Monday, March 8, 2010

Backside at the Topside of the Continent

The View from Barrow, AK
The View from Barrow, AK, originally uploaded by JVGR.

From Joe Viger:

Barrow, Alaska is the northernmost settlement in North America, the topside of our continent. This patch of tundra on the Chukchi Sea is home to almost 5,000 hearty souls. I’ve had the good fortune to visit there twice. Or maybe that was bad fortune as both visits were in January.

The open nature of the landscape in Barrow means that the backside is all around you. From most anywhere in town, you can see front and back layers of buildings. There are no changes in elevation, vegetation or fences to shield the view. The primary methods of transportation in Barrow are taxi, snowmobile and walking. The latter two also make the backside part of everyday life in Barrow as its common for both snowmobiles and frozen walkers to take the shortest route to where they are going and that is often between and behind buildings. These images were made as I strolled to lunch at 30 below.

Barrow, AK, originally uploaded by JVGR.

Barrow, Alaska, originally uploaded by JVGR.

1 comment:

  1. I have never been to Alaska, but I yearn to go. I constantly fantasize about research trips to Antarctica too. Something about the pure rawness of the environment, that you exist in the shadow of your own mortality in these settings, evokes a nostalgia for a place I have never visited. These photos are magical and add fuel to my determination to visit there - not during the summer months, but during these cold, bleak, pure winter days.