Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Adventure in the Aleutians

While I haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth, I’m close. I’m on the island of Adak in the Aleutians, easily the most remote place I’ve ever been. I’m too busy exploring (and the Internet is on the slow side), so I won’t be able to write regular posts this week. I’ll have one long post about Adak after I get back; here are some teaser photos.

AdakMap

The arrow marks the location of Adak Island. To the northeast is Alaska; to the east is the Yukon (Canada); to the west and northwest is Russia. Adak is about 1,300 miles from Anchorage; the flight took 3 hours.

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First glimpse of Adak in the fog as the plane was descending

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The raw beauty of Adak is breathtaking

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Kuluk Bay

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This beach could be in the Hawaiian Islands!

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View of the town. Adak had a U.S. Navy base until 1997. 6,000 people used to live in these buildings. Now most of them are abandoned. Currently there are 100 permanent residents on the island.

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Abandoned enlisted housing

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This is a true ghost town. Not a soul lives here now. Wandering through the dark and empty corridors of these barracks is quite creepy. This would be a perfect set for a zombie movie.

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World War II Quonset hut

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Torn curtain fluttering in the wind

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One of the most haunting views I’ve encountered on Adak so far

 

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19 comments:

  1. Wow!!! Stunning!! Keep the pictures coming when possible!

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    1. Will do. I've been taking a couple of hundred photos every day.

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  2. Gorgeous! I love clicking on the photos to enlarge them and see them in much greater detail. :)

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    1. Yes!! The larger versions have much more detail. Thank you for suggesting this.

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  3. I was anxiously awaiting your report. First of all I am so envious of where your are. Good planning. It's 106 here so I can indulge in some vicarious comfort looking at your photos You picked the right place to be right now. I thought only birders went to Adak. I like the green hills and wildflowers photo with the rusty old quonset hut

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    1. Adak is a place unlike any other I*ve ever been. Truly timeless, and the scenery is spectacular.

      Yes, birders (and hunters) are pretty much the only tourists that come here. It's so remote, although it's connected to Anchorage via twice-weekly flights.

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  4. Breathtaking scenery! I hope you're enjoying yourself and aren't cold. (I've visited Alaska in early September and it was cold!) I look forward to the full report.

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    1. It's actually not that cold. Mid 50s during the day, high 40s at night. The climate in Adak is far more moderate than mainland Alaska. While it does snow here, it rarely gets much below freezing. In gardening terms, Adak is in zone 8 while Anchorage, for example, is in zone 4.

      It's the wind that's a problem on Adak. It often blows so hard that gardening is very difficult unless you have a greenhouse. It's also the reason why there are so few trees.

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  5. We continue to be amazed by your travels Gerhard! The island looks so haunting and I like it!

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    1. This trip wouldn't have been possible without my cousin-in-law Shannon. She's an environmental consultant with a client here on Adak, and she brought me along on a companion ticket. Airfare to Adak is very expensive because there are so few passengers.

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  6. Loving your photos! And I am extremely surprised you've got internet there, slow as it may be.

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    1. Internet is VERY expensive, but I'm glad the duplex we're staying in has it. Otherwise I wouldn't been able to post photos and do my work (I usually work a few hours in the morning).

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  7. Weird coincidence, but I think my sister painted the lines on the runway there, or Atka.

    What an incredible place. The "emerging from the fog" photo is surreal and wonderful. Thanks for showing us what it is like so far, far away.

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    1. Wow, I can't believe your sister might have painted the runway lines on Adak! Was she in the Navy?

      I'm back in Anchorage now for a couple of days, but I'm already thinking of going back to Adak next year. It's the strangest place I've ever been--and one of the most magical. It's a totally unique mix of rural Alaska; scenery that looks like the Hawaiian islands, minus the tropical vegetation; a modern-day ghost town; and abandoned military installations with cryptic machinery, fallout shelters and bunkers.

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  8. So cool! I've never been on any part of the aleutians but your pictures make me want to visit!

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    1. I would never have made it to Adak if it hadn't been for my cousin-in-law who goes there on business. I'm so grateful to her for taking me along because Adak is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited--not to mention the strangest and most memorable. I will definitely go back (using Alaska Airlines frequent flier miles is the way to go--only 15,000 miles needed vs. $1,300 and up for a paid ticket).

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  9. I really enjoyed the photos from your trip, I now have Adak on my bucket list of places to go! Thank you for sharing!

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  10. Adak home away from home. Lovely pics thank you for sharing ��

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    1. So glad you're enjoying the photos. It's been a year since my trip to Adak. Can't wait to go back!

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