Point Hope is a very old place, one of the oldest continually inhabited locations in North America (to paraphrase a US politician, you can almost see Russia from their main street). However, it has shifted around slightly. The older villages lie closer to the sea. They are in various states of decay, but if you want to find the oldest houses, look underground. The mounds out in the old Village are actually old sod houses, which were dug into the earth for stability and insulation.
A couple of them are still accessible, and are incredible. The walls and ceiling are made of whale bones, then backed with sod to form a barrier. The skylight lets in a little light (the window pane there is seal or walrus intestine dried and stretched), and the area is quite cozy. It gives you a unique insight into how the people of Point Hope lived centuries if not millennia ago. An interesting diversion.
Cemetarirs hold a strange allure over people. In France, people travel all over to see the graves of famous personages. Well, Point Hope has one of the most unique graveyards I've ever seen. The fence is constructed with whale ribs and bones collected from countless generations of whaling on the Chukchi Sea. Some of the older whaling captains from the tribe are buried here, and special persons get their own whale rib as a grave marker. It is about 3/4 of a mile out of town, but worth the walk. Stunning, to be out that far and experience these graves.
The people of Point Hope are whalers by tradition, having hunted the major marine mammals for centuries. There are several sites where you can celebrate a successful hunt, located on the outside of town and created from, appropriately enough, whale bones. The hunt usually takes place in the mid summer time, providing enough meat and other products to last a whole year.
Everyone in Point Hope gets around via ATVs in the warm months, so join in the fun. There are few trails, but that's the fun of it. You can just roam around the tundra, or fly down the beach next to the waves. It is exhilarating, the brisk wind in your face, the sun shining.
The cost of an ATV is rather high, about $150-175 a day. But Point Hope is an expensive place in general.
Despite it is the tundra, there are a wide variety of berries around Point Hope. Blackberries (not what we would think of as blackberries), blueberries, cranberries, and a peculiar relative of the raspberry known as a salmonberry or cloudberry. They are delicious, and in quite abundance. It makes for an interesting day, out on the tundra, looking over the blue sea and picking/munching berries.
During the month of June, we have our whaling festival that last three days long. Fun time for all to get together and eat different types of food.
Blanket toss, eskimo dancing, pass out different kinds of food to eat, meet new people and old friends from all over.