Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

400 miles up the Dalton Highway, Alaska

Posted at 7:15 pm, September 16th, 2002

Today has been an Arctic safari — well over a hundred caribou, two herds of muskox totaling probably forty animals, two grizzlies, three falcons, lots of geese, a few swans… quite an amazing day. I made my way to within seventy-five feet of the first group of muskox, and they seemed completely unconcerned that I was there — the one nearest me looked at me then rolled over on his side and went to sleep. I didn’t want to get closer in case they’re like buffalo and will charge, but they were pretty damn cool. Hairy as anything, with really short, stubby legs and horns that curled down to their cheeks and then outwards.

The caribou have been everywhere, in groups as large as about thirty-five. Since getting out onto the Arctic coastal plain there have been tons of geese, including one group of orange-billed geese that I’ve never seen before — I assume they must go to Asia for the winter and just be here for the summer. The falcons also appeared once I was out on the coastal plain, and they just sit posing on the tops of the poles along the road. The weather has been cold and wet, so photo opportunities have been nearly non-existent, but still, what a day!

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