Saturday, June 14, 2014

Clear and Sunny

Barrow is finally are having some nice, sunny weather though it is still only 30°F and windy. But the days are definitely long. Actually, endless as we are in the sun-never-sets time of year. This is the view looking southwest with the suburbs of Barrow on the horizon. The vertical poles are what's left of the snow fence that keeps snow from drifting up against the building. All week there was a group working to dismantle the fence hauling off the old wooden beams and metal slats.

This afternoon, I saw some tourists walking almost aimlessly around the NARL campus carrying a lot of really nice camera gear. I stopped and talked to them a bit and they were here on a tour that started on a cruise, continued by train, then they flew to Barrow. They commented that there wasn't much to take pictures of around Barrow and their favorite part of the trip was the train ride through the Denali Park area. Here it is muddy, dusty and junk is lying around everywhere. Much nicer in the Winter when the snow covers everything up...

Added Sunday,June 16 - Here are a couple of photos of what may be monuments like David referred to in his comment.

This appears in most articles about Barrow and is near what used to be Browers Cafe (now closed). It is across the street from th new, fancy Top of the World hotel that was built over the last year. Apparently, very fancy for Barrow with rooms in the $280/night range. I haven't stopped by there yet as, to me, it looked like it was still under construction.

This was taken quite a few years ago when we were travelling around on four wheelers (ATVs) looking at instrumentation towers. And yes, the time depicted is accurate. The land in the photo is about as far north as you can get so it must be the point. So you can't really drive there like you can to Key West. There are a couple of tours that take people all the way to the point using H1 Hummers or 4WD Ford vans with soft, wide tires to travel on the coarse sand. 


  1. Why do they even bother to dismantle the poles of the snow drift fence? Before they finished it will snow again... ;-)

    1. I think the plan is to replace the rotting wooden beams before winter returns. But no one I asked seemed to know for sure. They expressed the same thought and hoped it would get done in time.

  2. Richard, I had to consult Wikipedia on Barrow.

    Well worth reading.

    Fascinating fun fact: while moto bloggers are a relatively rare phenomenon in the U.S. (and statistically speaking in the context of humankind) when you are writing posts from Barrow, moto bloggers have the southernmost (Michael aka Conchscooter) and northermost (your good self) points of the continental U.S. covered.

    That surely deserves invitations to dine at the White House and a token of Presidential recognition.

    Does Barrow have a marker similar to the one in Key West? It should.

    Time to act is now. With the apparently accelerating pace of global warming, both those places are liable to disappear within this century.

    1. I added a couple of old photos to the post showing what I would consider a "monument" to being the most northerly point.

      Studying climate change was the justification for the facility that I'm in right now. During the proposal/construction phase it was called the Barrow Global Climate Change Research Facility but the name was changed by Congress before the grand opening probably since some didn't want to acknowledge that there was climate change.

  3. I couldn't think of why Barrow would be a tourist attraction until I read David's comment. I guess if people want to see the most northern point in the USA, it make sense.

    Oh, and I must say again how much I like your header pic. Such a pretty view every time I click on your blog.

    1. Lots of tourists come through hire during the summer. At times it's hard to get a seat on the flights due to the number of tourists. And many of those flights are 737-800 and not the smaller 737-400 Combi models.

      So, like David said, come up and visit before the most northern point moves a bit further south.

  4. Richard:

    why wood beams, or why not steel beams, or stainless steel or something that would not rot, like fibreglass beams and just leave them.

    can't imagine paying $280./night but what other choice do you have ?

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. This isn't something that is done every year. That fence has probably been there 40 years or so and I believe that they are replacing it. It isn't something that is regularly dismantled. Treated wood lasts a long time and is much easier to work with than any other building material.

      There are other hotels, B&Bs, college dorms, etc. The new hotel is just that, new...