After being weathered in for an additional two days, were were left with nothing to do but explore! What a shame... said no one ever! In Alaska it's part of the game, get stuck for hours waiting on the tide, or weeks waiting for the weather to clear after you had a special part flown in to fix your float plane that broke down while landing. Oh wait that was last time, I'll save that story for another day!
At mercy with the fog, we had to check in constantly with the airport to get the report and any further details as to our pushed out flight. Unfortunately cell phone reception is incredibly limited, and the 3G hardly exists unless you have the latest and greatest technology. Which for me, was great. I love going off-grid in Alaska! Nothing brings you right down to reality quicker! With fresh wind in our sails we waited for the the sun to rise while we sipped coffee and enjoyed breakfast at Amelia's. In November, the sun doesn't rise until 9:30 or so.
The fog had cleared enough to make the Loop for a second time, but this time we were able to see more than the road! It felt like a completely different drive, winding and weaving, with views at every turn. Transporting us somewhere between Hawaii and Arctic. We must have pulled off at least a dozen times, if not to hike into the wilderness for a bit, then to just take it all in, one salty breath of fresh air at a time.
Racing to Mount Ballyhoo, we spent the better part of the day exploring Fort Schwatka. An incredibly eerie military fort with old sole intentions on watching for the Japanese. The highest in elevation, this US post has cement bunkers clinging to the 850 foot cliff sides, and overlooking the Bering Sea in search of any boat traffic threatening invasion. When all of this was in use, the Japanese had actually occupied Attu, the furthest island out on the Chain. In many respects, this was the Front! Interestingly enough, many of the military troops were ill equipped for such conditions, having trained for the Pacific Islands, no one expected Alaska to be waist deep in the war. But it was. And, it is so evident in all the structures scattered around the island. Once you dip inside one, it takes you immediately back to the War, silence surrounds you, a sliver of a view aims at the horizon, and you watch. For anything, any possible site. I've never been physically taken back in time the way I did at Fort Schwatka. Simply incredible.
Overall we could not have been more excited for our extended stay in Dutch Harbor. Heading out to the edge of Alaska had us in a daze. There are so many untouched, unexplored, unexposed places in Alaska, and Dutch Harbor should definitely be on your list of remote places to wander. Known for its work ethic, I hope I've shown you a different side to its beauty, because to me, this place is like no other. If you truly want to experience Alaska, this is a great place to get your palette wet.
Consulting, Inc. BCT. “Unalaska.” Unalaska - Port of Dutch Harbor Convention & Visitors Bureau, Convention & Visitors Bureau, www.unalaska.info/
Jan. “Aleutian Adventure.” The "Wild Animals" of Unalaska Island, 1 Jan. 1970, aleutianadventure.blogspot.com/2010/07/wild-animals-of-unalaska-island.html.
United States, Congress, “Unalaska International Port of Dutch Harbor Visitor & Relocation Guide.” Unalaska International Port of Dutch Harbor Visitor & Relocation Guide.
THESE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHS WERE TAKEN BY SYDNEY AKAGI PHOTOGRAPHY, WHO IS LOCATED IN JUNEAU, ALASKA.
Shop the Looks