Coldfoot Camp was, and still is, a bustling rest stop about 200 miles north of Fairbanks. It’s really the only consistent service station on the Dalton Highway. It has also imprinted on me, driving my mind always back to the beautiful valley that Coldfoot Camp rests in at the base of the Brooks Mountain Range. Here’s my 20!
1. I walked through swampy trails after a big rain, thoroughly soaking my feet, my first day in camp.
2. I played with cute sled dog puppies almost daily.
3. I flew through the Gates of the Arctic in a very small Cherokee plane.
4. On more than one occasion, I was almost persuaded to swim in the Koyukuk River at bonfires.
5. I chased the Aurora Borealis down the Dalton Highway in a tour van just to get a better glimpse at it.
6. I learned how to play the Ukulele. Rather badly, but nonetheless.
7. I hitch-hiked with some nice and extremely vulgar truckers along the Dalton Highway.
8. I made an ass of myself by clumsily throwing a canned beverage over a fire to a fellow coworker, completely missing him, and inadvertently hitting another coworker on the head. (Sorry Justin. haha.)
9. I made my first (successful) marble rye bread.
10. The fact that my boss was always there whenever I needed him helped me achieve my goals.
11. Playing Corn Hole with my fellow coworkers and friends after a long week of work.
12. Meeting up with some friends I hadn’t seen in years since my first year in Alaska while in Fairbanks.
13. Sleeping in a hostel with my sleeping bag while eating bagel sandwiches cause I was too cheap to buy real food in Fairbanks.
14. Hiking up one of the mountains in the Brooks Range.
15. Stepping up my fitness game and actually running outside. That scenery, though…
16. Sitting at the bar, watching Top Gear, eating my breakfast, and talking to whomever was closing out the host position that night right before my early morning shift started at 2 AM.
17. All those nights spent watching movies as a Coldfoot Camp family.
18. Standing dumbfounded below the Aurora Borealis while it danced overhead like a mirage.
19. Drifting down the Koyukuk River while one of the guides artfully maneuvered our raft around the bends and corners of the river.
20. Getting some old gold miner’s life story while visiting the Wiseman museum.
21. Getting to cook with some of the nicest and most decent human beings I’ve ever worked with.
22. Playing terets in the coworker tent around a big table full of laughter.
I’ll probably keep adding more as I remember them. So more to come!