First full day in Nome (Day 2)

It was another beautiful day today! I slept in, had instant coffee to wake up. This afternoon I went with my neighbors (the other new doctor’s family) to the beach!

Love the Bering Sea!

Love the Bering Sea!

We drove down the road and had a lovely time wading in the water in our wellies, picking up pretty pebbles and seaglass, admiring the sparkling gold flakes in the sand–yes! there is a lot of gold here! But apparently it’s too small to be able to collect. Also, I learned that there is currently a gold rush going on in Nome. Since the price of gold has gone back up, there are a lot of people coming to Nome to try to strike it rich! How wild is that? It’s also wild to think that at one point Nome was the biggest city in Alaska! When I look around at the wild, rugged landscape of mountains and tundra now dressed in fall colors, I can’t really imagine it being so densely populated.

Stream, tundra, mountains

Stream, tundra, mountains and three seagulls waiting for their salmon feast. There are still salmon spawning here! I thought it would be way too late in the year.

We then drove out to the outskirts of town to drop off their dog at the kennel is staying. The kennel keeps mushing (the proper term for dogsledding, that I just learned) dogs, and the people that own it are very down to earth and super cool!  It was heaps of fun talking with them, as Susan, the owner of the kennel was an RN for 30 years, worked in Denver in the ICU (just like my sister) and she moved to Alaska for mushing. Her husband was a corps man in the Navy, worked with the USMC recon soldiers (like my brother!). They were so warm and welcoming! They told stories of the bears that roam around their property and the salmon that swim up the stream by their house. Their house and property is simply beautiful and full of delightful charm. The yard has a lovely garden decorated with rocks, an old spool, driftwood, birdhouses and a variety of reused things, and they have a bathhouse out in their yard with a sauna. Their house is so quaintly adorned with things from nature, like an antler chandelier, vines, old pictures, pieces of old weathered wood,

Lovely garden

Lovely garden

and so many other beautiful, rustic decorations. They live so simply, and yet so richly connected to nature, to each other to the community.

After we left, we drove through the tundra on the rolling hills, now alive in orange, reds and greens. I must come back to pick berries and stay longer ~this place is deliciously gorgeous!

Their lovely houseKennel house

The bath house

The bath house

My dream kitchen!

My dream kitchen! With an old wood stove and so many beautiful things. ahhhh!!!

 

Nome-coming (Day 1)

I arrived in Nome today!!! With a one-way ticket in hand and a lump in my throat, and my family now 3,000 miles away, here I am!

Alaskan Airlines

The bird that brought me to Alaska.
Alaska Airlines.

The airportOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANome looks entirely different from when I came here before. Before it was completely white—it looked the National Geographic photos of Antarctica; even the Bering sea was white and frozen over.

Nome ~ Tundra and the Bering Sea

Flying into Nome ~ over the Tundra and the Bering Sea

Today it is colorful, with the tundra shades of oranges, reds and greens, and the sun  glistening off the Bering Sea, the deepest shade of blue.

It’s a gorgeous, bright day!

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Look at all those dredges on the water! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had braced myself for the worst, thinking that by this time of year, there would be only snow, freezing and darkness. In reality, the sun doesn’t set until around 9pm. (clearly I don’t know much about Alaska). I was met at the airport by lovely Sarah (—she is the wife of the new doctor, who also just graduated from residency) and her two kiddos, who are A-dorable! Since my apartment was still being cleaned, I got to hang out with their family for a while.

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Lovely Welcome gift!

I also got to see Phil + Sara Hofstetter & Co. ~one of my favorite families of all time, who I met back in my interview (see post about what brought me to Nome)! Sarah brought me the sweetest welcome gift—a plant in beautiful pottery, and a card.

I was expecting to live in rustic housing, like the kind on Northern Exposure, but instead my apartment is lovely with big picture windows in the living room, fully furnished down to sheets and dishes. I had no idea. I don’t know what I’ll do with my container when it arrives, since I packed it full of furniture and household goods! It’s very warm and clean. I even have internet. According to the locals this is very nice for Nome, and not all housing looks like this:

 

My new apartment!

My new apartment!

I went to the grocery store today and bought a box of groceries. They cost me an arm and a leg! Then I was struggling to carry the box home, since I don’t have a vehicle. A super kind Mr. Kab (one of the two local taxi services) driver gave me a ride back home and wouldn’t accept any payment. Thank you!

Since the day was so gorgeous with blue skies, 57 degrees and sunshine, I went down to the Bering Sea and walked around town to take some photos of this rustic, little town.

This place will capture your heart so quickly! It’s so warm and friendly, and welcoming. People stopped to say hi and wish me a good day, or to ask me what I was doing here, or to do something kind~like offer a ride. I saw more artsy homes~ and some of the most creative homes ~than I have in a long time! I particularly love that there’s almost as much air traffic (mostly small bush planes) as road traffic…which isn’t a whole lot of either. It’ seems so peaceful here, and the air smells fresh and clean. :)

So far all of the things I have been apprehensive or worried about have faded away, and it is wonderful to be here. This will do, for a weekend, or a season, or a home.