Monday, 7 July 2008

McQ: no relation to Wyatt Earp

Well we arrived in Nome around 0530 on 4th July- Independence Day, no less!!! After breakfast on the boat (scrambled eggs and bacon for Big A, Kimbra and myself and Big A, Kimbra and myself for the ginormous mosquitos!!) we scrubbed and cleaned wee Berri until she positively gleamed inside!! Then Kimbra and I wandered along the high street towards the Aurora Inn (our chosen quarters for the duration) Our amble through town coincided fantastically with the start of the parade, which was a brilliant spectacle and resulted in us carting stars and stripes beach balls, sweets, beads, candy, lolly's and twirly wind things with us for the rest of our walk!!!

We dropped all our luggage and paraphernalia off at the hotel and headed back out to watch the street games and eat free ice cream at the fire station and got sidetracked in the Breakers Bar on our way back!!!

The Breakers is fast becoming our local here in Nome and also seems to be the favourite haunt of the local tug crews delivering diesel and stuff on barges to here and communities farther north. Hugely useful bunch of people to talk to and the verdict seems to be that we are a little early to get round the top- confirmed by the ice reports… so we wait, with baited breath for the next Canadian and Alaska Ice Forecasts over the next  couple of days… if the sweltering heat (yes, indeed!!!) and bright blue cloudless skies over the past couple of days are anything to go by then the ice should be getting less icy by the second!!!! Of course, the northerly winds are a bit unhelpful, blowing the ice south and potentially closing any gaps before they fully can open for us round Barrow… its all exciting stuff!!!!

Kimbra went up Anvil Peak today and I had a quiet day, trying to write some postcards and visiting the museum… Nome is a mental and bonkers place- almost more so than Dutch, quite different but equally nuts!!! There is so much history here to learn about from the Iditarod to the gold rush to Amundsens voyage through the NWP and if we are here for a few days more a second visit to the museum will have to be done!!!

We have decided to take a tour tomorrow with local guide, Richard, to Teller, which is about 70miles north of here… Teller is, amongst other things, the site of the landing of Amundsens successful balloon attempt across the top… It will be particularly awesome to see this for me as two years ago I visited the historic site of the launch in Spitsbergen, which is quite a crazy thought!!! Hopefully we will acquire lots more knowledge and will report back tomorrow evening or the next day… oh and I nearly forgot- he has promised to take us panning for gold!!!! Since fickle and contrary me has decided that I don't want ot be a king crab fishergirl anymore, and instead a gold nugget prospector, this is very, very exciting!!!!

I'll try and put some phots up soon if I can…

In the meantime, congratulations  and all the best to the parents of: Amelia Lindus, Oscar Russo, Elizabeth Thorogood and Lily Gillard and all other babies that  seem to be popping out all over the world at the moment!!!!

Lots of love to everyone,


Ps Gill and Simmo, hope you have the most fantastic wedding day and I so wish I could have been there!!!! Lots of love to the whole family, Bol xx

pps Uncle Iain McQ: I hate it when I waste the port by spilling it on the keyboard too!!! cor x


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