Sunday, April 13, 2008

Alaska Sunday III * & Project Yellow IV


Sub-Title: Summer Solstice on the Arctic Circle

Ever since I was a kid, I had alway wanted to stand on the Arctic Circle. For you Far Northerners, you won't think this is a big deal or understand this. But for a boy from East Texas, growing up in the country, this is a big deal. Especially to stand on the Arctic Circle at the Summer Solstice.

Just think, 24 hours of Daylight. More hours to explore, find, and experience new things. Of course back then, I didn't consider trying to sleep when there is no night. Actually, you have to tape the curtains to the walls in order to get some sleep.

There is nothing exceptional about the photo, except that out of the thousands of sights and experiences of our 16-week- trip, it is one of my most memorable. The realization of a life-long dream. Another dream, "Standing on the Moon" may be out of reach, but I can still dream.

Martha was not overly impressed. She said she expected there to be a great differentiation of flora on either side, trees on one side and low bushes and grasses on the other. But there was only a sign marking the spot. The number of tourists trying to have their photos made by the sign was certainly impressive. A busload of people had made the trek from Fairbanks just for that purpose. Her goal was the Arctic Ocean and seeing the Arctic tundra along the way.

Standing on the Actic Circle
At Summer Solstice ( Looking NNW )

GPS Coordinates
I had to park just a bit down the road

Sub-Title II: Martha has on a yellow shirt for Project Yellow

Martha on the Arctic Circle
Doing the Tourist Thing
( we're right there she pointed ! )

The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. It is the parallel of latitude that (as of 2000) runs 66° 33′ 39″ (or 66.56083°) north of the Equator. The region north of this circle is known as the Arctic, and the zone just to the south is called the Northern Temperate Zone. The equivalent latitude in the southern hemisphere is called the Antarctic Circle.

The Arctic Circle marks the southern extremity of the polar day (24 hour sunlit day, often referred to as the "midnight sun") and polar night (24 hour sunless night). North of the Arctic Circle, the sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year, and below the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year. On the Arctic Circle these events occur, in principle, exactly once per year, at the June and December solstices respectively. It is called the Arctic because it corresponds to the southernmost point of the Constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear or Megale Arktos in Greek).


*Alaska Sunday is a collection of photographic remembrances of our driving trip from Texas to Alaska.
18,000 miles, 16 weeks, 16 western states including Alaska
and four Canadian Provinces.
No chronological order, just anything of interest that got in front of our cameras.

Troy and Martha


fishing guy said...

Troy: That trip had to be a wonderful experience and Martha is even wearing Yellow.

gmj said...

:), Since I found out about Alaska Sunday I have been waiting all week. It was worth it. I do love the histroy along with the pictures. The sky is different there? Looks a little thin. Martha looks sunny in yellow. Have a great week!

The Texican said...

Just dropping by for a look see. How many McDonald's in eighteen weeks? :)

dot said...

That must have been a wonderful experience and the view looks fantastic!
My thing I wanted to see so bad was the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. The ride up the mountain was horrible but I'm glad I got to go.

Carletta said...

Wonderful post and pics! Alaska is on my "bucket list."

Lilli & Nevada said...

Love the yellow shirt and sounds like you had a good time

Anonymous said...

How great that you got to do that! I will have to add this to my list.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

What a wonderful experience this must have been for you both. To fulfill a dream is a great accomplishment... good for you!
Truly a great story. I enjoyed reading your story.

Island Rambles Blog said...

I like Alaska Sunday...your site is really popular now too...we all enjoy your stories and photos...keep up the good blogging. Sometimes I wonder why I started to blog and then I see your blog and know why. Very inspiring.

R&J said...

Oh, my!
We lived behind the artic circle, because John's home village is in VesterĂ¥len, N.-Norway; I have also spent there many days. It was really weird to see sun in the kitchen window, window from the northen side...

SandyCarlson said...

That would be a wonderful experience! That's wonderful that you made that dream come true. God bless.

timtim said...

Wow! Super shots. Congrats on your reaching the arctic circle! Love that deep green shot and the one of the forget me not. What an amazing shade of blue! Thanks for visiting me. Hopefully I will get more detailed and varied in subject as my blogging gets better!

the teach said...

Great shots! I guess because it's summer there's no ice or snow around, right?

Texas Travelers said...

To all: Thanks for the nice comments.

To the teach: Yes, here at the Arctic Circle at this altitude, you will find snow in deep permanently shaded places. As the latitude and altitude increases so will remaining snow. There was still a lot of snow when we reached the Brooks Range further to the north on the way to the Arctic Ocean.

I'll do a post on that in a few weeks.


Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to like these post about Alaska.
Great shot shere.

Rambling Round said...

What a great trip you had! Wow! How many people have stood on the Arctic Circle?

Sandpiper said...

What a great thing to do! I would love it! It looks really beautiful there.

Lake Lady said...

I'll visiting your site at least once a week! Texas AND Alaska, a terrific combination!

'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes'NL said...

hey Troy and Martha,
How are you two doing?
About the GPs that kinda things are interesting right? soon more abbot my trip...

Doug Taron said...

That sounds like an amazing adventure. I remember once reading an account of butterfly collecting in the high arctic. It was near the solstice and the author was recalling how it was possible to collect 24 hours a day. Since then I've dreamed of someday going there and watching butterflies at midnight.