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Don’t Trust Street View

The three volunteers of the class of 2017-2018 stand together in front of the mountains near the end of Kougarok Road.

I’m not the new kid anymore!

Two weeks ago, our third and final volunteer breezed into the Nome airport, sporting a blazer (for the record, I arrived in leggings and hiking boots), and we finally got to meet Gabe.

It’s been a busy month at the station with so many people coming and going. Karen was off traveling around the state with her dad, so I sat down with Gabe to see how he’s settling in. I was especially curious to hear his first impressions of Nome, since he’s spent nearly all his life in Austin, Texas (Of Nome’s July temperatures, said: “This is like winter in Texas.”), and because he studied urban design in college and hopes to work in that field in the future. Nome is certainly no metropolis, but Gabe has been delighted to discover streets full of life, especially in these summer months of endless sun. We also touch on his other love, Shakespeare, and the mysterious and seemingly inexhaustible artifacts of the volunteer house. Karen “KT in the AM” Trop phones in from Talkeetna!

The volunteers of 2017-2018 strike a pose on a bridge along Kougarok Road.

Gabe, Zoe, and Karen practice poses for their house band, [ ] and the Dead Airs. Photo: Michael Burnett, used with permission.

I’ve been here for about six weeks now, which is long enough to see the difference in the sunlight (days are down to 18 hours of light, more than 3 hours shorter than when I got here just after the solstice), and it’s gone by quick enough to have me a little scared that this whole year will go by in a blur. I’ve always had trouble balancing the urge to obsessively document my life and just being present in it. While I’m still figuring that out here, I’m grateful to everyone at the station and beyond who keeps reminding me to make the most of this experience.

Right now that means enjoying the sun while we still have it. It’s mostly been a gray and rainy summer, but today is warm, and there’s plenty of blue sky showing through the clouds. Like Gabe, I’m a big fan of taking walks around town, among the kids on bikes and dogs of all shapes and sizes. Turns out it wasn’t hard at all to feel like a part of life in Nome.

The volunteer class of 2017-2018 look out toward the mountains near the end of Kougarok Road.

The volunteer class of 2017-2018 take in the beauty near the end of Kougarok Road. Photo: Michael Burnett, used with permission.


Photo at top: Michael Burnett, used with permission.


  1. Karen "KT in the AM" Trop on August 4, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Glad to know that the back porch faces south!! You *can* teach an old Nome dog new tricks!!

  2. North on August 4, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Glad you are at full staff! Enjoy each others company! Fun to hear you on the air! Love, Aunt North

  3. Nancy Downing on August 4, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Nice to meet Gabe! He seems to fit in tight nice for a Texan. Hook ’em horns! Wait, I’m an Aggie! He’ll know what that is. Nice radio voices, both of ye. Looking forward to more stories. May the days be long and the friendships strong!