For our day off today, we drove out into the country. Our first stop was the Alaska Pipeline. I learned that the reason it is above ground is because the oil is warm (about 100 degrees F) as it flows through the pipe. The ground, however, is frozen permafrost. If the pipeline were buried it would thaw the ground and make it unstable. I hadn't thought of that before. I guess I figured it was the other way around-- that the ground would make the oil too cold. But no.
A stream ran parallel to the Pipeline. It was still frozen along the edges. We were fascinated with the ice crystals. So delicate and beautiful.
It was a fun, relaxing day. Tomorrow we'll be back to work at the Fairbanks IDEA convention.