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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Alaska: The Road to Teller‏

September 2nd, 2009 · 3 Comments

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Here they call the road from Nome to Teller a highway. By Alaska standards it may be one, but not by mine.

Only the first mile of the 72 mile road is paved. The rest of the road is gravel with thousands of potholes.

Still, Nome is unique in the Alaska bush in having roads leading out of it. While Nome’s only connections to the outside world are by airplane or ship, three roads go to nearby villages from Nome, including the “Teller Highway,” which I took this afternoon in the Methodist church’s van that Julie and David Elmore loaned me.

En Route to Teller in the Methodist Church's Van

En Route to Teller in the Methodist Church's Van

I didn’t take the road for an easy ride. The fall scenery of the tundra and the wildlife is spectacular.

A Complete Rainbow in the Tundra

A Complete Rainbow in the Tundra

Kigluaik Mountains

Kigluaik Mountains

One of Five Herds of Caribou or Reindeer I Saw Today

One of Five Herds of Caribou or Reindeer I Saw Today

The Patriarch

The Patriarch

Approaching Teller

Approaching Teller

Closer to Teller

Closer to Teller

Teller is an Inupiat Eskimo village of fewer than 300 people who depend on subsistence hunting and fishing. The town sits on the southern half of the spit that separates Port Clarence Bay and Grantley Harbor on the Seward Peninsula in the Bering Sea.

Eskimo Children Playing at the Teller School

Eskimo Children Playing at the Teller School

Today on the road to Teller I got my first good view of the real Alaska bush. Spectacular indeed!

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Posted in: Alaska, Photography

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Grant R Bell // Jan 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    We travelled the Bluestone Riverbed in the summer of 1963 to build the stretch of Teller Hwy between Bluestone and Tusek Rivers along where the gold dredge is located by Camp Sullivan where we lived. Of interest is that you would regard the gravel as substandard roadbed. And I wonder if there were ever bridges built along the 60 miles from Nome to Teller. Your account is interesting.

  • 2 Rod Luckovich // Oct 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I worked on that road the summer of 1966 for Alcan Pacific. I was 19 years old and ran a scraper that summer. Alcan had the middle 22 mi. section along with bridges . I only saw one bridge being built and remember the channel change and all the fish it trapped. Our camp was on the feather river and between state and Alcan employees there were quite a few of us.We had an air strip and truck drivers to get us supplies.The truckers had to ford the rivers as there were no bridges at that time.We all worked 7 days a week 12 hour days because the weather was real bad the previous years and the contractors fell way behind and Alcan was contracted to finish the job.Don’t know who finished it but it was a bleak place to be.Maybe someday I will return for old times sake but have my doubts.Hope this message helps a little. It was a big experience for a boy from Oregon

  • 3 David Mendosa // Oct 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Dear Rod,

    I hope that you are able to get back there. It was absolutely beautiful when I was there. That was my first trip to Alaska. This summer was my third one, and while this time I didn’t get up to Teller or Nome, I visited a lot of other wonderful places. I have posted most but not all of my photo essays from that trip here, and I hope that you get a chance to view them.

    Namaste,

    David

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