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Robin Mills, Part 2
Robin Mills

This is a continuation of the interview with Robin Mills on December 18, 2006 by Marie Mitchell at Robin's office at the Bureau of Land Management in Fairbanks, Alaska. In this third part of a three part interview, Robin talks about doing historic archeology in Coldfoot, Alaska, the challenges of driving the Haul Road, and doing archeological field schools for college students. He also talks about "the 100-year flood" that occurred at Coldfoot in 1994. The third part of the interview (Tape 2) is Robin discussing historic photographs he brought with him, and appears as audio captions in the Robin Mills Slideshow.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2006-28-11_PT.3

Project: Dalton Highway
Date of Interview: Dec 18, 2006
Narrator(s): Robin Mills
Interviewer(s): Marie Mitchell
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Challenges of driving the Haul Road

2) One-hundred year flood at Coldfoot in 1994

3) Continuation of flood story

4) Reasons for archeological field schools sponsored by the University of Alaska Fairbanks

5) Traveling the Haul Road to Coldfoot for work versus for pleasure

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: Travel used to take 9 hours to drive from Fairbanks to Coldfoot. Mills experienced many flat tires back in those days. "Most of the Haul Road south of Coldfoot was paved with chip seal, which with the permafrost is now heaving up. When freshly put in (with chip seal) travel would take only four hours to drive from Fairbanks to Coldfoot". Today, the drive is longer due to the deterioration of the road.
Haul Road -- highway\ travel -- story of\ travel -- Fairbanks to Coldfoot\ travel time -- nine hour drive\ Haul Road -- changes in\ maintenance -- story of\ flat tires -- numerous\ chip seal -- benefits of\ permafrost -- effects of\ Haul Road -- deterioration of\ travel time -- variation\ road -- condition of|

Section 2: Robin begins the story about "the 100-year flood" that occurred at Coldfoot in 1994. He was instructing an archeological field school at the Coldfoot site when the heavy rains and flooding began. This is part one of the story.
Coldfoot\ archeology\ field school\ rain\ flood\ flooding\ Koyukuk River\ road -- damage to\ students -- travel\ travel -- stopped\ road -- maintenance\ Coldfoot -- island\ water -- rising\ evacuation\ Miscovich, Mike\ rescue\ vehicle --military\ truck -- stalled\ safety|

Section 3: Robin continues the story of "the 100-year flood" that occurred at Coldfoot in 1994. This is part two of the story.
flood\ Coldfoot\ archeology\ field school\ fieldwork\ evacution\ rescue\ National Park Service -- facilities\ BLM\ travel -- restricted\ excavation -- completed\ Cook, John\ departure -- scheduling\ excavation -- backfilling of\ airplane -- Alaska Fire Service\ Fairbanks -- flight to|

Section 4: archeology\ field school\ Coldfoot\ teaching\ students\ University of Alaska Fairbanks|

Section 5: Coldfoot\ Haul Road\ travel -- work\ travel -- pleasure\ camping\ archeology -- hard work\ BLM\ job -- enjoyment of|