Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Well here we are at the top of the world!

Well here it is... by popular demand, a blog on our adventures living at the 71st parallel in Barrow, AK. I'm new to this whole blog thing, so bear with me! In case you're wondering, we once heard a lemming referred to as the "arctic nacho" and I decided it was an appropriate blog name for me. I blindly followed my husband up here and I will be doing my best not to become an arctic nacho to a polar bear while I'm here. :)

Less than a week ago, I got off a Boeing 737 with three giant bags, two carry-ons and a baby in tow. If there's one thing I already know about living in our new town, it's that you should never count on things being as they should be... flexibility and patience are a must! (It should be noted that these aren't always my strong suits!) My first surprise of sorts was our lovely 1987 15 passenger van. I was expecting a hoopty... but what we got still surprised me. It's drafty, rusty to the point that I wonder if it'll rust through, the speedometer doesn't work, and I'm constantly convinced that the side doors are going to fly open at any moment. Let's just say we won't be driving far out of town just in case! The second surprise came when we drove up to our apartment in the geodesic dome. We quickly discovered that we would not actually be sleeping in our own place that night because the door to the entryway was locked and our landlady didn't give us that key. Only in Barrow. BUT the police department keeps an apartment for officers in need so we ended up staying there and after a few phone calls managed to get into our apartment by the next day. I have come to understand that life in Barrow is really quite balanced. Though things might not happen in the best possible way, your needs WILL be met... in Barrow time. :) Since then we have been mostly unpacking, but we did take a moment to go check out the sea ice at the beach before the fog came rolling in.

Yes, I said sea ice. It might be June, but when you live 300 miles above the arctic circle that means the temperature is hovering just above freezing. The snow has melted and we're waiting for the tundra to green up.

Unique Barrow moment: Ian spent an hour and a half walking on the tundra looking for human remains, which a kid taking duck counts for a naturalist happened upon. Although they weren't able to locate them again, it was concluded after talks with the native corporation that what the kid likely found were the remains of an elder who died before the area was christianized and was taken out on the tundra to die. I think it's fascinating how the tundra keeps the past and present right there at the surface together.


  1. I'm following you :) Can't wait to keep up with all of the 'Arctic Nacho' happenings! xoxo

  2. Glad to see your blog..I created an Alaska blog a while ago, and first posted to it at the beginning of June, so our blogs are both newborns...can't wait for more!

  3. I'm an eager follower ( : What an adventure MV!