the North Slope”.  The oil fields of Prudhoe Bay are on the North Slope.  This mountain range forms the northernmost drainage divide in North America, separating streams flowing into the Arctic Ocean and the North Pacific.  They top out at over 9,000 feet.  No real trees grow north of the Brooks and very little plant life grows on these mountains.  It makes for a very surreal landscape.  I think the moon would look similar.

Brooks Range

Our flight was only 2 hours.  At last Kavik River Camp comes into view.  It is very, very isolated.  There are no roads other then her trails, no other buildings, no people, nothing man made in view of the camp nor for a 100 miles (with the exception of her run way, but that’s part of the camp).  It’s 12 miles south of the Arctic Ocean.

Kavik River Camp, Extreme Lodging for Extreme People!

Kavik River Camp is a one of a kind camp located just a few miles from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 2010 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Refuge and what a time to see it! The Camp offers logistical support for all your Arctic needs. Camp, hunt, fish, bird viewing… just about anything you can think of, we are here to help see your Arctic Dreams realized!

Kavik River Camp

Me and Susan

The theme was tropical.  Suzette brought up an inflatable palm tree and a Hawaiian shirt.  I brought a sparkly, fur lined tiara and leis.  Suzette brought leis as well.

The first day we all went on a 4 wheeler ride.  Even picking the shallow river crossings, it got a bit “exciting”, especially when we started to float away with the current.  We all got wet but I got some good shots of flowers when ever we stopped.

Arctic Lupine

Tundra flower

I don’t know what these pink ones are but they were very pretty.

ATV ride

I’ll put a bit about the mosquitos here.  Yes they were very thick.  Deet is your friend when hanging on the tundra.

Yummy dinner prep

Sue’s brother in law Rick, her son and his girlfriend, as well as her grandson were all there to celebrate as well.  Rick did most of the cooking and cleaning as his gift to Susan.  Her son and grandson did a whole lot of chores as well.  What a great time we had just relaxing.  I went up and offered to help several times as I am a bit uncomfortable just sitting around and allowing others to wait on me but I was told “get out” hahaha.  Nothing as manly as men who cook and clean.  Really.

Dinner

Dinner the first night, chicken cordon bleu, baked mac and cheese, veggies.  Yum!

Lori

CHEERS!

Life Below Zero

After dinner we watched the show.  It was fun to watch there with Susan.  We had several great laughs.

Suzette

Helicoptor

This is one of the helicopters coming in for refueling.  You can see the dive bomber mosquitoes that were in competition for air space!  This couple was following the nearby caribou heard.  There was also a plane doing research on how many migratory water fowl nests were in the area.  Yes, they were counting nests.

This far above the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t actually set.  All these pictures were taken between about 11:30 pm and 12:30 am.

Fox Friend

Suzette feeds Foxy.

Happy birthday Sue!

Chocolate cake with coconut on a bed of cherries, covered in home made whipped cream, drizzled in chocolate sauce.  Yes we all attempted to put ourselves in a sugar coma!

I did henna on anyone that wanted some.  It’s always fun.

We serenaded Sue regardless of the mosquitoes.

Mike, Suzette, Sue, me.

Mike, Suzette, Sue, me.  Photo by Suzette.

I really enjoyed playing my fiddle this far north.  I consider my fiddle a traveler and love finding unique places to play it.  This is certainly the farthest north it’s been and probably ever will be.

Fireweed

I was invited on a little ATV expedition.  We were keeping our eyes open for the caribou heard that was about 12 miles away.  Sue offered to help me hunt one (hunting license can be bought online.)  But they ended up not coming through this direction as expected.  Taking in the mosquito population I decided to post-pone hunting until this fall.  Should be lots cooler then and fewer mosquitoes.

If you notice, even the 11 year old grandson goes armed.

Arctic tundra flowers

We had a lot of fun just hanging out and being silly.  Here is the Kavik River Mosquito Dance.  No matter how much Deet one applies, there are still mosquitoes that swarm around you as you take that long, long walk to the outhouse.  These are the movements such a walk necessitates in order to not breath in any of the little buggers.

Video by Lori!

Mosquitos want a ride.

When we got into the plane to leave, it was full of mosquitoes!  We were smashing those suckers for the first hour of our trip.  Thankfully we were all pretty much covered in Deet.

The lovely, magnificent Yukon River from above.

Yukon River

Thank you Sue for a wonderfully unique opportunity.  It was a lot of fun.

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Opportunity, I Choose Door Number 1!

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Not much of this going on lately! 

I haven’t gotten around to posting my latest Fowl Adventure 2013.  My trip to Chickenstock and then up to my friends outside of Eagle on the Yukon River went wonderfully.  This was the first time I have gone without kids and while I did miss them, I had a great time.  But I have been so dang busy, I haven’t time to post about it right now.  

I am leaving this weekend to visit my friend Susan.  She runs Kavik River Camp north of the Brooks Range.  She is flying a few of us up for her 50th birthday party.  I am also transporting a retired sled dog for her.  So yea, prepare for some fun pictures!  You might recognize her as she is one of the participants of National Geographic’s Life Below Zero.  You might see me in a future episode as the film crew came along last time Sue was in town and I took her out to the Howling Dog Saloon to celebrate her purchase of her camp.  

Anyways, fun is on the horizon!

 

PS.  I love comments.  I like getting to know the people reading this.  It’s fun.

   

Spring, FINALLY!

We had the coldest April on record.  Spring really just did not come until this last week, May.  But now it looks to be fully on its way.  When it starts to turn warm, and the snow starts to melt, it is called Breakup.  It’s very muddy.  It finally got to 60 yesterday, for the first time since last fall.

Sunrise at 4:41 AM, Sunset at 11:00 PM giving 21h 48m of visible light.

Yesterday after work, my friend Lori and I decided to take a spontaneous trip down to Denali National Park.  My other friend Jan had given me a new camera and lenses that I am trying to learn to use so it was a good trip to put it to use.  I have a big trip planned for this summer and sure hope I learn to use this camera sufficiently enough to do it justice!

While “The Mountain” wasn’t out, it was still beautiful.  It’s not getting full dark anymore.  We didn’t get home until 3:30 so we got to see the beginning of sunrise as well.

This is from the last aurora show of the season.  Until next fall, it will remain too light out at night to see them.  See you then my Lovelies!

On April 14 there was a unique swirly formation that many of us captured.  One of our Aurora Notification group members put them together for an interesting video.

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Colt border patrol .357.

I got some new toys.

This “Crash Blade” was hand made by a friend.  It’s so fantastically awesome!

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But just because Alaskan girls might like guns and knives, doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t also like pretty, pretty toenails to dance with in the snow.

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My friend Sue is being filmed by National Geographic for another, although I may say better, Alaskan reality show.  Life Below Zero.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/life-below-zero/

Life Below Zero Trailer

I took her out to the infamous Howling Dog Saloon to celebrate her finally being able to buy Kavik River Camp, where she lives.  The film crew followed us.  That was pretty fun and interesting.  So yea, they may show me on tv.  I also know the couple on there, Andy and Kate.  I got to visit their place on one of my Fowl Adventures when I went up to visit my friends Wayne and Scarlet.