Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My View Of Kotzebue

"Kotzebue lies on a gravel spit at the end of the Baldwin Peninsula in the Kotzebue Sound...33 miles north of the Arctic Circle on Alaska's western coast." The population is about 3000, 70% of whom are Inupiat Eskimo. 

 I've been on a couple of spits since having arrived in Alaska about a year ago.  A few sounds, too, for that matter.  Most of my life here centers around the ocean, geographically speaking, which is an interesting item since the area of this state measures almost 600,000 square miles.  That seems like a lot of dry, land-locked land, but more than half the population lives in the coastal city of Anchorage and most of the rest of the state is uninhabited wilderness.

I've been in the Alaska interior, on volcanic islands in the ring of fire, throughout rain forests, on land, sea, air and ice, within viewing distance of gleaming glaciers,  bigger-than-life wild animals, rare birds and huge fish.  It's been extraordinary, to say the least, but it wasn't until I wrote to someone that I was on the tundra above the arctic circle that I got my most notable rush to date of "wow, this is pretty cool!"  I mean just the idea of being ABOVE the arctic circle gave me serious pause.  

The pictures I took probably look very similar to other pictures I have taken over the months, but they still tell some interesting little stories all their own. 

This is a view from my hotel window.  

These boys were "fishing."  They had a broken reel with curly fishing line they were pulling off and throwing into the water.  I dare say they didn't catch much that day.

The next evening I looked out and saw this man walking along the street at around 10 PM or so, a blue child's backpack on top of the rest of his load.

A couple of boys stopped him and he pulled out some junk for them to look at, but they gave it back to him.  Some long strips of something that looked like belts or fabric or rags.  

I had my favorite meal of the visit at this establishment which was owned and operated by a Korean family, and as you know I really dig Korean fare...however, I had a Japanese bento box.

This was the view from my table.

These are stained glass windows in the clinic where I worked for a couple of days.


View from the other side of the hotel.

You know I would have to visit the cemetery, which is very different from all the other very different cemeteries I've visited here.

The old hotel.

Looking for the entrance of the new hotel.

Still looking.

Wait.  Is that it?

OK.  Now we're cooking with gas.

It was seal (bearded seal/Ugruk) hunting season while I was there.  On most days, the water looked choppy as in this picture, but one day I looked out and the water was very, very still.  I could see fish jumping and I could also see tiny little white peaks across the water on the opposite shore where the seal camps were set up.  Didn't get a picture, but if I had you would be able to see the camps right there on those tiny pieces of land on the horizon.


DeEtta said...

Penny, you are having so many fun and interesting adventures. Thanks for sharing them with us. Alaska is high on my bucket list. Love the way you describe the neighborhoods. Love that old cemetery.

Gorges Smythe said...

Very interesting!