andrew burke





Flying to Flaxman Island - Part 6

Posted on: 2010-12-27

This is part 6 of a series of blog posts describing my trip from Fairbanks Alaska to my great-grandfather's research cabin on Flaxman Island.

The whole set can be found here - check out map, where I've managed to figure out where most of the pictures were taken. Don't forget to use the arrows near the bottom of the map page to page through the picture sets.

So we left Flaxman island behind in the fog and headed back south to Fairbanks.

The trip back wasn't quite as mind-blowing as the trip out, since we mostly just retraced our route. However, the sunlight had changed, and now I was on the eastward-facing side of the plane, so there were still many amazing things to see. Like this, right on the edge of the Canning River delta:

Geometrical Shoreline

It's not hard to see how painters like Lawren Harris who spent a lot of time in the north leaned towards abstraction in their art - the landscape here just feels like geometrical abstract art.

We flew past the caribou herd again - it felt like we were revisiting old friends.

Caribou Herd on Summer Tundra

I was able to get better pictures of things I had missed the first time around, and in better light, or at least more dramatic cloud cover.

Cloudy Mountains in the Brooks Range

Green Slopes in the Brooks Range

Jagged Peaks in the Brooks Range

Kirk explained that the little stripes we could see along the cliffs were mountain goat paths - although we didn't see any goats.

Mountain Goat Paths in the Brooks Range

We flew over some tents along the river - the only evidence of living humans in hundreds of miles.

Riverbed Campsite From the Air

It reminded me of how much of what I was seeing today seemed completely untouched by humanity. No buildings, no roads, no power lines, no smoke. Just mountains and water and greenery and sky.

There was a time, not so long ago really, when the whole world was like this.

Valley Panorama

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