The Bering can be seen from most points in Nome since the tundra slants towards the distant hills, eventually leading into the mountains. I am constantly looking at the sea and the way it merges with the sky. I live a stone’s throw from the water and I find myself stopped in my tracks just looking. There is a window in my kitchen and bedroom that overlooks the deep blue water, and it is right there as I walk out my front door. When I look at the water I am not thinking of anything, only looking, and I like that. There are three roads that go out of Nome, the Nome-Teller highway, Council road, and the road that leads to Pilgrim. Each of these roads will direct you about an hour and a half out of town on narrow, gravel precarious roads that often have dropoffs on either side with no guard rails. Nome is not a part of the Alaska road system and these roads all end around 70 miles out of town. They stop plowing only a few miles out of Nome in the winter and so these roads are mostly used for summer camping and hunting sites. There is a strange feeling you get when you realize that with a little snowfall you are stuck in the 8 square block town of Nome. You can take an airplane to get out, and there is the sea, but this too freezes over in the winter suspending water travel.
All structures are on stilts and have metal roofs. The homes are built on stilts so the permafrost doesn’t melt and sink the structures. A lot of structures are very slanty and sideways on the inside because the stilts sink even though they are raised from the grount. You see a lot of homes with shimmied pieces of wood that are squeezed under houses the raise certain areas. I like the way this looks.
When I get up in the morning to go to my job it is completely dark outside. Because it is so dark and I can’t see much, I hear the ocean’s roar in a way that I can’t hear during the day. It’s amazing how when one sense is limited others are enhanced. I am entranced and also a little weary as I walk to work down front street with a roar coming at me from the left side. I imagine that it is a bear’s roar sometimes.