Headed north, WAY north

Headed north, WAY north

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.

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