July 12 – Nome – Teller Road (July 7)

Unlike Kougarok Rd. (earlier post today), I had once before driven all the way to the end of Teller Road, which ends about 72 miles from Nome at water’s edge in Teller, northwest of Nome on the Seward Peninsula.

The trip began just after 6 AM with a small herd of musk oxen on the street in Nome.

Driving slightly faster than yesterday’s snail pace, in less than two hours I had gone the first 20 miles.

In another 1.5 hours I had gone the next 40 miles.

I got to the Teller area about 5 hours from when I started. A couple of times there was almost no visibility as the road ascended into the low clouds and there were periods of light rain, but when I descended things cleared out and visibility improved.

Teller’s population is in the low hundreds, but I expect it increases substantially when fish numbers (mostly salmon, I understand) are high.

On the trip back, I continued to take photos. As usual on the three Nome roads, around every corner and over every hill, there seem to be scenes that demand to be photographed, no matter how many times the road is traveled and no matter the direction of travel.

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Birds photographed on Teller Road include Long-tailed Jaeger, Red-throated Loon, distant Sandhill Cranes, Willow Ptarmigan (shown below, plus those with babies, posted yesterday), Arctic Tern, Cliff Swallows and a Wandering Tattler shorebird perched on a rooftop.

The most interesting/exciting mammal experience was the sighting of two large grizzly bears about mile 27 on Teller Road on the way to Teller. They periodically looked down the hill at me, as they wandered along the hillside and I watched from the safety of my rental truck, but they mostly ignored me, eventually drifting down into brush that hid them from my sight.

On the way back, I saw a red fox, probably out hunting.

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As on Kougarok Road, there were beautiful flowers along Teller Road.

On July 7 I also had two interesting wagtail (birds) mini-adventures, and saw some other birds after my Teller road trip, but I’ll wait until another blog post to tell about them.

 

 

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