All the recent political talk about Sarah Palin, Wasilla Alaska, and what constitutes foreign policy experience got me thinking about our last trip to Alaska in June of 2004. One of the places we visited on that trip was the Alaskan village of Gambell, which is situated on the northwest tip of St. Lawrence Island.
St. Lawrence Island is located in the middle of the Bering Sea, and although it is part of Alaska, it is actually closer to Russia (35-40 miles) than it is to mainland Alaska. On clear days you can, in fact, see Russia from Gambell (but not from Wasilla, Anchorage, or Juneau).
View of Russia taken through the window of the plane on
final approach into Gambell.
Gambell is a Yup’ik Eskimo village of about 800 people and is a destination for birders due to its proximity to Russia/Asia and the possibility of seeing Asian birds like this Common Ringed Plover, which are rare in the US:
Our trips to Alaska have also included multiple stays in Wasilla (Editorial Note: Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla when we visited in 2000. She was chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission when we visited in 2004 and was elected Governor in 2006. To our knowledge, she has never actually visited Gambell, Little Diomede Island, or any other place where you can actually see Russia from Alaska – not that this really matters in the grand scheme of things.)
Wasilla is a convenient place for a stop over on the way to or from Denali National Park and other destinations in the interior of Alaska like the spectacular old Denali Highway that runs between Cantwell and Paxson.
More Alaska Galleries:
© 2008, Scott Hein. All rights reserved.