Toolik Time

So I'm going to go back in time a bit and show you the old kitchen and dining hall of Toolik Camp. Here's a random shot of a stash of antlers and yellow hula hoop that sits across from that building... maybe someone wants to dance with the caribou?

Before I begin... out of the pics I've gotten so far the following three are my fav. It was a chilly morning with frost on the ground and extremely quiet.

Now, going back in time... here's the historic, empty dining hall.

The walk-in cooler and freezer.

The ol' kitchen.

This chill pad used to be the dry storage.

At the entrance of the building is another collection of rocks, bones and cans.

The historic Toolik calvary. All of these trucks are still in use, but we are advised not to drive too far in them.

Now into the modern day... a tire changing class. You run a pretty good chance of blowing out a tire on the Dalton, especially if having to go to Prudoe since the roads are constantly being groomed by giant blades.

Golf carts are very useful to get around on camp.

So are snow mobiles... when there's snow.

The mini weight room. It's kind of fun using the tredmill because the whole shack rocks.

A southward directed glance at a part of Toolik.

Here's our incenerator where we burn things like paper, boxes and carcasses... chicken carcasses from the kitchen that is ;)

The generator assembly line...

Our kitchen stove, oven and grill run off natural gas. A tidbit about the Arcitc... there is potentially 15% of the worlds natural gas resource in the Arctic, as well some oil. Russia, Greenland, Canada and USA are all looking to make more resource claims as the ice up North melts. Someone told me there are rubies to be found too. My stance on this is that the Arctic is too unstudied and perhaps too fragile to do any multi-national large-scale mining and drilling. If you give the okay to one nation, other nations will have the right to do the same and eventually the private sector from non-Arctic nations will move in and before you know it you'll have rigs everywhere, above and below sea level, with more populated shipping lanes that pose a risk for the safety of the sea and ice. Do we have an international govermental body that will oversee all of this and insure environmental safety? Have these nations sat down together and signed a treaty to work in unison, or is the Arctic going to be a blown pinata grab bag? Why don't we treat the Arctic like we do Antarctica... reserve it only for polar science and put a law in saying that there can be no nukes, aggressive military action, mining and drilling?

We have wind and solar integrated into our power system.

Remember that without food there would be no science, and without science there would no hope for conservation. Here are a few of the dishes I've done in the last few days... a ratatouille orzo mix.

Spanish empanadas stuffed with spinach, feta, cranberries and nuts.

Ginger tofo with coconut, cilantro, roated cashews, caramelized apples and that infamous thai chili sauce.

A lentil loaf.

Meatloaf done the South Pole way.

Kentucky fried pork chops.


Maple baked tempeh with barley.

Egglplant stuffed with quinoa and veggies.

Cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven.

After work... outside.

I've started exploring all them boardwalks.

A Willow Ptarmigan. Here at All About Birds you can listen to the sounds this Pac-Man-like bird makes.

Arctic dryad.

While running back to camp I found some fur.

I followed the trail and found this...

I'm hoping that I get to see at least one brown bear up here, but if not, no worries, I know several spots on Kodiak where you actually have to work really hard to get away from them. Population of Kodiak is about 1 grizzly per every 3 human residents.

Science in the tundra.

I took a few antlers and decked out my stoop to scare away the squirrels, but unfortunately I just saw one nibbling on the antler. Darn.