Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Take a Little Trip


On saturday I went to the village of Noorvik to help gas up a couple of the snowmachine racers. Noorvik is located on the Kobuk river about 50 miles east of Kotzebue.

Noorvik has a population of about 642 people.

While we were there we had a chance to visit some family. Then we headed off for a ride in the countryside.

Here's Uyaana ready to head out of Noorvik.

Around here this is our version of a superhighway.

We left the trail and traveled along the river. We some moose. After a while we left the river and headed into the hills. There were lots of caribou here and there all over the hills.

We came across some fresh wolf tracks.

We followed the tracks for a while....

...and we came upon a caribou that had been killed by wolves.

Perhaps we scared the pack off with our noisy snowmachines.

We headed down out of the hills onto Kobuk Lake (Hotham Inlet).

We traveled along Kobuk Lake to Ivik.

Ivik is a group of subsistence camps with a few year round residents.

These Icelandic Ponies belong to one of the families who live out here year round. After visiting Ivik we headed back to Kotzebue across the inlet.

This cross is in memory of Dr. Roger Gollub.



Peruby said...

I don't want to sound naive, but do you carry any weapons in case you run into trouble with wolves?

What dangers do you face when you are out in the countryside?

AussieAlaskan said...

Great photos, Cathy - some are gorgeous! The houses in Noorvik appear to be built up on stumps without being closed in underneath - is that right? - I thought a closed air space might be warmer than the windy open area under the floor. Thanks again - looks like a good ride. AussieAlaskan

Keith in Cadillac said...

Very interesting photos. Thanks for showing us more of the country up there.
Must have been a fun day for all of you.

Cathy said...


The most dangerous thing that you face in the countryside is yourself. Really. Out in the country a person is much more likely to be killed by poor decision making, lack of experience, or bad luck than they are to be killed by an animal. That being said, yes, I always have a rifle.

The houses are up on posts like that be cause they are built of permafrost. If you build those houses directly on the tundra it will, over time, melt the permafrost underneath it and cause the house to start sinking. I'm not sure why they don't skirt the underneath but I think it might have the same effect of melting the permafrost under the house.

Joe said...

I was going to ask the same question about the houses!

Your blog is fascinating. (And I live in Montana and grew up in Wisconsin, so I am not unfamiliar with a winter lifestyle... it's just so extreme up there.)

Thanks for writing & posting.

Cathy said...

Opps....I meant to say that they are built "on" permafrost, not "of" permafrost.

AussieAlaskan said...

Of course - I hadn't thought of the permafrost - thanks, again.

Now that I'm on to your blog, this is a daily stop - great photos and reading.


Anonymous said...

Cathy, thanks for giving us a peek into your life in the artic. You are such a good photographer. You are able to tell stories with your shots. What a unique world you live in! I'll try to post pics of our storms here in Oklahoma on my blog sometime so you can see what my world is like. Love your blog!


Conchscooter said...

As usual no holds barred blogging. I wonder what the dead caribou's last meal was? And I liked the reference to year round residents of a subsistence camp. One can hardly imagine year round subsistence, though it seems we are all headed that way.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, a photo story about going to Noorvik for a snow machine race, and no photos of such.

The mention of the race was why I surfed to your blog, was expecting to see at least a few photos of racers coming through.

Let me end my gripe with a compliment, your blog is excellent :)

Cathy said...

Hahaha...Everyone is entitled to a little griping every now and then....HOWEVER.....if you had looked at the past posts you would have seen that I did indeed post photos of said snogo race. http://tundratantrum.blogspot.com/2009/04/photos-2009-archie-ferguson-willie.html

Pthtthhhttpbbthhth :P