Down the Road and up another hill

Unfortunately the Dalton takes a good amount of time to travel back and forth on, so after a day of going up to the campsite and a day heading back, we only had a few days to shoot the marmots. Factor in the rain we had and we ended up with one good day of shooting. This may sound bad but considering it’s fall in the Arctic and we had a sunny day of shooting, we got lucky! One good day is it all it takes and we had that. So on Friday we went back down the road to Fairbanks and on to the next area.

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCAKWD0016.swf, 585, 435 [/swf]

The next population that we worked with was the Hoary Marmots down at Wickersham dome. It was a popular area that in Summer is great for hiking on and during the winter is used as ski trails. Of course it’s also a great place to do some landscape shooting! Thankfully we had some clouds that day cuz the next day it was bald skies.

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCAKWD0024.swf, 585, 435 [/swf]

Images captured with D3, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

The adventure continues…what’s that!

Wait, where was I? O yea i remember now. We get past the Brooks range to our camp which was, well I’m not going to say except that it was out on the tundra. We get the tents up fast because the fog is rolling in fast which can only mean one thing, the rain is coming. That’s not a bad thing though, being in a warm dry tent and cozy sleeping bag can feel pretty good.

When the rain cleared up we went out to greet the little guy that we went up there for. This is him. Wait this is him! What is it you might ask well it’s cute, fuzzy and sluggish when the sun is out. You might have guessed, it’s a Marmot. These rock climbers and burrow dwellers live in the high slopes and rocky outcrops that most people wouldn’t believe they could live in. This is a special Marmot it’s the Alaskan which is different from the Hoary and others found in British Columbia and lower forty eight.

Why is it different… well can’t say, but it was fun to photograph. This particular one spent a lot of its time outside the burrow and eventually climbed up the hillside and out of sight. No problem, where there’s one there will be more. In this case two other individuals came out and sorta played with us (Dad and myself).

The little guys are such good climbers on the slippery rocks that it made the rest of us look like drunken monkeys trying not to topple over. Between the tundra going squish after every step and the rocks covered in water from the rain showers, it was amazing we were able to carry the 6’s up the slope. Speaking of the slope what else might be up there you ask?

Images captured with D3, 600f4, TC-14E, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Way up in the North, o yea!

I almost don’t know where to start with this one, there’s just too much excitement to begin! Dad and I had another trip on the books for Alaska, which is nothing new because we seem to go there often for one reason or another. Normally it has to do with grizzlies but this time they weren’t even on the scope. The two of us headed up north beyond the Arctic Circle to work with some biologists on a project. In order to get up to the location we had to take the infamous Haul Road which is known for big curves, steep inclines and destroying most vehicles that traverse it. It was a fun drive!

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/_JLP4447.swf, 585, 435 [/swf]

Along this windy road of kidney punchers was not only some of the greatest scenery but construction to try and… improve the road. I say this cuz the pot wholes never seemed to go away even after being repaired. So we were driving up this road in a Chevy F350 with five of us crammed in along with all of our gear to go camping for a week and we get stopped by one of the construction crews. What a perfect time to go out shooting!

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCAKNB0022.swf, 585, 435 [/swf]

The clouds were settling around the tops of the mountains around us so we couldn’t see the sky. If you’ve ever been up in Alaska you know this is pretty typical, a light rain and grey skies. It had an ambiance to it that makes you feel all calm and serene. Only 200 miles from town but still.

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCAKNB0003.swf, 585, 435 [/swf]

After about ten minutes of standing around enjoying the grandeur of the land, the skies opened up briefly alloying some clearness to be seen. The low clouds continued to surround the mountains until we got past the construction and through the pass. We got back in the car and continued down the road until….

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCAKNB0032.swf, 585, 435 [/swf]

Images captured with D3, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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