So, I am headed north again – the third trip north in less than a month. This time, I am going way beyond Fairbanks and going up the Dalton Highway, aka “the Haul Road,” to Coldfoot. It is a two-day drive, unless you savor 11-hour solo drives. I really don’t, especially because I know I simply cannot drive anywhere without stopping. It goes with the territory of being a photographer.
For example, I am about fifteen minutes out of Cantwell this evening, just entering the area known as Broad Pass, when I get a call from my friend Nick Fucci. He was up recently for several weeks, visiting from his home in Montana, and he thought perhaps he had left a flash behind. We are well into our conversation when I look to my right and see a bright, vivid rainbow arcing up from a grove of golden aspen. The mountains behind them are dark, standing in the shadow of the rain squall moving in from the north. I manage to pull over and tell Nick that I have to get off the phone – I know that time is ticking, as the angle of the setting sun will quickly change the appearance of the rainbow.
I missed that first shot, but proceeded to “chase” the rainbow up the pass, moving and stopping when I had a good view of the rainbow. I capture a few other images from the pass, probably the most scenic area along the Parks Highway all the way from Wasilla to Fairbanks.
Tomorrow I hit the road early, bound for Coldfoot, where I will catch a flight out to Bettles. There, I will spend five days doing some aerial photography work in Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve. The objective – certain areas of the central and western portion of the park where I have not yet done any aerial work. Technology permitting, I will blog each day’s flights. There may also be an overnight somewhere. Conditions permitting, it will be a clear night so I can watch and wait for the aurora.