This Alaska Marine Lines barge was one of seven loaded in Seattle that delivered freight to the Red Dog Mine site in Kotzebue, AK this summer. According to Barge Master Andy Castle, supplies and equipment for the mine sail between July to October. After that, freight is held for the next season or delivered via air.
"During the summer supply months, everything from grinding balls to oil to camp mods to pickup trucks are delivered," Andy says. "Everything then needs to go up the 52-mile dirt haul road to the mine." Supplying a camp for the coming year also means bringing in enough food to feed approximately 500 people living and working there, that includes fresh produce and meat in reefers that are stored for the coming months. Once winter hits, the weather becomes challenging along with the local wildlife. The Caribou migrate across the road at their own pace, so drivers all employ an added skill set of practicing patience.