Monday, September 15, 2014

Visiting Unalakleet

Unalakleet is an Inupiat community located 148 miles southeast of Nome and 395 miles northwest of Anchorage. Taz and I are here to meet with clients and explore the town that is nestled among trees, tundra and hills in the Norton Sound, on the Bering Sea and with the Unalakleet River running through it. Home to 700, the residents live a subsistence lifestyle, harvesting salmon, crab, bear, beluga and bowhead whale, caribou, ptarmigan, moose and seal.  

Like so many other rural Alaskan communities, it is a common sight to see people riding four-wheelers down the streets and boats, snowmachines and crab pots littering the driveways that lead to small one and two-room houses.

The surrounding landscape is mostly alpine tundra and prime hiking terrain. While we don't have time to hike during this short visit, we do enjoy a roadtrip into the mountains that are ablaze in autumn colors.

Residents are open, friendly, helpful and eager to talk about their lives in this remote area of Alaska. The sound of dogs barking, children playing and small skiffs coming in and out of the harbor mixes with the smell of salmon curing and seal oil boiling, and the deep red sunset sinks into the ocean, leaving the sky midnight blue. We fall asleep listening to our host's talking in the adjoining room, an occasional dog's howl surrounding our dreams...

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