This city, 33 miles north of the Arctic Circle on Alaska’s Western coast, has been home to the Inupiat Eskimos for more than 600 years. Today the population remains over 70 percent Alaska Native.
Kotzebue boasts a colorful waterfront and is surrounded by flowery tundra. It is a natural haven for wildlife, including caribou, oxen, and bears. Birders travel here with binoculars in hand to observe the migratory waterfowl. The native Inupiat Eskimos observe the wildlife here in a traditional way—with a blanket toss. In this tradition a group uses a blanket to toss an observer high into the air to look for walrus, whales, or other game.
The federal lands that surround the Kotzebue Sound protect both wildlife and archaeological sites. These remote wildernesses can be reached by aircraft from Kotzebue. The Kobuk Valley National Park, for example, has archaeological sites that provide evidence of human habitation from over 9,000 years ago, indicating the arrival of humans over the Bering Land Bridge. The nearby Noatak National Preserve has been declared a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve. At Cape Krusenstern National Monument there are 114 beach ridges laid down successively over the past 5,000 years, each one a repository of artifacts that together form a chronology of Eskimo culture in Arctic prehistory.
Kotzebue has long winters and cool summers, with ice in the sound from early October through early July. The average ranges from -12°F in January to about 58°F in July.
Did You Know?
Throughout history Kotzebue has been a trading and gathering hot spot. Due to the three rivers that drain into the Kotzebue Sound, people from interior villages and even Russia traveled here to trade furs, seal-oil, rifles, ammunition, and animal skins, as well as other goods and materials.
Some people like to travel by train because it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of an airplane.
I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”
“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” —Everyone following you on Instagram
A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.
Comedian Greg Davies
Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.
Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.
My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me everything you know.”
“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” —Alcohol
@yoyoha (Josh Hara)
My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.
Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?
A: A mechanic.