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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mini adventure...

Lately, I've been feeling the urge for a new excursion which needs to be satisfied. I have four days at the end of July to do something. The question of what event should I plan...? The past 10 years here in Nome I've had some excellent trips all over the Seward Peninsula but as of late the more accessible trips have all been done. It doesn't excite me to climb Osbourne or hike up a valley or kayak up or down the coast. The old standard has always been kayaking and I do have my old kayak in Golovin still waiting to be paddled here to Nome. But I've done that route at least twice now. What to do...

Imuruk Lake!
The map above is not the best and if you haven't been to Nome you know those gray lines are not "highways", rather dirt/gravel roads.

I really enjoy doing trips that others have not done or rarely done. Hiking and climbing areas not well traveled were easily done a few years ago but now it seems a lot of folks are exploring these areas too. So I studied my Seward Peninsula wall map and looked at some interesting locations. The Bering Sea Land Bridge National Preserve falls about midway in the peninsula and covers a good portion from Deering and Shishmaref to the North. The interesting thing about the preserve is no unauthorized motor vehicles are allowed, so that means no 4-wheeler trails or people landing in planes. It means the only way in (in the summer) is by foot or bike. I studied a lake called Imuruk Lake virtually in the center of the peninsula. It has some lava formations to the south and possibly and old village site to the north of the lake. It's a very mysterious place as it is virtually untouched and I only know of one person who has even visited the lake in the summer for any length of time. He works for fish and wildlife and also describes the area as a landscape from ancient times. In fact about 20 miles east of the lake is an archaeological find of old habitable caves over 8,000 years old. As of now my plan is to go to the end of the Kougarock road 80 miles north of Nome and bike in on an old trail up to the preserve 20 miles at which point it'll likely turn into a 30 mile further hike & bike. There are some ridges and creek beds I may be able to follow up to the lake. It's at a 1,000 ft elevation so I am hoping the tussoks turn into alpine ride-able tundra. More research on it's way..... I suppose if it doesn't work out I can always resort the 100 mile ocean kayak.

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