Early light on Moon Lake


Compared to the Dalton Highway, the Richardson Highway is downright luxurious—it’s completely paved and there are occasional gas stations. Still, it’s easy to see how miserable conditions were for those old prospectors. It was still officially summer and temperatures were dropping into the 30s overnight. Those men deserved every penny they wrested from that inhospitable earth.

We resolved to not drive at night any more in moose country, so at twilight we stopped at Moon Lake and paid the princely sum of $18 for a camping site. Ah—the precious luxury of a chemical toilet and a fire pit! It’s amazing how, the less you have, the more your gratitude spills over.

Still, both of us were feeling a bit gamey and a hot shower was starting to seem like the Holy Grail.

My goal for this trip was eight hours of painting and driving per day. That was not very realistic, and the pace is part of the reason we were both getting sick.

As I painted this, I was startled by a ruckus directly behind me. A woodpecker was testing the surfaces of my drying paintings. He was as rattled as me by the encounter, and flew into a nearby spruce to complain.


In 2016, my daughter Mary and I set off across Alaska and Canada on a Great White North Adventure, which you can read about starting here. We arrived in Anchorage at the beginning of September and got home in mid-October. In between, we visited every province but PEI (been there, done that), and Yukon Territory. In retrospect, it might have made more sense to do this during the summer, since Alaska and Canada threw a mess of strange weather at us.

1 in stock


Early light on Moon Lake is 9X12, oil on archival canvasboard.

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