Letting some of it trickle out while trying to soak it all in

Sunday, March 18, 2012

No caribou were harmed in the making of this memory

Well, we carried around our rifles for three days and called it good. Not only did we not see any caribou, we didn't see anything that could crawl, walk or fly until we got back to the car (two ravens and a family of ptarmigan were hanging out by the haul road). 

From the tracks and turds we figured the herd had been through the area in the last week.
Scat+wind=flying buttresses
Do you see anything Robert? 
The snow conditions varied from wind-scoured dunes to deep fluffy wallows.
Whole sections of the hillslope were trampled out like this where the caribou had hoofed down to the lichen and moss below. You could see tracks from fox, hare, and weasel that came in afterward to take advantage of the exposures.
 We skied down a narrow canyon to check for caribou. We then skied back out.
 There was absolutely no wind (even our frosty tent fly didn't make any noise through the night). The northern lights were bright enough to see by, not that anything was moving in the Chandalar Valley.
Besides us shuffling from the tent to the pee spot and back.
Robert is a big Dune fan too, so on our way back to the car, we pretended like we were Fremen wearing stillsuits dodging Harkonnen thopters and watching for worm-sign. We didn't see any worms.
Back in the trees on the way home. Some of the Black Spruce were more snow than tree.

For the complete "hunt" pictures click here.


  1. sounds/looks like a great adventure.

  2. BEN! these are some great photos. that guy in the middle is quite dehydrated. almost all the way orange! fun adventure.

  3. I was surprised one of the nights when my morning pee was lighter than my midnight pee had been (with no drinking in between). Mysterious kidneys.

    I'll tell Robert to drink more.

  4. do you know how insane your life appears to my nyc buds? hehehehe

  5. Conversely, the idea of decent Mexican food seems crazy from where we're sitting. It is cool how these interwebs let us experience a little bit of each others' insanity. Between that and Gore Tex, Mr. Gore has a sure place in heaven.