For almost 30 years, British Petrolium (better known as BP) has been operating on Alaska's North Slope. They employ or contract hundreds of Alaskans and donate more than $7.5 million to Alaskan non-profits and communities. They also spend over $1 billion with local contractors and vendors and paid over $700 million in state taxes.
Bird TLC has been invited for several years to participate in their BP Safety Fair. Vendors from all over the state are invited to show their products related to safety. We get to show our birds.
This year Todd Boren and Petra, a Bald Eagle, and myself and Ghost, a Snowy Owl, went as guest of BP Alaska. The first thing we noticed was how nice the people were that they employed or contracted. Dawn picked us up at Kuparik where we landed. She made sure we got our luggage and our birds. Then she also got us some chow. From there we had an hours drive to where we were staying, so she was now our tour guide. She met our every need as geeky tourist (Kuparik Summit 19 feet 3 inches, highest point), making stops, telling us what things are, the whole ticket. She was nice.
Then we met up with the folks running the fair. Keith and his people bent over backwards to make things more comfortable. It almost felt that we were insulting them if we didn't allow them to help.
The next day we got to go on a guided tour with the other vendors. Sorry if the pictures aren't the best. The roads aren't paved and were rather bumpy. The weather was also hazy and very windy in some spots (notice Todd in front of the Arctic Ocean). The cage enclosed entry is so you don't get surprise attacked by a polar bear.
Unfortunately we didn't get to see much wildlife. The weather wasn't the best for them either. We did see some Ravens, ducks and geese.
We got back to the fair and got the birds out to present. Between 3:30 and 9:00 PM we took one 15 minute break. We didn't get a chance to take pictures. We saw over 800 people during that time and they were all nice, polite and excited to see the birds.
Thanks BP Alaska! We had a great time. Your hospitality is the best.
Mary Bethe and Denali, a Golden Eagle and Lisa with Galen, a Great Horned Owl make the same trip next weekend. They'll love it!