Sunday, April 26, 2009

Round Trip to Nome: Part III Nome

There's no place like Nome . . . We just saw the Wizard of Oz so I feel the need to say that now.

Upon arriving at our destination, we were able to see Nome from the ocean looking back toward town, a new experience for us. Here are some photos of Nome from the sea ice, a sliver of color on a great expanse of white.

Nomites are good at creating their own kind of fun. There's the Labor Day bathtub race, the rubber ducky race and the Miner and Musher's Ball. Another clever thing they do each year, on this treeless, barren tundra, is erect the Nome National Forest. "Huh?" you may be wondering. Well, after the holidays, people take their Christmas trees, put them out on the ice and voila, you have a temporary forest. When the ice goes out, so do the trees. No muss no fuss.

Can you see the line of trees on the ice below?
It's practically a jungle out there.
LinkShortly after arriving in Nome, we went straight to the post office to apply for Harold's passport. It took about 15 minutes and our mission was complete. In a couple weeks we'll have Harold's passport and be all set for our summer travels.

We enjoyed a lunch at Subway. It was a real treat after we've cooked ALL our meals for months and months.

It was obvious to us at this point that Harold is definitely a village kid. He was super excited about seeing cars, trucks and trees. "Look, Mommy, look a car, another car, a truck, a blue truck . . . . "

We were then able to see our friends, James and Amy and their beautiful new baby Justice. (Their friend took some amazing pregnancy and baby photos of them so check out the links.)

Harold had the chance to hold a baby for the first time. I was pleased that he was gentle and careful around Justice. What amazed me the most, was that Harold asked to hold Justice without any prompting from us.

Our visit with James and Amy was as enjoyable as ever. They always have good stories to share and are naturally inspiring people. Our favorite story this time was about Amy going into labor and the gas gage on the car they were taking to the hospital was on "E". Ooops. James had horrible visions of knocking on a farmer's door in the middle of the night saying his wife was in labor. (They made it btw.)

I had some business to do at UAF's Northwest Campus. While I was there I ran into my brother John's girlfriend Heidi (phew that's a lot of qualifiers), which was a pleasant surprise. (She works there so I guess it wasn't that big of a surprise.) We talked briefly about our drive into Nome and her and John's upcoming trip to Mongolia. The crazy thing: Heidi and I were chatting away about driving 160 miles on a snowmobile to get a passport, about a vacation to Mongolia, you know the usual . . . IT SEEMED COMPLETELY NORMAL.

After the UAF stop, we saw our friend Roger. He was delivering some live crab for us to bring back to our mutual friends in Brevig. Roger's a real Alaska man. His beard is bushy, his hair is unkept and he wears a lot of flannel. Speaking of Roger's hair, the first time I met him he had come to our house for visit. I was just finishing up a haircut for C.O. and jokingly said, "You're just in time, it's haircutting day at the Rudstroms." "Oh, ya, I do need one," he said. "My wife hates cutting my hair." So. . . I gave this stranger a trim, we're no longer strangers.

Our last few tasks in Nome were to fill up with fuel and drop off some boxes at our landlord's house. (Hence the two sleds full of stuff.) And, once again we were on the trail and on our way home.


Nancy M. said...

Wow! What an adventure, just to get a passport. The ring-a-deers are so cute! Harold seems like such a sweet little boy!

Shopnerkotha said...

What a nice place. In winter all become white. Look haven. Just use snöslunga in road.