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Sheltered from the wind on the Hulahula River 110609 1926
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

We arrived at Grasser's air strip on the Hulahula River to begin a float to the coast, measuring water discharge, water chemistry, and aquatic ecology along the way.  The winds were strong and up-valley during the day, and calmed down in the middle of the night.  Here we are taking shelter behind one of the few willow bushes around, having just arrived.

Copyright: Matt nolan
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 11764x5882
Uploaded: 27/12/2011
Updated: 27/08/2014
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Tags: hulahula; river; anwr; glacier; mccall; matt nolan; nolan; 2011; wind; science
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More About Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The biggest city in Alaska is Anchorage, sitting in Cook Inlet on the coast of the north pacific. Suburban expansion in Anchorage means houses are being built up into the mountains behind the city.People in these new developments complain about "the wildlife" sometimes but you know what? You're gonna get moose in your yard when you build houses on their terrain. They will eat your flowers and sleep in your driveway, and stare at you over the top of a parked full-size pickup truck. They're like cows on stilts. I'm just trying to give you an idea of the scale of things up in Alaska, where there are more small planes per capita than anywhere else in the US. Many small villages get their fuel supply flown in by large aircraft, and that's it for the year.North of Anchorage there are six hundred miles of mountains with very few roads or people, and then up at the top of that expanse is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It's about nineteen million acres of space, or seventy-seven thousand square kilometers.If you put a map of the state of Alaska on top of a map of the United States, Alaska would cover half of the country. Alaska by itself is the size of half of the United States. That's an easy idea to miss because most maps shrink Alaska when they show it next to the continental U.S.Back to the pictures: locals in Kavtovik make use of the natural environment. Whale bones on the beach are an example of the subsistence lifestyle which has been going on here for long before airplanes and panoramic pictures.Alaska is beautiful in the fall season. Fireweed turns bright red and the birch trees change to gold. You have no idea what air is supposed to smell like until you visit Alaska.This is a really interesting set of pictures. Scientists get the award for "most thorough documentation" of a spot.Okay, I haven't personally been up as far as AWNR, but I can tell you just from hiking Girdwood that it's a very very amazing feeling to walk for a while, turn around, and see absolutely nothing man-made anywhere in your field of vision, except your boots.Mattanuska Thunder!Text by Steve Smith.