Kobuk Valley National Park, Day 4
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
192Trip End Oct 14, 2011
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This was our last day here. My guide, Moe, called the pilot last night to get an ETA and we had to get everything over to the runway fairly early. We got up earlier than usual, packed our things and hauled everything across the stream and the dunes to the runway to wait for the plane.
Before leaving our campsite, Moe was complaining about how much the mosquitoes were bothering him so we each stuck out a hand for another competition. Unfortunately, I hadn't lost my touch and won (or lost, depending on how you look at it) 10-4.
We didn't have much of a wait for the plane. We loaded our stuff, got in and were on our way to Kotzebue. The flight went over some great examples of tundra polygons, one of the most common forms seen in the tundra.
We were flying on a commercial flight from Kotzebue to Anchorage and had some time to kill before it left so we took turns wandering around town. Moe has seen many of these small Alaskan towns and he says Kotzebue looks pretty typical but, to an outsider like me, it was quite a shock. It looks like they've never thrown anything away, which is probably nearly true. Things get shipped in, either on a cargo ship or by plane, and they never leave. Nobody is going to pay to ship say a broken refrigerator or a car anywhere so they just stay here, sitting in someone's yard. The climate is harsh and it's tough on the buildings and most of them look pretty dilapidated. I sure wouldn't want to live there.
We flew back to Anchorage and then on to Fairbanks. Someone from Arctic Wild met us at the airport and gave me a ride to my hotel where I got to take a long overdue shower.