The Stormy Bering Sea
Storms often blow furiously across the cold Bering Sea and hit Nome with a wallop. Winds of 60 mph and high waves are not uncommon. Nome's Front Street is just a few feet above the water and many businesses are built on the narrow strip of land between Front Street and the sea. Even with the protection of the seawall, buildings still sometimes sustain damage. In a recent storm the Board of Trade Saloon suffered broken windows and three feet of water in bottom floor.
Don't take off outside of town alone!
Travelers feel invincible and are anxious to get out on the roads to the outlying areas to see the wildlife on the Tundra. Many come across bears. Aggressive bears that attack their cars. The locals laugh about tourists that have been too stupid to heed warnings, only to come back all shaken up and start knocking back straight shots. There are guides that know the area and know how to navigate it safely. You need to heed this very real warning. You do not want your car breaking down on the tundra. You do not want to walk back to town for gas or to get help. You can't even pick blueberries without a lookout for bears. All of the locals that go out of town travel with a gun, and they know how to survive. Even so, sometimes they aren't so lucky and are killed in a bear attack. It is dangerous wilderness. That is what guides are for. Don't leave Nome without one.
When I was there in late...
When I was there in late April, there were signs on the roads leading out of Nome warning of the road conditions and suggesting that one inform others of their travel plans if they ventured out on these roads. Heed the warnings! I didn't and got stuck in the snow. A kind man pulled my truck out of the snow. After being unstuck, I decided not to drive any further and carefully, without stopping, went back into Nome. The 3 roads lead to the villages of Teller, Council, and Taylor. The photo is a sign about 1 mi. (1.6 km) east of Nome (you can read the sign if you click on the photo).