Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Road trip to Circle

On Friday afternoon, we took the road, direction Steese highway. The Steese highway is the road which goes North and then East and end up in circle about 180 miles from Fairbanks.
The weather was rainy and foggy, around we saw hills and forest, all was pretty green. After 2 hours on this road, we turned left on a gravel road, which went up the hills. This road goes on the south border of White Mountain area, next to the Nome creek. Around this creek are some campgrounds and start for floating trip.
We parked the car close to the river, and then we noticed that I (julien) forgot the gas stove. We just had a wood stove, which was going to be hard to use under the rain and with "superwet" wood all over the place. Fortunately we were able to make it work and we appreciated a warm soup and salad. After that we went for a walk around and came back in our home (Subaru home).

When we woke up the sun was surprisingly shining, the colors around were really nice.

 We took the car up at the hill’s summit and add our breakfast there, we didn’t see anything in the fog last evening but now it was beautiful.

 The aim of the day was to reach Circle some 80 miles further on the road. The highway goes by a beautiful valley above the tree line, which allows many scenic views, Piia and me thought that it looks like typical Yukon valley (Canada).

 That's what they call an Highway

 From now the highway became gravelly, further on the road we stopped at the 101 miles Steese highway, which is the Yukon Quest checkpoint. We took a look around all the small cabins while avoiding the dog pup from the last year’s heroes.

 101 miles steese highway Yukon Quest checkpoint

Then we crossed Eagle summit another famous Yukon Quest point. After the summit the highway go down and reach Central, a small community in the valley. From there the road get worst, the gravel get bigger and the road bumpy during the 33 miles until Circle. We had lunch close to the famous Yukon River in Circle and went back on the road, we took many pause to watch some moose, eagles, rabbits and then nice landscape in this flat area.
 Gold mines

 Take care some aircraft might cross

 At Circle Beach

 The Yukon River (actually just a little channel, we don't see the main stream)

  We stopped by Eagle summit to climb a bit and take some pictures, then we continued until twelve miles summit where we parked for the night. We had an almost fully sunny day, which was a good surprise, from there we won’t see the blue sky anymore, the evening was rainy but still beautiful, the lichens and mosses get a pretty amazing colors while wet.

 Our casual home :D

 The Sunday was pretty rainy as well we headed back to Fairbanks, stopping once in a while to take some pictures. We spent some times in town then went in our cabin, we were surprised, everything was suddenly so green here, it seems the ground needed that water.

 A gold mine on the road

 Some warnings at the trailheads

Thanks to celebration day, we enjoyed a free Monday, planning some gardening with Scott and Kerry, biking to see how high is the Chena River level, reading, cooking, eating…  What a week end again ;D

Here is some wildlife we saw during this trip