It’s been a little over a year since I’ve traveled in the LT. I think my readers know why. Now that I’m almost ready there is a sense of calm, perhaps it will be different tomorrow or the next day when I start remembering everything I’ve forgotten! I have still much to do…. today is waxing the RV, one last trip to the vet, sorting through clothes and my “to do” list . . . yesterday I cleared and restocked the LT’s pantry, took all the cooking and eating stuff to the kitchen for a washing and dragged everything back fitting it all in place. The floors are clean with new rugs, the cupboards are clean, much of the dog gear is safely in my storage shed ready for the trip after this one.

I added phone service for Canada . . btw if you do this with a cell phone it’s easy as long as you have an International capable phone. I added Canada for $15 a month which I will cancel on my return. There is one catch which I just happened to know from another trip when I was near the border. If you have your cell phone set to global roaming it may well roam on over to the Canada side and start amassing International minutes, I suspect sans notice if you’ve already added Canadian service. To stop that Verizon had me change Global network to LTE/CDMA; I will change it to Global after I cross the border and then back to LTE/CDMA in Alaska, and so on. I don’t want to be surprised by a huge phone bill!

I’m finding so many want to hear of this trip and wish me well, I have quite a list now of folks wanting to be crammed into my luggage….it’s gonna be a tight fit! Maybe some of you can go on the roof?

One of the things I will be looking at will be the effects of the climate on the land, it’s creatures and communities at least that which I can observe from main paths (I’m not prepared with 4-wheel dive, technical instruments or equipment for wilderness exploration…. another time who knows?) When I was a student at UCSB Geography, studying Earth System Sciences we knew that Alaska like the sea floor here in Santa Barbara are key indicators of change. It should be obvious that there are now longer melt seasons, less sea ice, and longer journeys for marine mammals needing food.

I am out of practice of observing what I see, perhaps you too? Do we just accept our environment like watching a movie, a real life drama, something that has little to do with us and our daily lives? Do you remember a time perhaps when you were a child when everything was a great discovery? When you asked the question, why.

polar melt stop

From the web : polar melt stop

 

I will be looking at how the trees lean, how the land slumps, for newly formed pools and lakes of meltwater on one hand and on the other for shrinking wetlands, of course at diminishing glaciers. On the drive up and back, I will be looking at the apparent health of the trees, for signs of dryness and insect attack, for dirty rivers, for towns that are growing or shrinking, for happiness or stress.

Perhaps I will see some effects on the economy or in the numbers of wildlife, fires of course I hope not to see but I may see evidence of large burns, more drought, unpredictable weather, less snow, variable temperatures, unusual winds, an altering of seasons and changes in flora and fauna.

Arctic Fox: from Cool Animals of Alaska

Arctic Fox: from Cool Animals of Alaska

Don’t forget I post links for you guys out there …  just click on them. If you find any that don’t work or you don’t like send me a message.

Video on Alaska Climate Change

Climate Change in Alaska

A more detailed explanation
here is a 50 min. video / lecture from Professor Jack Murphy at Humboldt State University. It’s worth watching, just like a classroom intro lecture.

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