Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ride to Riley Wreck, Part 2


Here is a screen shot from Google Earth that shows the Baldwin Peninsula and part of Kotzebue Sound. You can see that I have labeled the locations on the map. The distance between Kotzebue and Cape Blossom is roughly 12 miles. The distance between Cape Blossom and Riley Wreck is roughly 6 miles.

Here is another section of the shore where the waves undercut the bank melting the permafrost. Eventually the bank had no support and huge pieces collapsed. The water now laps right up against these pieces making it impossible to ride down the beach ion this section, except during periods of very low water. The water was so low this day I was able to ride right around. When the water is too high you can ride up onto the tundra and bypass this section of the beach.

This is the shelter cabin and the old reindeer corrals at Riley Wreck. If anyone is interested in reading about the history of reindeer herding in Alaska you can click HERE.

It has been a long time since these corrals have been used and they are staring to fall apart. I guess they call the name of this place Riley Wreck because there was a steamer, named Riley, that wrecked here many years ago. If someone knows the story please write a comment and let us know.

The inside walls of the shelter cabin are like a guest book graffitied with the names and dates of visitors over the years.

Looking back the way we came.

Back along the creek behind Riley Wreck I came across this whale vertabre. I put it on the back of the four wheeler to take the photo so you could see the size.

This just looks like a shot of the tundra...but there was something there that attracted Kaija's attention.....

...a flock of these little birds. Kaija jumped off the four wheeler and tried to catch some but they took off flying.

They would fly really fast and make 180 degee turns at full speed, never breaking formation.

Kaija chased them as the flashed up and down the beach.

She never did get close. The birds reminded me of those huge schools of fish you sometimes see on documentaries.

You know, the kind that swim together in big schools and they turn this way and that all at the same time.

Almost back to town, few more miles.


james said...

Riley Wreck is named after me. Riley is my middle name, after Fort Riley Kansas. I wrecked my Honda down the beach in 2004 and they named the place after me. Honest. I'm not lying. Meanwhile, here's a photo of Johnson and Ryan at KOTZ.

James Mason

Karen Travels said...

What a peaceful ride. Thanks for taking us along!!

p.s. I hope this doesn't offend, but I have to point out that the word verification is "suckher." lol!

Gloria said...

Sounds like it was great trip to take on the 4-wheeler!!

Auntie said...

Wing markings look like pectoral sandpipers or some other kind of sandpiper? What IZ it???
Love your whale vertebra.

Becky said...

Great photos, and yet another slice of life in the far north.

LOVE that whale vertebrae.

Liz said...

Very interesting and beautiful! Riley knew it was beautiful so that's why he wrecked there. And the whale vertebrae was cool!


Teena said...

The sandpipers were Dunlins. Most sandpipers can do that amazing aerial formation flying as can other birds like the starlings in the video at this link: com/watch? v=XH-groCeKbE& feature=player_ embedded# t=26

Enjoyed your pictures and postings. I live in the Colville River Delta on the North Slope. Love our northern land!

Mammoth said...

"Ancient people whom lived in this region have done so beyond any recorded history. They lived here probably beyond 40,000 years and various cultures have came and gone. 'All' of them have had something to do with the Woolly Mammoth prior to it's extinction. They hunted these elephants, used them in a multitude of ways, survived because of them and even today Alaska's residents carve the ivory and bone to 'continue' to make a living, to survive, just as times beyond memory. In a certain truth, there are enough pieces and tusks of the Mammoth in such an abundance as to effectively 'replace' the interest of modern Ivory producing species. (When we include these fossil reserves in Russia and Canada.) "This is one of very oldest traditions in Alaska and the world. It was used even before 'Grandfather' rights were initiated in some government policy. "All Cultures Have This Prehistoric Right to Perpetuate it's Use." "Not Just the 'First Nation's People" but all northern inhabitants of the 'circumpolar' regions." "The use and collecting of Woolly Mammoth Ivory and other Ice Age fossils is prohibited and illegal. It is endorsed by the Federal Government and members of the scientific community." "It is disturbing, at the least, that laws are enacted and Alaskan residents are ignorant of these law's implications as they lose their ancient rights and easily surrender their freedoms without debate."

Cathy said...

Since when is the collecting and use of mammoth ivory illegal? I know that the excavation of anthropological artifacts on federal land is prohibited, however I have not heard of that being the case with mammoth ivory.