Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sheep Mountain - Alaska

February 1970, three girls from my dorm at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks and I drove down to Anchorage 425 miles in my Ford Falcon. We left Fairbanks at Midnight and it was 25 below. After driving 100 miles to Big Delta and a stop, we took off. It was a clear and windy night and all the big trucks were on the road.

The wind was blowing very hard so I pulled off to the side of the road before I entered the pass my next goal was Paxton lodge. We had gotten to Paxton Lodge about 6:00 am. Our next stop was the Eureka with about 140 miles.

When we were 100 miles away - going down the North side of Sheep Mountain and we were headed up the other side almost to the top when my car stopped. I started to back into the mountain and thought I ought to try starting the started! I stayed in first gear until I had rounded the corner. I shifted into second the to 3rd. It would not stay in third so I drove it 50 miles in second until we got to Palmer.

Fifty miles to go, I called home and told my Mother we were on our way and if we didn't get there in an hour to come and get us. Well we made it but it wouldn't stay in second so we drove it in first. I told the girls we would have to take the train back to Fairbanks. A friend of mine took my car to a gas station where he gave me new points and plugs, oil change and so on. We drove back to Fairbanks after the Fur Rondevous.

Big Ben - London

Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London,[1] and is often extended to refer to the clock or the clock tower as well.[2] Big Ben is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world.[3] It celebrated its 150th anniversary in May 2009 (the clock itself first ticking on 31 May 1859),[4] during which celebratory events took place.[5][6]

The nearest London Underground station is Westminster on the Circle, District and Jubilee lines.

A clock tower was built at Westminster in 1288, with the fine-money of Ralph Hengham, Chief Justice of the King's Bench.[7][8]

The present tower was raised as a part of Charles Barry's design for a new palace, after the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire on the night of 16 October 1834.

The tower is designed in Pugin's celebrated Gothic Revival style, and is 96.3 metres (315.9 ft) high (roughly 16 stories).[10]
Monochrome image of Westminister clock tower

The bottom 61 metres (200 ft) of the Clock Tower's structure consists of brickwork with sand coloured Anston limestone cladding. The remainder of the tower's height is a framed spire of cast iron. The tower is founded on a 15-metre (49 ft) square raft, made of 3-metre (9.8 ft) thick concrete, at a depth of 4 metres (13 ft) below ground level. The four clock faces are 55 metres (180 ft) above ground. The interior volume of the tower is 4,650 cubic metres (164,200 cubic feet).

Despite being one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, the interior of the tower is not open to the general public due to security concerns,[10] although from time to time press and other VIPs are granted access. However, the tower has no elevator, so those escorted must climb the 334 limestone stairs to the top.[10]

Rock of Gibralta

The Rock of Gibraltar (sometimes by its Latin name, Calpe[1] or its Arabic name, Jabal al Tariq ("Rock of Tariq"), from which it English name is derived) is a monolithic limestone promontory located in Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula.[2] It is 426 metres (1,396 feet) high. The Rock is Crown property of the United Kingdom, and borders Spain. The sovereignty of Gibraltar was transferred to the Kingdom of Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 after the War of the Spanish Succession.[3] Most of the Rock's upper area is covered by a nature reserve, which is home to around 250 Barbary Macaques - the only wild primates found in Europe. These macaques, as well as a labyrinthine network of tunnels, attract a large number of tourists each year.

Europe and Africa are separated by 7.7 nautical miles (14.24 km) of ocean at the strait's narrowest point. The Strait's depth ranges between 300 and 900 metres (980 and 3,000 ft)[4] which possibly interacted with the lower mean sea level of the last major glaciation 20,000 years before present[5] when the level of the sea was believed to be 110 to 120 metres (361 to 394 ft) lower[6]. Ferries cross between the two continents every day in as little as 35 minutes. The Spanish side of the Strait is protected under El Estrecho Natural Park.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Worst Trip on the Alcan Highway - 1959

My family drove the Alcan from Alaska to Minnesota in November. I believe we were driving a car that apparently was not in good shape. Our first problem occurred in Whitehorse.
Whitehorse is where Lake Laberge is located and the site where the poem by Robert Service writes about"The Cremation of Sam Mcgee.

It was around 45 below so we stayed the night at a hotel and Diana and Kathy were very sick. They may have spent the night in the hospital. We had eaten in a Chinese restaurant and I being a very picky eater had some other kind of food. I remember the car being cold because we had to wire one of the doors closed.

The main problem with the car was we had several flats on the highway! Seemed a lot for the wintertime. As you can see in the above picture the road was paved - However in 1959 it was not.

A week later we were driving up a street in Minneapolis when we heard a clunk. The rear end dropped out of the car. My parents purchase their first new car that year. It was a 1960 green/white top Ford Fairlane.

Pine Valley Mountain St. George, UT After Five Days of Rain/Snow

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kluane and Muncho Lakes

Kluane Lake - Yukon Territory - Canada

Muncho Lake BC - Canada

Kluane Lake is located in the southwest area of the Yukon. At approximately 400 square kilometres, and 70 kilometres long, it is the largest lake contained entirely within the territorial border. The Alaska Highway follows most of Kluane Lake's southern border, and the drive offers many spectacular views of the lake.

Remote Muncho Lake is located within Muncho Lake Provincial Park on the Alaska Highway, west of Toad River and south of Liard River. Muncho Lake displays a perpetually blue hue, the result of copper oxides leached from the bedrock.

I have many visual memories of these two lakes from the 1950's - 1960's. Very remote and long around Kluane - close to 70 miles with no gas station. Muncho Lake because the man in the lodge was full and charged my Dad for sleeping in the lobby. We had been in a really bad snowstorm and my Dad thought we should not continue in the whiteout. Going around Mucho lake was along the water and very narrow road.