Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Prudhoe Bay Hotel

Just had lunch, sitting at a table with two oil field workers, one a mechanic, the other an equipment operator. They are working at Pump Station 1. The mechanic asked if I saw much wildlife coming up. When I said my eyes were on the road, he said I’d be better off putting my bike on a truck’s high deck(?) and go along as a passenger. “The truckers would probably do it for free.” On the drive in this morning from Pump Plant 3, they had seen plenty of caribou, some in the road. Also fox and many birds. I said I’d take it easier on the way back, and try to look around.

Then we started talking about their current hobby, and potential retirement occupation, gold mining. They were quite familiar with, Wiseman, the mechanic’s old "stomping grounds". He has a claim there. He was telling me how to "pick up gold just walking around," then finally broke off, saying "I don't want to give away all my secrets."

It's strange having access to food anytime 24 hours a day. I keep taking advantage of the soda fountain. There is a sense of abundance here. Consumption is encouraged. (I guess with the hardships of this isolated place, it is important to provide a body comfort.)

Free laundry in each wing of the hotel - what a treat. Washed my clothes and the Aerostich riding suit. Even the soap is free. This place is a pretty good value, if a bit industrial strength.

This morning I was awakened about 5:30 by the sound of diesel engines warming up – for long periods. It's part of the routine.

At each phase of this journey, there is a sense of dread surrounding the next. Hard to explain or account for it. Yesterday, at Marion Creek, I was slow to start. Slower even than usual. Not wishing to face the unknown.

1 comment:

Jkampion said...

Good reading, and quality shots. You do yourself proud.