Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Impressions of Nome

After missing one flight and then the next flight being cancelled, we spent an extra day night and day in Nome and took the time to further explore this small community in the Bering Straits area of Western Alaska. This is our second time to Nome. The first was Summer Solstice 2010. We both really love the area and we're already planning a return trip in the fall. 

The people are very friendly and one of our joys was walking down the street and having a local call out our name. We took in an evening dance fundraiser, featuring King Island dancers, which was spectacular. We were invited to join in the dancing, which was very special.

The beauty of the landscape is absolutely surreal any time of the year. Being there in the winter months and watching the sun rise and set over the sea left us breathless. The region is experiencing a very warm winter; in fact, it was in the mid 50's when we arrived!  Elders shared that they have never experienced this in their lifetime.  For the seven days that we were in Nome, the ice was constantly shifting, forming  pressure ridges that were different each time we went out to view them.

When we left, there was a light dusting of snow, but the weather was still warm, leaving locals and visitors alike wondering if the famous Iditarod dogsled race will happen this year... 

While we were in town to meet small business owners to promote the USDA energy program we work with, we got to tour the interior of many historic buildings, including the Nome Nugget, the oldest running newspaper in all of Alaska, the Board of Trade Saloon, Nome's oldest bar, as well as a couple of Churches, restaurants, houses-turned coffee shops and more. We worked hard, meeting with people daily and signed clients up.  Now, we're busy networking referrals out in to the smaller communities of the Bering Straits Region.

In 2010, we drove all 200 miles of the various roads in the area, leading to the communities of Teller, Council and then the North Road.  This trip, these roads were blocked by ice and snow because they are only maintained by the city for the first few miles. One day, we drove the road to Teller as far as we could and then walked several miles in. Another day, we drove the north road and were treated to 360 degree views of white-cloaked hills and then a spectacular sunset that dusted the landscape in pale pinks, peaches and blues. 

We love Homer, but are leaving a little bit of our hearts in Nome.

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