Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Nome: Day 1

I just woke up on my first morning in Nome, in my childhood home. Arriving here and exploring the town, after not being here for a few decades, has been like stepping into a time capsule! Strange indeed. The flight in was spectacular, with the sun just coming up revealing the most amazing scenery passing below.

After being greeted at the airport by family, and having a friend from childhood come up and say "hello" - taking me very much by surprise - my younger brother and I headed out to explore. (The Sorels are amazing and keeping my feet toasty, btw!)

On the frozen Bering sea are the miners... Bering Sea Gold. (The town's people are not big fans!)

And still stilling on a pond just out of town is an old gold dredge that was a favorite place for my girlfriends and I to ice skate!

Abandoned transportation...it's odd to see random "trash" sitting in the pristine landscape.

Nome, accessible only by plane (or dog sled), is far from most places... except Siberia!

It's a good thing the roads here are short and don't get you anywhere, not at these gas prices.

And last night, saying goodnight to my husband who is at home with the kids, I asked how does one stay appreciative of what you have and your life on a daily basis? Wandering around town yesterday, looking for the homes of childhood friends, I was reminded of what a great thing I truly have. 


  1. How wonderful you get to be there!

  2. So I have been following your blog for almost a year now and I also teach 2nd grade and we are currently studying the Arctic. These posts have been awesome and I have been sharing your pictures with my class and they love them! Also, every year we track the Iditarod and each student is assigned a musher. Well, my student Clara chose Travis and she has become obsessed with tracking him! Her mom even told me that he has become part of the family because she is always refreshing the page to see where he is ha! Just wanted to share with you ;) Enjoy your time with your family!!

    Cindy @ Made2Style

  3. That is so much fun and thanks for sharing with me. Tell Clara I'll pass on this email to Travis!

    Last night we had a tense moment when we weren't sure how he was doing after having his feet become frozen to his boots, yikes! He was laid over for longer than made sense, so we were very happy when we saw him mushing again and anxiously awaiting his arrival in Nome. The rest of his family flies in today, so things should be getting festive around here!

  4. This is so interesting Janell, and totally foreign to me. What beauty in that frozen tundra. But the living conditions are a real reminder of how lucky we are for sure. Wish Travis the best of luck from all of us, and can't wait to hear his story of the trip.
    xo Nancy

  5. This is so interesting to read about. What a different way of life. I've been dying to visit Alaska in general, and Nome seems so fascinating since it's not easy to get to. Enjoy the rest of your trip; nothing better than going home.

  6. Thanks for sharing your trip! The pictures are amazing and so different from what we see day to day. And isn't it weirdly comforting to be back where you grew up??Have a great time!

  7. So interesting, Janell - thank you for sharing this. I truly believe our life experiences shape our thoughts and views in the most interesting ways. I grew up in a very small town in Mississippi, and it does make one appreciative of what they've accomplished and the blessings in their lives! M.

  8. omg Janell- I can't believe you grew up in Nome. Wow. My husband and I are huge Bering Sea Gold and Gold Rush fans;) Why is it that the town's people don't like the show?? Seems like the excitement of having a film crew in town would be a nice change for them, and it would bring in $ to the businesses in town. Whenever we see glimpses of the town we always talk and wonder what it must be like to live there all year. That would be an interesting post when you get home. I can only imagine how you will feel walking into your beautifully decorated home upon your return!
    We are now cheering for Travis too and wish him the best of luck!! Have a wonderful time....

  9. Wow, it looks beautiful (and very cold) there. How fun it must be to go back for visits. Enjoy your stay. Oh, and Go Travis!!!!

  10. Amazing trip...it looks so beautiful and chilling in snow

  11. What an amazing beautiful world up there. Feels like another planet or a movie set. Hope you're having a wonderful trip! Looks magical.

  12. Your childhood home was a tent? (scratch, scratch)


    Love everything in this post...brings back memories of when I was working in the subarctic doing ecological studies up there!


  13. OMGOSH ! This is fascinating ! It looks amazing - I can't imagine what life is like there on a daily basis - please let us know more details and pics ! Best of luck to your nephew - what an achievement just being a part of the race !

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  15. Wow. So neat that you actually grew up in NOME!


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