(Kotzebue in the summertime)
Kotzebue, a town/village of approximately 4000 people is the home of the Inupiat Eskimo people which translates to, "The real people".
I went there for a mining conference and left there in awe. So many questions/thoughts went through my head while I was there:
- How do people live like this?
-What do they do for fun?
-Why would someone (not from here) move here?!
-No wonder the suicide rate is so extremely high here.
-If I had to kill a walrus to survive would I be sad?- yes!
(The oldest house in Kotzebue)
Front Street in Kotzebue runs parallel to the ocean. The restaurants are on Front St and you can literally stand at the front door and toss a rock into the ocean (except for when it's winter and sheer ice). If you look closely you can see little branches sticking out of the snow. They travel quite a distance to get branches to make a path across the ocean. This helps hunters and fisherman find their way back to town. It's amazing to see how far these branch trails lead. It should be noted that they have to travel for branches because Kotzebue has no trees. At one time they had one, "The Kotzebue Forest" (see below), but someone got drunk and cut it down to use as a Christmas Tree.