Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
Norton Sound Sea Ice

Bering Sea Norton Sound - Photo (c) Laurent Dick - Wild Alaska Travel That’s how barren Norton Sound looks like outside of Nome. I have never seen it so wind scoured at this time of the year. The windchill is driving the temperatures into the 20 below range. Needess to say that the conditions for the Iditarod mushers are very, very tough.

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Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
Yukon Quest Vs. Iditarod

I often hear talk of how tough the Yukon Quest is and that the Iditarod is just a sprint race to Nome. Having seen most of both races and trails, I would argue that there are more similarities than differences of running a 1,000-mile race from Whitehorse to Fairbanks or from Anchorage to Nome.  Each race is equally challenging, but for different reasons.  The Yukon Quest starts in early February, the Iditarod in early March, so the temperatures in the Quest are often colder than in the Iditarod. The Iditarod has more checkpoints (25 with start and finish) than the Quest (10 with start and finish), where mushers must travel at one point for 200 miles without a checkpoint in between, thereby being forced to carry heavier loads than in the Iditarod.  Iditarod mushers can use more than one sled, whereas Yukon Quest mushers must start and finish with the same sled. The Yukon Quest also has more hills like Rosebud Summit, Eagle Summit, American Summit or King Solomon’s Dome, but the Iditarod has the coast. Running a team up the coast in windy weather can be very grueling, like in this shot of Cym Smyth leaving Elim and heading …

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Abstract Beauty of Norton Sound

Aerial view of shore-fast sea ice, open leads and wind waves in Norton Sound near the Topkok Hills east of Nome. Wished we could have circled endlessly over these beautiful abstract patterns…

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Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
Winter Solstice In Alaska

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year in Alaska. In communities such as Barrow or Kaktovik in northern Alaska, the sun didn’t rise at all. In Nome on the shores of Norton Sound in Western Alaska, pictured here, the sun rose at noon and set at 4 PM. In Fairbanks, the sunrise was at 10:58 AM and sunset at 2:39 PM. In Juneau, if we would have seen the sun, the sunrise would have been at 8:45 AM and it would have set just after 3 PM. From now on, the days will slowly but surely get longer. That’s why winter solstice is such a significant event in Alaska, as it means the end of increasingly dark days and the beginning of more potential sunlight each day.

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
Norton Sound Sea Ice

Nome Sea Ice

I have been updating my archives, and although it’s a tedious process it also gives me the opportunity for a nostalgic walk down memory lane. A look at my Nome archive reminded me of the amazing sea ice formations, the incredible light of mid-winter and the sweeping vistas that are so much part of northwestern Alaska.

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Sunday, June 19th, 2005
Polar Bear Swim

The annual polar bear swim on Saturday attracted a crowd of brave Nomeites and visitors who braved rain, wind and cool temperatures to take a quick dip in the chilly Bering Sea. Incidentally, a polar bear was seen just a few miles south of Nome earlier this week.

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Monday, May 23rd, 2005
Sea Ice

The endless labyrinth of jumbled ice outside of Nome is a great place to loose myself in the magic light of the Arctic. The sun sets later every day, and her magic warm evening glow illuminates the jungle of ice formations.

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Tuesday, May 17th, 2005
Shore Ice

Open water is now visible just about 1 mile outside of Nome. With changing tides, a huge lead has opened up between the shore ice and the moving ice pack. Few creatures venture to this extreme edge. The exception is a lone fox, whose tracks bear witness of his passage. Out in the ocean, I saw a couple of seals taking advantage of the lead as their head popped up through the glassy surface to catch their breath.

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Thursday, May 12th, 2005
Norton Sound Sunset

As spring progresses, the sun’s trajectory on the horizon becomes longer and longer. But this flood of light is deceiving, because much of the land fast ice may be here for weeks to come.

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