Friday, July 26, 2013

Tom's Cabin Hike

On the Nome-Teller Highway at about mile 7.5 there is a trail to a place called Tom's Cabin that our church with family and friends like to go to annually as our Pioneer hike that is 3 miles in and 3 miles out.  You can hike or take a 4 wheeler to it in the summer.  Some individuals even take their trucks or jeeps out there.  Beware that there are a lot of muddy wet spots to get stuck in.
So we walked...

 and walked...

 and walked...

Beautiful Irises everywhere

And then you get to this little stream with some mini bridges that were built to help you cross over.

Yay!  After 3 miles we finally arrive.

Time to roast some dogs and cook up tin foil dinners

ground beef, corn, potatoes, carrots, cream of mushroom soup... so good.


Every year I make a large pot of blueberry cobbler.  It's a huge hit with the rest of the crew.


Large cast iron dutch oven with layers tin foil and in between layers of tin foil are cabbage leaves to help prevent cobbler from burning.  2 pkgs yellow cake mix, large can of peaches with juice,  two cups of fresh blueberries picked off the tundra, A stick of butter cut up into quarters, and some diet soda or juice to thin it down a little.  Cover and bake in hot coals.

Here I am at Tom's Cabin which is an old miner's cabin.  To the right of this picture is a steep drop off with a large mountain/hill starting at the drop off's base.  It is a beautiful view and I could only imagine what it would be like to live here back in the early 1900's.

Inside there is a bunk bed, small kitchen area, and wood stove.  Nothing too fancy but a great shelter especially in case of emergencies.  There is also a note book for visitors to write in.  You can read individuals adventures and experiences while staying at Tom's Cabin.
  For many years I have been hiking to "Tom's Cabin" and have been asked by others who is Tom?  I didn't know and neither did most Nome locals.  In the process of working on this post here is what I found:
Tom's Cabin is named after Tom Bartol.

Which then sparked my curiosity of, who is Tom Bartol?  Through the power of Facebook I was led to Betsy Brennan.  Here is what Betsy told me:

  • Tom was a KNOM radio station volunteer in the late 1980's.  I arrived and began volunteering at KNOM in Aug 1988, he was here and had been for at least a year. He was a nurse at Norton Sound Health Corporation, and donated his salary to KNOM. He was a great guy and very much into biking and hiking everywhere. He found the trail that leads out to "Tom's" cabin and found a fallen down old building - he thought it was a miners cabin from way back . There is also an old drill rig there. Anyhow, he was able to scrounge all the material to build it into a shelter cabin that summer of 1988. Many people donated wood from projects and that sort of thing. It was a labor of love for him - to have a place we KNOM volunteers could go to get away and see the beauty of the land. Some of us other KNOM volunteers and former volunteers who were still living in town helped haul stuff out there, but it was his project. He left a note book out there and we would always write in it when we went out for a hike or pick berries. In the mid to late 90's more people heard about it by word of mouth - and its a popular trail. Early 2000's, Les Brown (former KNOM volunteer and Engineer)did some repair work on it, made the out house, installed a new wood stove when the other one rusted out. By then it became a superhighway more than a trail. I think he would be really pleased that it is referred to as Tom's cabin today. He lives in New England with his wife and children now. After he left Nome, he went to work at a medical mission in Ghana, I believe, and a few other places. Hope that helps. -Betsy


 Here's the 2013 crew.  Now for the 3 mile hike back, argh!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Summertime 2013

We had a great summer and I just wanted to post some photos representing Nome summer life.
 This is the road to a village called Teller.  We had heard the the reds were running in the Sinuk river.  We headed there on the 4th of July to see if we could catch any.
 Nothing.  Not even a pink salmon.  So we headed to the the Nome River.

 We caught one!  I know, I know, it's just a little salmon fry.  Don't worry he didn't die from suffocation we released him back into his little pond.
 Since we didn't catch anything we headed to Nome's only Firework stand which is a conex van just outside of city limits on east beach owned by Leo Rassmussen.  Leo has been doing this every 4th of July for as long as I can remember.  I loved going there as a child and I knew my kids would too.  Unfortunately the Bering Sea Gold film crew was in there so we had to wait outside for a little bit till they were done filming.

 Leo with my kids.  I wonder at times how many more years will Leo continue the firework stand.  Love that I have this photo.

Yes we are lighting fireworks in daylight.  Actually it's probably 9pm at night in these photos.  It doesn't get dark in Nome during the summer we are in the land of the midnight sun.

 Aiden is in the car because he is scared of the fireworks but doesn't mind watching from the back window.
Fourth of July Parade
 I love our small town parades.  Local community agencies get together to make this a great event for kids by tossing candy and small gifts to the children who line the streets.  The photo above just happens to have Nome's local entertainer/tour guide Richard Beneville.
 Reese waving "hi" in hopes that he will be spotted and candy will come flying in his direction.

 "Hi Jeremy!!!  He's trying to ignore us.  Last kid walking.

 Reese shows his technique and his loot.
After the parade the City of Nome sponsors some street races for kids and adults (sorry no pics) and free ice cream at the Fireman's carnival in the afternoon.

On July 13, 2013 it was a Saturday and it was 80 degrees outside.  It was so hot for this local that I just had to get into the frigid water.  After my body acclimated to the numb coldness.  I was swimming like I was in Hawaiian waters.


 Reese and Addison



Mom catching pinks

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming...

  Launching the canoe into the Bering sea since the sea was very calm.

Jeremy trying his luck in fishing... he didn't catch anything.

As this beautiful day continued we felt as though we needed to enjoy it with friends so we built a fire and roasted dogs, brats, and marshmallows.

Just what I needed after a long swim in the ocean

 So you'd think that after getting out, warming up next to the fire, and eating some brats that I would be done with being in the sea.  Nope, I just had to get back in there and this time Reese was willing to go with me.

 He even braved the sea himself.  See it's not cold (as his teeth chatters).

 Beautiful day!

About a week later I took some photo below of Musk Oxen accross the street from us out on the tundra.

Nome is a great place to live.