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Baked Alaskan
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Standin on top of the world ***pics***

O-k homers, I've had enough of DB's whining about his pimpy new ride so I thought I share a very cool and very Alaskan experience I just had. I went to Barrow, the northern most point in the US. I went with some students to the Inuit Circumpolar Conference
last week to shoot a short documentary on the conference. It brought together Inuits from Alaska, Greenland, Canada and Russia to talk about issues facing the Inuits and to share their culture.

It was remarkable how similar these people were even though they're spread out around the world. The group from Greenland had a Dutch accent - its a Dutch colony - so that was pretty funny to hear, someone speaking Inupiaq with a euro accent. There's a cool story about a village elder that came to Barrow from Greenland on a dog sled in the 1920's - and he was amazed that everyone along the way spoke the same language.

Barrow was a really cool place. The people were awesome and the cultural stuff was an incredible experience. I actually got on stage for some native dancing and the ladies said I was pretty good for someone that had never done it before. I'm the man.

Some of the cool things I got to experience: traditional foods, ate Muktuk, seal, caribou and walrus, ate the northernmost pizza in the world, saw the sun do a lap around the sky and never go down - it doesn't move in an arc up there, it just circles the sky so its always REALLY bright if there's no clouds. I didn't get to see a polar bear, but I did get about 1/2 mile from where they dump the whale carcass and the driver said last time he was there he saw 15!!!

Mid-July temps almost hit 50 as a high and upper 30's as a low. When the sun was "blazing" the ice was out, had about a mile of open water from the beach, when the clouds rolled in the ice was right on the beach - too cool. There were ice bergs a few stories tall a mile or two out, it was awesome.

Here are some pics....

A couple shots of the village from the air...




The arch is two whale ribs, I'm 6'2" and with a good jump can touch the rim...


This is me eating Muktuk - whale blubber. The black part is the outer skin and the pink is the fat - it actually smelled a lot worse than it tasted. I gagged at the smell, but the taste was actually o-k...


This is just another pic of the Arctic Ocean - I didn't do the polar plunge becaue I had a 20 minute walk back to the place we were staying and the water is COLD - but I really wanted to say I swam in the Arctic Ocean. Maybe there'll be a next time.


The bones are bowhead whale skulls - there's a dozen or so along the beach...


Me standing on the ice after it came ashore when some clouds rolled in...


This is my hand in the ocean taken at about 2 a.m. - note the position of the sun - that was its lowest point when I was there. For a couple months in the summer it never goes down - the there's the flipside - for a couple months in the winter you never see it.
 

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those photos made me want to turn the AC off :cool: .
One of my office mates is about to send her Hawaii raised daughter off to school in Anchorage, I can hear them talking about the boy to girl ratio in the background as I read your post.
 

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Baked Alaskan
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
airwreck said:
those photos made me want to turn the AC off :cool: .
One of my office mates is about to send her Hawaii raised daughter off to school in Anchorage, I can hear them talking about the boy to girl ratio in the background as I read your post.
That's pretty funny - but schools here are a real melting pot. Believe it or not, our school district is in the top five nationwide in terms of diversity - more than 100 languages are spoken by students in the Anchorage School District. Hawaii to Anchorage is not too bad now - its 72 outside at the moment. Come January it might be a little different though. :eek:
 

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Lay off the Levers
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AK Debut

Cool shots Chris! I think that's the first time I've actually seen a shot of you...don't let it happen again.:p
Eating whale blubber and swimming in the Artic Ocean are two things I'm quite certain have never been on my to-do list...EVER!
I'm digging the land of the midnight sun though. I'd enjoy a vist there...I like remote locations.
 

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Baked Alaskan
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Bikezilla said:
Cool shots Chris! I think that's the first time I've actually seen a shot of you...don't let it happen again.:p
Eating whale blubber and swimming in the Artic Ocean are two things I'm quite certain have never been on my to-do list...EVER!
I'm digging the land of the midnight sun though. I'd enjoy a vist there...I like remote locations.
Don't know if I've ever posted face pics before, just be thankful I didn't take the polar plunge otherwise I'd have a lot more in common with El Chingon than most would like - only I don't have the advantage of the Utah sun to give me the amount of color he has. :D

A few hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle is *close* to about as remote as you can get - there are daily flights there FYI... Think about it for your next family vacation, kid safe, lotsa great beach riding as long as the polar bears aren't roaming around - as a bonus there's a radio station, a couple restaurants, a halfway decent pizza place and lotsa sun in the summer.
 

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AK Chris, great post....:thumbsup: great pictures...:thumbsup:

Its fantastic hearing about other diverse beautiful places, have just put Alaska on the wish list.................
 

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Alaska Turner Mafia
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1,120 Posts
Hey Chris, great post and cool pics. I wish I would have known you were going there I would have asked you to stop in at PePe's mexican restaurant to say hi to Fran. Her son Mike Schultz used to work with us here on the slope, and now lives in Barrow too, you could have passed on a hello to him as well. He's in charge of the honey bucket trucks and collections!

For the last few years Fran has been air freighting hot mexican spreads to us here in Kuparuk for our Super Bowl parties. It was such a treat and a great diversion from the routine. You could also have picked up a great read that Fran authored, "Tacos on the Tundra" and had her autograph it for ya. Check that out if you get a chance.

Rando
 

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Baked Alaskan
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the props fellas.

Rando - dang, I thought about that since you're up on the slope, but I was so busy beforehand I forgot. Some of the people I went with ate at PePe's. The food looked pretty good, much better than the pizza. I should have ate there instead. Wow, shipping mexican food by air for a party! That's not something you hear about every day.. too cool.
 
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