We left Fairbanks at 1:15pm heading up the Elliott Highway to check occupied Boreal Owl nest boxes.
The highway is paved until you reach the turn off for the Haul Road (Dalton Highway) leading up to Deadhorse, so it's pretty smooth sailing. But, once you reach the intersection of the Dalton,
the Elliott becomes a dirt road.
100 feet to box.. I started walking West. 118 feet to box...oops, I'm walking the wrong direction. I turned around, now walking East...100 feet to box, 97 feet to box, now I'm down off the road and standing in the mossy, mushy undergrowth of the boreal forest. Dave picks up the ladder and follows.
47 feet....23 feet... we should be able to see the box by now... but nothing. "There it is," Dave says, and off he goes. Where? Dave, where is it? I don't see it. Wait up! That guy has legs longer than I am tall, and I have to jog to keep up with him - and he's carrying a ladder! LOL! As I climb through an unusually thick clump of brush, I see the nestbox and mommy owl is watching us.