Sorry for not blogging yesterday. I know I must have an insane amount of people following my blog now that I have been up dating on a daily basis. I wouldn’t want to lose my readers because I let it lapse for a day.
Here is a photo from my morning flight out of Gambell to Nome. The sun was just breaking over the horizon.
I was stuck in Nome again yesterday. Bering Air canceled their flight out to Brevig Mission. I guess the weather was marginal, but I think the real reason was the fact that there were only two passengers for the flight, which doesn’t bring in much money for the company. So I stayed at the Aurora Inn again. I was able to video skype with my lovely wife for a while. It really is tough being away for so long. Not to mention since I’m visiting people at most of the sites, its difficult to find time to get away to call her. So it was nice to hang out even if we were 3000 miles apart.
This morning I was down at the Bering Air “terminal” at 9:00 because they said that check-in was at 9:15. Turns out we didn’t actually leave until 10:15. We flew to Teller and dropped of a state trooper, then took the quick jump over to Brevig Mission. I didn’t have much time there. You’ll see why as I continue this post. So when I landed I got a ride to the school. I stopped in to AnnMaire’s room and said hello to here, then I was out around town shooting video. I shot the post office and the clinic, then I stopped over at CO and AnnMaire’s house. I got to finally meet Harold.
CO and I visited for just a little bit, then I was on the run again. I filmed one of the teacher housing units, and then borrowed one of the school snowmachines and took it across the frozen ocean 7 miles to Teller. Just as I pulled into teller the right ski broke free of the tie rod and started to spin around. As I pulled into the school it was facing backwards. Not good. I needed it to get back to Brevig.
So I let Jay Thomas (the Teller principal) know about my situation and he got the school maintenance guy working on a solution. I went around Teller and shot some video. The post office and some shots around town. I even got a few seconds of Joe Garney mushing through town. He is a local Iditarod Legend. I got back to the school and the maintenance guy was nowhere to be found. I waited and waited and waited, and finally really needed to get going. So Jay tried to jam a stick between the two skies and then tie the tips of the skies together hoping that the stick and rope would hold the broken ski on track with the good ski. Well, I got all bundled up for the ride back and got all of 4 feet and the stick popped out and the ski was sideways again. Just as I was working on jamming it back in there and thinking how this so was not going to work the maintenance guy showed up. He had been looking all over town and finally had found an old broken down machine and “borrowed” the part off of it that we needed. It only took him a couple of minutes to change out the part, and I was on my way.
I got back to Brevig and had about 30 minutes to visit with CO and AnnMaire at their house before Bering Air came to get me again. I was on my way to Wales. The state trooper that was on my morning flight was on there again. She was on her way back to Nome. As we approached Wales you could tell that it was covered in clouds. I snapped a couple pictures of them out the window. They were very wispy which told us there was some decent wind blowing around out there.
It really hard to tell from the photo because the sun was so bright. Wales is known for its crazy winds. They are right on the tip of the Seward Peninsula and the arctic winds blowing out of the north have little to slow them down as they race over the ice pack.
We landed just fine and found that the clouds were pretty high of the ground. I quickly shot some video of Razor Back Mountain, and of the setting sun nestled in the clouds over the frozen ocean. Then took this self portrait before hopping on the snowmachine for my ride into town.
I shot some more video around the town of Wales and then stopped into the school. Craig Probts is the principal here and a very nice guy. I will be staying at his place this evening. We chatted a bit and then I gave Erin a call on the phone. She is up at home this weekend visiting with her dad and April. I guess the girls are going to run up to Duluth tomorrow. I hope they have a good time.
I check the BSSD Travel iCal (a calendar subscription that displays all BSSD travel for each day) I found that once again Teresa had worked her magic and has me flying on Doug (the BSSD pilot/plane) from Wales to Shishmarf tomorrow afternoon, then from Shishmarf to White Mountain tomorrow night. This is really awesome. I was so worried about how I was going to make Shishmaref work without having to stay for two nights there. This will really help me out on the rest of my trip. That puts me in White Mountain on Sunday, and I am basically back on my original time line. I should be able to make it down to see the Holts as long as everything goes smoothly. Keep your fingers crossed.