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Full Circle

Day 243: Nome

Alaska Marine Highway, USA 
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Weather closes in. Alaska Marine Highway.
Michael Palin - Full CircleThe Malaspina drops us off at Juneau with one parting statistic to chew on. Juneau is the only US state capital not accessible by road. We have no option but to fly out of Juneau, across to Anchorage and finally to the familiar streets of Nome where we shall pepare for the very last stage of the long haul journey to Diomede. The sight of the Lucky Swede Gift Shop and the Bering Sea Saloon bring on dangerously premature feelings of elation, and the joy of seeing my old room could hardly have been greater had the Nugget Inn changed its name to the Journey's End.

But Little Diomede is still 130 miles away and over a meal at a local restaurant where 'authentic' Chinese food is cheerfully served by a family of Koreans, we hear news that is both good and bad. The United States Coast Guard has a patrol boat coming to the end of a routine mission off the Alaskan Coast. If we can make our way to Cape Prince of Wales, the most westerly point on the American continent, they will try and pick us up and take us across to Little Diomede. The bad news is that they have run into thick fog on the Bering Sea and their progress has slowed to a crawl. Maybe mindful of their unsuccessful attempt to fly us down the Aleutian Islands in the first few days of our journey, the Coast Guard are anxious to help us and promise to do everything humanly possible.

Somewhat buoyed up by this and as the weather, on land at least, remains good, it is agreed that we should move on across the remaining hundred and ten miles of the Seward Peninsula at first light tomorrow.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 243
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Nome - Alaska
  • Book page no: 317

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