Here is my photo journal highlighting 4 days of fat biking in Utqiagvik (Barrow) Alaska. Alaska Airlines does not charge to check sporting equipment (WaHoo!) so I packed my fat bike and headed North… as far north as north goes in Alaska!
The Northernmost City
Barrow is the northernmost city in the United States and the 11th northernmost public community in the world. Home to the Iñupiat for more than 1,500 years. The city’s name, Utqiaġvik, refers to a place for gathering wild roots.
The Beach Biking
Miles and miles of super-fun beach biking… just keep an eye out for Polar Bears.
The Whale Bone Arch
Symbolizes the city’s relationship with the ocean and whaling.
The Baleen Palm Tree Art
I never thought I would see palm trees so far north! The residents are 61% Iñupiat Eskimo with a very international mix of American, Filipino, Samoan/Tongan, Korean, Thai, Mexican, and Hawaiian… hence the palm trees!
The Will Rogers and Wiley Post Monument
Honors the humorist and the pilot, who died together in a 1935 air crash nearby.
The Oldest Permanent Settlement
Dr. Bill Streever wrote in his 2009 book – Cold: Adventures in the World’s Frozen Places;
“Barrow, like most communities in Alaska, looks temporary, like a pioneer settlement. It is not. Barrow is among the oldest permanent settlements in the United States. Hundreds of years before the European Arctic explorers showed up…Barrow was more or less where it is now, a natural hunting place at the base of a peninsula that pokes out into the Beaufort Sea. … Yankee whalers sailed here, learning about the bowhead whale from Iñupiat hunters.”
The Inspirational Dumpsters
Streets are left unpaved due to permafrost… perfect for fat biking!
The houses are built above the ground so not to heat up the permafrost.
America’s Most Northern Grocer
The perfect home base.
The delicious and always hearty breakfasts’ keep you warm while biking. Also, a huge thank you to Latitude 71 B & B owners Myron and Susan for letting me store my bike indoors!
Author: Nicole Geils – Owner/Operator of Girdwood Bike Adventures