Nome, Alaska

with Jackie and Elston Hill

May 2018
My wife and I went to Nome, Alaska the last week of May, 2018. We timed our trip as we understand that this is the peak period for birders. (I
am not a birder.) It turned out that it was also a great time to see newborn Muskoxen, Caribou, and Seals.

Nome is not a pretty city. Most of the roads are dirt and water trucks are constantly spraying the roads for dust. The buildings are mostly drab
and there is virtually no landscaping. But unlike the cruise ship towns, Nome is authentically Alaskan. The people are friendly. And there are
more than 300 miles of gravel roads into the tundra

Within minutes after we checked into our hotel, we saw a loon and other birds at the pond on the edge of town
Nome began in 1898 as a mining town. We would see lots of abandoned mining equipment littering the landscape.
We saw ptarmigan every day of our visit.
The mountains were still covered with snow. The ice in the wetlands was fast melting.
Nome is unusual for an Arctic town in that there are three hundred miles of gravel roads on three roads leading out of town. About 100 miles
was in good condition when we were there, but the roads open up completely in the summer. The Council Road had the most miles open. The
first 30 miles has the Bering Sea on one side and wetlands on the other for dramatic views of wildlife.
My wife and I have taken four Arctic Canoe trips including 373 miles on the Horton River to the Arctic Ocean and the Thompsen River on
Banks Island which was said to have 70% of the world's muskoxen. We have never seen so much wildlife in the Arctic as we saw driving our
rental Ford Explorer around Nome. In paricular, we were amazed at the amount of Muskoxen.
My pictures on this web page are pretty much organized in the order in which we took our photographs. There were plenty of Eiders.
Baby Musk Oxen
Phalarope
One morning we saw hundreds of gulls and dozens of seal frantically working the water. Then we saw several beluga whales also participating
in the feeding.
One of our most enjoyable encounters
was a female caribou with her newly
born baby.
Cranes
Swans
Arctic Tern
Snow Geese
Prices are very expensive in Nome as everything arrives by plane or season barge.
Native American's hunting
Mud Flat flying into Nome.
We stayed at the Auroa Inn and recommend it. Quality close to a Holiday Inn Express. And the rental vehicles are good quality for driving on
the gravel roads in the area.

The restaurant selection is limited and rather basic but adequate. Prices are consistent with what you would expect in a remote location.

Only Alaska airline flies to Nome. The price of a flight can be mitigated by getting an Alaska credit card with the $99 companion fare. And
remember you can take a free stop over in Anchorage.

We were pleasantly surprised with the quantity of wildlife we saw on this trip!