Mapping Our Alaska: 15 plus years
Our introduction to Alaska was Lew's USAF assignment to POW-Main Station, Distant Early Warning Line (DEW-Line) on Point Barrow. The village of Barrow the most northern community in the USA. It was classified as a remote tour for Lew (to be unaccompanied by family), but Dottie took a temporary civil service job with housing at the Native Hospital in the village of Barrow about two months before Lew was transferred to the Titan II (ICBM) missile wing in Tucson.
At the time Dottie was living on Carrolton Avenue in New Orleans and working at the Veterans Hospital as a medical transcriber: she took the trolley to and from work. That's just about greatest north-south distant you can be separated within the USA.
Please note that Nelson Lagoon, our home for 9 years, at 161°12′W is west of Honolulu at 157°50′W. Other Aleutians hometowns in Cold Bay (2 years) at 162°43′W and False Pass (2 years) at 163°24′W are even farther west. You may find our other hometowns and events in Alaska and elsewhere in the TABLE below:
More maps and map links below.
Dottie & Lew's Alaska: 15 years plus
2 years in Cold Bay - Aleutians East, on Cold Bay/"very" North Pacific Ocean
2 years in False Pass - Aleutians East, on a pass between the Bering Sea and North Pacific
1 year Nulato - the Interior, our house was just feet from and above the Yukon River
1 year Barrow - Far North, with the USAF on the DEW Line on the Beauford Sea/Arctic Ocean
**Our nine years in Nelson Lagoon were in 1980-1986 and 1988-1991; we were in Cold Bay for the 2 school years in between, 1986-1988.
We've returned to Alaska almost annually, in all seasons: four weeks in 2010; two weeks in 2011.
We spent four months in Anchorage after departing Nulato in 1996; we flew to Tucson, picked our minivan and drove (actually Dottie drove) back to Anchorage. It was a blast; so was the return trip to Arizona! The wildlife was abundant, and the natural scenery was spectacular.
We also spent considerable time during the summer taking university classes in Anchorage and Fairbanks and using Teacher Placement in Fairbanks. We usually went to Anchorage when we needed change from the "bush."
We are often asked about the long continuous darkness during the winter. Among the villages we lived, only Barrow experiences such a phenomenon. When the sun rises over Barrow on May 10 it does not set again until August 2, for eighty-four continuous days of sunlight: when the sun reaches the horizon, it begins rising again. When the sun sets on November 18 it does not rise again until January 24, for a "night" of sixty-seven (67) days.
For me (Lew) it was much easier to adapt to the long "night" than the long "day:" the absence of light did not deter me from my responsibilities, daily routine, or social life. However, during the long "day" it was difficult to get adequate sleep during the would-be "night" hours: my blackout shades were not entirely effective and outside noises by off-duty personnel and out-of-school children seemingly never ceased. Also local time seemed not to be a consideration for air traffic at the nearby airfield.
Your AK state map (bigger, better map; may take a few seconds)
Your AK travel map (quick)
March 04, 2012 home