Council Travel Blog› entry 21 of 38 › view all entries
I had been out to the camp near Council a few days ago but as a passenger in a 4-wheel drive, dirt-caked pick-up truck that was on a grocery run into Nome. Today is different - my own transport and all afternoon to drive that 75 miles. I would highly recommend the experience to anyone planning a visit to Nome. Vehicle rentals are available at the lobby of the Aurora Inn on the eastern end of Front Street. Several hundred miles of roadway allow access into a historic part of Alaska's past that still thrives.
The road east from Nome is graded but its surface muddy by the past week's rain. Initially the landscape is rather bleak with straw-colored, treeless tundra and windswept rippling ponds to the left and white-capped waters of Norton Sound to the right.
Shortly after passing Solomon and the old North Star Line flat-cars and locomotives, the road turns inland to begin a gradual climb into the hills. Willows thicken along the streams, snow patches appear in shaded drainages, and clouds drape the higher hills. The slick and muddy road, treacherous in places, requires more driver's attention than most, leaving little time to search for wildlife. Bear, fox, and musk ox are spotted regularly but all that I glimpsed were more relics from the past. Rusting machinery, dilapidated dredges, and remnants of old mining camps and settlements appear along the route.