Monday, June 16, 2008

The End

This is it folks, the very end of America, the absolute edge of the world. You can't get any farther than this. Fortunately, you can buy a taco made by an Eskimo.

The great thing about Barrow is that anything there is always the "farthest north" one, whether it's a radio station, Mexican restaurant, or football field.

There are no trees for like 200 miles. Unless you count pieces of driftwood with baleen nailed to the top. (I don't.)

This might well be the farthest north dead seagull.

What? You want to see the arch made from whale mandibles? Are you sure you don't want to see the farthest north totem pole? With a toilet on the very top? Because it's cool too.

It's great, isn't it? What?

Alright fine. Here's the arch, if you're going to be like that.

There's your precious arch. I was going to post it. Just try to show some patience once in while.
Look, I'll even stand under it for you. Here.

Other things to see in Barrow:

-A polar bear, if you're lucky
-The farthest north Thai and Japanese restaurants
-Eskimos gutting and butchering a bowhead whale
-That Will Rogers monument that they have for some reason


Well, that about does 'er. It is kind of bleak, but in a nifty sort of way. I could just stare out at the still frozen Arctic Ocean forever. I don't think it would take long to solve all of the mysteries of life doing that.
"This is, to me, the saddest and loveliest landscape in the world. It is the same as that on the preceding page, but I have drawn it here again to impress it on your memory."

-Antoine de Saint Exupery, The Little Prince


Heather said...

FYI: Will Rodgers was on his way to Barrow and his plane stalled and plunged into a river just a few miles away. So, yeah, he died there. I guess that's why they have a monument.

Wish I was there! It was like 96 degrees today, you look nice and cool...
I really like the picture of the dead seagull, it's my favorite!

eped said...

wow, best post yet. what a place.

how long did you spend?

Michelle 2021 said...

What's the elevation in Barrow? I could look it up, but I'm wondering if you know.

Also, who lost the memo telling Barrow that it's summertime?? All the same, it looks to have its own charms. It kind of reminds me of when I looked on the Gulf of Finland during the still-sleepy month of March. Icy, gray, barren, and unashamed.

T.R. said...

Thanks for the background, Heather. I guess I could have read the monument instead of just wondering, but there was so much to see.

Thanks eped. We went there for a three hour tour. (A three hour tour.)

Michelle, the elevation is zero. Barrow is on the Northern coast of Alaska, and is North America's northernmost settlement and piece of contiguous land. That is the frozen Arctic Ocean in the last photo, and behind me in the photo with the whalebone arch. Do you mean what latitude? I'm not sure but it's like 1100 miles from the North Pole.