KOTZEBUE Anyone?

Old May 13, 12, 9:31 am
  #1  
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KOTZEBUE Anyone?

Hello --

I got a cheap AA award for a week in early September to Kotzebue (OTZ). I wanted to head as North as I could (Barrow was not possible) but also take in local culture, get away from big city life, personal stress and most importantly take in nature. I want to see Kobuk Valley and possibly Gates of Artic.

The travel is tough: SFO-PDX-SEA-ANC-NOME-KOTZEBUE (OTZ)

Does anyone have any tips, ideas, recommendations? Lookiing for everything from where to stay to what to do. My reading/understanding is the 90% Eskimo population is not super open to outsiders -- so, I dont think it will be like my Southeast experiences; yet, I am excited for this adventure and just want some tips if anyone has visted.

THANKS SO MUCH! --- Chris
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Old May 14, 12, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by AA_SPG_Fan View Post
Hello --

I got a cheap AA award for a week in early September to Kotzebue (OTZ). I wanted to head as North as I could (Barrow was not possible) but also take in local culture, get away from big city life, personal stress and most importantly take in nature. I want to see Kobuk Valley and possibly Gates of Artic.

The travel is tough: SFO-PDX-SEA-ANC-NOME-KOTZEBUE (OTZ)

Does anyone have any tips, ideas, recommendations? Lookiing for everything from where to stay to what to do. My reading/understanding is the 90% Eskimo population is not super open to outsiders -- so, I dont think it will be like my Southeast experiences; yet, I am excited for this adventure and just want some tips if anyone has visted.

THANKS SO MUCH! --- Chris
Haven't been to OTZ since the new NPS Heritage Center has opened, but it definitely ought to be worth a visit.

Hotel, also rebuilt since I was there (the old one was fine but getting a little worn) - http://www.nullagvikhotel.com/

Walk along the beach and stick your toe in the Arctic Ocean.

If you have one place in Alaska to spend the coin for a flightseeing trip, I'd spend it in Kotzebue, especially if you could get one of the charter people (or mail planes) to let you ride up the Kobuk River with them. Some of the villages along the Kobuk, in particular Noorvik, are IMO the "essence" of Alaska villages, where subsistence is the lifestyle, and the people are proud of their heritage but not at all backward-looking. (How's that for generalizing?)

If time allows, getting off the plane at Nome for a day is also very worthwhile. Totally different scene from Kotzebue, but equally fascinating.
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Old May 14, 12, 8:22 am
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Hello Gardy --

Great to hear from another OTZ lover. I found a bush-pilot to take me up to Kobuk Valley and comtemplating 2 days or so in Barrow (just to go higher). But that is about $400 or so. The hotels are expensive for accomodation. If I was more in shape and more of a survivor type, I would stay in the backcountry for 2-3 days. It was my plan back in 2003, but I got very ill before that trip and had to cancel. I think there is some omen with me heading to OTZ, at least this is what my friends think.

Museum and new hotel look great .... (saw this weekend on web). I just worry that the locals are not very accomodating to outsiders.


Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Haven't been to OTZ since the new NPS Heritage Center has opened, but it definitely ought to be worth a visit.

Hotel, also rebuilt since I was there (the old one was fine but getting a little worn) - http://www.nullagvikhotel.com/

Walk along the beach and stick your toe in the Arctic Ocean.

If you have one place in Alaska to spend the coin for a flightseeing trip, I'd spend it in Kotzebue, especially if you could get one of the charter people (or mail planes) to let you ride up the Kobuk River with them. Some of the villages along the Kobuk, in particular Noorvik, are IMO the "essence" of Alaska villages, where subsistence is the lifestyle, and the people are proud of their heritage but not at all backward-looking. (How's that for generalizing?)

If time allows, getting off the plane at Nome for a day is also very worthwhile. Totally different scene from Kotzebue, but equally fascinating.
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Old May 14, 12, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by AA_SPG_Fan View Post
Hello Gardy --

Great to hear from another OTZ lover. I found a bush-pilot to take me up to Kobuk Valley and comtemplating 2 days or so in Barrow (just to go higher). But that is about $400 or so. The hotels are expensive for accomodation. If I was more in shape and more of a survivor type, I would stay in the backcountry for 2-3 days. It was my plan back in 2003, but I got very ill before that trip and had to cancel. I think there is some omen with me heading to OTZ, at least this is what my friends think.

Museum and new hotel look great .... (saw this weekend on web). I just worry that the locals are not very accomodating to outsiders.
I don't know where the "not accommodating" thing comes from. Not my experience at all. YMMV.
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Old May 22, 12, 2:08 am
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Originally Posted by AA_SPG_Fan View Post
Hello Gardy --

Great to hear from another OTZ lover. I found a bush-pilot to take me up to Kobuk Valley and comtemplating 2 days or so in Barrow (just to go higher). But that is about $400 or so. The hotels are expensive for accomodation. If I was more in shape and more of a survivor type, I would stay in the backcountry for 2-3 days. It was my plan back in 2003, but I got very ill before that trip and had to cancel. I think there is some omen with me heading to OTZ, at least this is what my friends think.

Museum and new hotel look great .... (saw this weekend on web). I just worry that the locals are not very accomodating to outsiders.
Perhaps use some AS miles?

For 10K one could fly OTZ-BRW RT... on 7H. It hops along the coast- but requires overnights to make the full journey IIRC.

And I haven't been as far north of BRW or OTZ yet... but did have a trip to ANI/BET/SLQ/RDV last summer- and it was quite different then southeast Alaska...just got back from KTN/WRG last week
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