Selawik Things to Do
There are ravens here year round and the snow buntings come through in March, but May is when the fun really begins. The swallows are the birds you notice first. They are so beautiful and have such a sweet sounding call. They are everywhere. We even had one come and visit us inside. Then you will see the white-crowned and golden-crowned sparrows. Then the village is swarming with birds. There are robins and lots of sandpipers. At the edges of the village are geese, jaegers, and gulls. If you take a boat trip you can see ptarmigan, loons, terns to name a few. We may not have the puffins and cormanants of the islands, but we have quite enough birds to keep me interestedRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
Spring fun in the snow
There is lots of fun to be had outdoors in March and April, it is warmer and the days are getting long. Sledding is great. If your sled is broken a large piece of cardboard is just as good. There is probably some lying around somewhere nearby.
The school kids do their cross-country skiing practice in the spring. When we were first coming here we saw a family skiing in Kotzebue where their beach would have been :-)
Spring is also a great time for family outings. We have gone a few miles north and south of town to go sledding and to have a snow picnic. They are a lot of fun. It is just like being on a huge white sand beach with all that sunshine. Looking down a hill at a frozen lake that seems ready to turn into moving water any moment is very surreal. It is getting late to do much more this year, since it is the beginning of May now and the snow is beginning to melt. But next year our youngest should be ready for more trips.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Skiing and Boarding
Kobuk 500 dogsled race
I don't remember exactly when the Kobuk 500 went through Selawik, but that certainly was one of the highlights of my time.
What do Eskimos eat?
Selawik has two groceries stores, Rottman's and Native Store, so it is an above average bush village in that way. Of course, the population is second only to Kotzebue, the hub for this region. The produce department is varied at Rottman's and the quality is usually good. Native may have half a dozen fresh items to choose from. Native is planning on building a new store this summer.
Being frugal and health minded, we only get a few others things like salad dressing and mayonnaise there regularly. Poppers and tortillas are the treats that we have gotten most often. Most of our food is bulk mail-ordered and that helps keep our food budget below the USDA thrifty budget plan for Alaska, even though we are in the bush.
Making our own bread helps, "Wonder" bread is about all they sell here. I am learning to make my own bagels and that is fun. Sometimes, you can find donuts made by one of the locals at Native store, those are good. If you want caribou, sheefish, berries or other Eskimo cuisine, you will have to ask or hunt your own.
If you listen long enough to the VHF radio, someone will have made some food to sell and is inviting people to come and get some.
Native Store/IRA: Native Crafts
There are two stores in town, but Native has the local handmade goods. If they don't have what you are looking for, they will know who makes it. (Rotman's generally has the better produce and more exotic ingredients)
What to buy: Parkas (parkies) and hats with fur are commonly sold, also baby mukluks and other baby gear. Sometimes donuts will be at the store. If you want baskets, masks,carved ivory etc you'll have to ask.
Emma Ramoth is making us kuspiks and Leo Berry comes every so often selling masks and carvings. There are definitely others, but these are two I know.
What to pay: A parka will probably sell for 400 dollars. Prices are somewhat better here than in Anchorage, I believe, and there's no middleman.Related to:
- Family Travel
Selawik Tourist Traps
Hmm...give me a year or two
No, wait. There are no tourist traps, you can get right out of the plane and enjoy the great outdoors or go visiting. There is plenty of nature within walking distance of town. But you can't go far unless you know someone who wants to take you. But people have still call wanting to rent a car. If they only knew there isn't one car in town ;-)
Favorite thing: If you want to be prepared for a trip to Selawik Nick Jans has written a couple of great guide books Last Light Breaking and A Place Beyond. Yeah, they aren't traditional guide books. But they are a great read.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating