Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Day in Barrow, AK, Aug 31, 2010

IMG_1234All of us going on the Tundra Tour of Barrow met at the Top of the World Hotel where we were staying.  The group was small, twelve of us, so we had lots of room in a full sized school bus.

This tour was not your usual tour, we visited places like the fabric store where you can buy everything needed to make a fur parka – furs-all kinds, lining materials, beads for decoration, and patterns plus the zipper plus lots more.

IMG_1238 IMG_3339










We had lunch at Pepe’s Mexican Top of the World Restaurant.




Our tour guide and driver, Ryan, spotted this Snowy Owl.  He even helped me get this photo by whistling causing the owl to turn his head so I could get a face shot!  

IMG_1271 A seal skin boat used for whaling in the spring.


Below is a photo of a photo showing the whalers towing these seal skin covered boats out to where they can launch them.



Palm trees in Barrow, made from drift wood and baleen from a bowhead whale.




The signature picture spot in Barrow, these whale bones were placed here in the 70’s.

IMG_1301  A cemetery in Barrow, the graves are dug 10-12 feet deep, evidently to make sure the ice doesn’t push the deceased up.  Ryan also said with being buried in permafrost your body does not decompose.


This is the only fuel station in Barrow, Unleaded $4.50/gal  and Diesel $5/gal.  Remember all vehicles including buses were brought here by the annual barge.  As NO roads lead to Barrow.


Residents of Barrow gets their supplies by truck, air freight, US mail or by barge.  The barge docks on the beach and a crane unloads it to the beach. By the way, the barge only comes once a year, and your order needs to be in by May to be included on the August barge.

IMG_3387  These folks were near a boat ramp near the end of the road near Point Barrow.  They pointed out over the water when asked their destination.  But they were happy to have a snow machine this winter.



This is another photo of a photo Ryan showed us,  this sign frame was right where we were, but we did not see a polar bear.  The tour did not travel the 2-3 miles further out the spit to the place designated as Point Barrow.  Another tour member told us he had been out there yesterday and yes, he did see a polar bear at the Point.

The tour even stopped at their grocery store for us to walk around.  Peaches were $5.99/lb, milk $9.59 per gallon, quart of Best Foods Mayo for $8.99 and an ATV for $9995.

IMG_3449 The bowhead whale is their main food .  There is an allotment each year that can be harvested.  Below is how the whales are distributed between the captain, crew members, harpooner, given to visitors, and served at special feasts.



This is the cover of a permafrost cold storage cellar.  Once we were shown what they were, we saw several all over town.





Love the ingenuity for this swing. 

Below are a few typical views of Barrow.







IMG_1205 IMG_3404Our tour of Barrow had taken all day  and now it was time to fly back to Fairbanks.  I hope I did not snore!



E Squared and Mui said...

A very interesting day in a place not oft visited. Love those palm trees!

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

Very interesting!

Kathy said...

Thank you for the tour of Barrow!
Too bad the guide didn't take you out to the spit for a chance to see a polar bear!

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