Tuesday, September 28, 2010

'Ice Road' Melting

Normally, I'm glued to the drivers and the perilous conditions they drive through on the mighty Dalton Highway in Alaska.  But this week, I was completely transfixed by the folks who work hard to keep the Dalton up and running and make sure it's safe (as safe as an iced-over road with steep drop-offs can be anyway).  Whether it was the people dishing out the violations to perennial violator Hugh and a newcomer to the citation game or the Alaska DOT worker known as "K Bear" who had one of the scariest jobs I've seen (and that's saying a lot for a road that has an avalanche crew) -- this week was all about the behind-the-scenes people who keep everything running so that important supplies can get to the North Slope.  The theme of the week was melting ice, and as we learned in this one, the simple act of snow and ice turning into water isn't just a welcoming sign of impending spring.

Melting ice also means a slushy, slippery road which led to even more dangerous conditions than we're used to seeing on the Dalton.  It meant a couple of spin outs for rookie Ray (which led to some friendly ripping from fellow driver Greg) and some indecisive moments for Lisa.  She came across Jack on the haul road and decided to ride along with him for a little while.  As they approached a series of steeper inclines, she asked Jack whether or not he was going to stop to chain up (the melting roads = more slipping, ergo, chains might be required in places where they aren't normally).  He left it up to her and while she was deciding, they got a message over the radio that other drivers were chaining up for the second incline because other trucks had spun out.  Apparently, one had caught the ditch and was turned over on the side of the road.  Lisa decided to play it safe.

Meanwhile, Jack was hauling a highly flammable load of jet fuel.  This caused him to take even more precaution than usual, but it also made him a target for the DOT inspection officers.  He got pulled over along the Dalton and had to turn over his log book, medical card and his little orange hazmat book.  He had no problem with the first two, but the last one was nowhere to be found.  He hadn't grabbed a copy of the book that tells drivers what to do with a flammable substance in case of an emergency.  So Jack Jessee, the Dalton Ace, got a citation.  The other driver caught in the DOT's crosshairs was not a surprise.  Hugh "The Polar Bear" Rowland had to stop at the scales just outside the Carlile lot for an inspection.  His log book showed that he had gotten from Prudhoe to Fairbanks in 10 hours which would mean he traveled an average of 60 mph -- 10 mph above the speed limit.  Hugh insisted he wasn't speeding, but the officer gave him a list of violations anyway.  But in a surprising turn, he was able to go with just a warning.  He breathed a huge sigh of relief.

One of the bridges on the Dalton crosses the Dietrich River.  There's nothing unusual about it except when the melting season begins.  The water below the ice starts to rise above it as overflow.  This process causes damming and an obstacle like a low bridge makes for a perfect damming spot.  The problem is, water is an extremely powerful force, so at some point that dammed-up water is going to burst through the ice (especially as more and more of the ice becomes water) and take the bridge out.  So, DOT worker K Bear had to get some equipment down there to start digging out the ice blocking the water flow under the bridge.  First, he tried the heavy equipment, but the arm of the machine kept hitting the bridge.  So, he brought in some steam power to start breaking up the ice.  Then, he added a Bobcat with a drill on the front of it.  The drill started breaking up the ice in larger chunks and that's when K Bear warned his crew that they needed to start getting off the ice.  Soon, the Bobcat would break through to the water on the other side of the bridge and that water would start gushing through to the other side.  As the Bobcat drilled through the last few chunks, I held my breath.  How could the driver possible get the Bobcat off the ice before the water he was releasing began running through?  He couldn't, but he was able to get out of the way before it swept him and his machine away.  As with everything on this show, it was intense!

The season finale of Ice Road Truckers airs next Sunday on History followed by the season premiere of Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads. To catch up on this season, click on over to History.com where you'll also get more information, trucker bios, and an IRT app for your iPhone.


Free Movies Online said...

Ice melting create a lot of problem for drivers. Shot taken is really good.I saw some videos which show the real danger.Alaska, Himalaya both region are deadly.

Free Movies said...

Drivers lives in these type of condition is always really in trouble.Alaska region & in hilly areas that very difficult. Many thing they have to kept eye on.God bless them,

chanel668 said...

herve leger sale
herve leger dress
herve leger

Herve leger 2011
Herve Leger Bandage
herve leger spring 2011
Herve leger
herve leger classic dresses
herve leger bandage dress
Herve Leger Classical
Herve Leger Single Strap
Herve Leger Strapless
herve leger single strap dress
Herve Leger Skirt
herve leger strapless dress

antonio said...

Hello all....Watch Movies Online and enjoy your favorite movies anytime on net.

Tv on Web said...

Nice video!

kevin21 said...

Tory Burch Flip Flops time saw the kitty stretches oneself the movement thinks soft incomparable, the sex appeal is also slender, no wonder links the model to study walks catwalk, for can practice the enchanting slender US leg in the summer, how does this study makes the kitty general soft thigh line. Does not have the means to turn the toe the scissors shape to separate, so long as the full point has can promote the foot nimble pliable but hard to break movement strength, then lets the toe scissors such separate is likely very easy Tory Burch Flats.
When the toe turns the scissors shape, whether between the toe can achieve separates is a most essential spot truly. So long as puts on the high-heeled shoes, the foot will present ache this to explain that the full point's strength will be weak Tory Burch Sandals, does not have the means support to stand for a long time. Certainly also has the possibility is and the foot size compares, the shoes point is too narrow lxin39xe. The shoe wears the spot concentrates in one side, if body's center of gravity through full bottom muscle's center, then shoe sole's attrition will not stress in one side Tory Burch Boots.

comment grossir said...

très impressionnant !!

sarah lee said...

I was absolutely transfixed by the folks who work hard to keep the Dalton up and running and make sure it's safe.

click here

mbt outlet said...

Welcome to our shop.There are many products online mbt outlet,supra

,casquettes new era,many options and price concessions.