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Thread: Possibly moving to Nome

  1. #1
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    Default Possibly moving to Nome

    I will hopefully be moving to nome here soon. I should find out in the next week or so for sure. I was wondering from those of you who live there or have lived there, what can I expect? I currently have a Volvo s70 and am thinking of selling her before moving and maybe getting a quad for a mode of transportation, I hear that is fairly common up there. What are your thoughts? I do plan on doing some hunting once my residence becomes established and figured this would assist with that.

    As far as relocation goes I was considering moving up there with just a few suitcases, is this feasible? Or would it be better to simply have my stuff shipped up there? I can have it in Seattle fairly easily but I don't want to be bringing a bunch of excess furniture before I have a place to live.

    I am prepared for some cold weather and love the snow but I hear the summer can be pretty dusty up there. I hear Dollie fishing is quite good up there too. What else I expect?

    Are there houses readily available to rent? Or would I be looking at an apartment? Being a single guy I am expecting roughly $400 going towards food per month and hopefully once I start hunting that will help subsidize a portion of that.

    Also I am a computer tech currently do people barter for services up there? I know here I Oregon I haven't paid to have my hair cut in years and have found those mutually beneficial situations to be quite rewarding as I truly enjoy helping people and sharing my small bit of wisdom especially when I can learn from them as well.

    I do have a few guns but would definitely be looking to buy a few more once I get up there. Without getting into caliber wars what is the most commonly available hunting round up there? I hear .300winmag is a good all around round but in some game it is far to powerful, is 30-06 popular up there?

    Sorry if this is a little scattered, thanks for all your advice!

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    I lived/worked in Nome back in the 80's for about 1 1/2 years. I'm sure things have changed since then, but...
    I would NOT go to Nome unless I had a job and housing rounded up in advance. Living off the road system in Alaska is not like moving to some small town in the lower 48. Housing/Food/Fuel/Heating is expensive. You either need relatives to live with or a job with housing lined up.
    There are two ways to get stuff to Nome, Barge and Airplane. Barge is the cheapest, but when I was there the barge came twice a year.

    BTW If you do go stay away from the Board Of Trade Salon. They got most of my money when I was there!

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    Member Unalakleet yooper's Avatar
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    I'm with Kevin on this one and have your housing lined up so you will know what to bring with you, if anything for furniture. Housing in Nome is expensive.
    As for transportation, quads are used but it is not alot of fun on a quad when it is -20 with 40+ winds.
    I would travel light and you could always have your stuff sent to you after you see what you need. Shipping stuff to Nome is costly and even more so if it is done form the lower 48.
    You will also be paying for non-resident licenses for the first year.

    Good luck on your move.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I can't imagine there is a Volvo factory service center in Nome so that would be right behind BMW and Mercedes in the line of cars I would least like to take to a Village.

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    Thanks guys, if I do end up making this trip I will have a job lined up so that won't be an issue. Though I will need to locate housing, I am hoping work may be able to help with that, at least at first. I am a fairly light traveler the only things I really need are cooking utensils, a table, and a place to sit.

    As far as the quads go the wind and cold is a good point, but would it be better than walking? I should be working 10 months a year so I am expecting to have to deal with the extreme cold going to and from work one way or another. Whats the likely hood of finding a reliable car for sale in nome? Or would I be better buying one elsewhere and shipping it?

    Yeah the Volvo is not a good choice for up there in my book either but here in Oregon I love it. Maybe it's time to trade her in for a Subaru or a truck.

    Unfortunately I won't have family up there and I won't know anyone when I first move. So I will be relying a bit on the kindness of strangers to a certain extant, but I will be able to provide for my own once I get up there and find a place to live.

    If this happens I will be flying to and from other villages fairly reguraly Which I am looking forward to

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Your learning curve will be very steep in Nome, Lots of things to learn and to get used to, like not being able to just go to the store and getting what ever you want. You will have to order it, pay a high price, and wait for the delivery when a plane can make it in. Very important to get to know the locals, one might take you under his wing and help you, maybe not. I met a local and he even taught me some of his language. They will become your extended family. Listen and learn, it might save your life.

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    Member itchibon69's Avatar
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    I lived in Nome for 10 years, if you like a small town you will love it. The hunting and fishing used to be really good but not sure how it is now. You should try and contact Martentrapper on the forum he lives up there now. You dont want to bring a car there just buy a 4 wheeler and or snowmachine. Look at the Nome nugget classifies for housing and other things. Or ask your employer for some info.
    Who are you going to work for there? PM if you have any question.

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    Well, if everything goes to plan i will be working for the University of Alaska in Nome. I love the small town atmosphere and i love helping people so i am hoping to fit right in.

    I expect a little shell shock when it comes to prices (to say the least), i am a fairly cheap individual so that may be one of the harder ones for me to get past. Which is why i plan to do as much hunting as i can afford my first year there and live a more subsistence lifestyle than i do now. Luckily i am not your instant gratification type so as long as it doesn't take 6 months to get a case of energy drinks, or a package from home i'll be fine.

    I plan on getting to know the locals well as part of my job will be to help prepare people get their technical abilities up to par to attend college as well as recruiting new students.

    I would love to be able to befriend a local and possibly have them take me under their wing but if that doesn't happen i will be relying on the local grocery store for my meat a little more than i would like to. I always enjoy the kindness of strangers but i am not one to rely on things like that.

    I will look into getting ahold of Martentrapper once i find out for sure that i am going. Hopefully very soon!

    I am planning for the worst but hoping for the best, thanks for you input guys!

    @Gerberman Will you be at the Eugene knife show this weekend at the fairgrounds? I just saw you name and location and thought i would ask.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    "Luckily i am not your instant gratification type so as long as it doesn't take 6 months to get a case of energy drinks, or a package from home i'll be fine."

    Become a Sam's club or Costco member. They have a freight forward business model to ship stuff out to the Bush through various air freight hubs. Of course it only makes sense if you are buying a truck load of stuff at a time. After a couple of loads of stuff you will start wondering why you are paying $3-$4 per bottle for surgar water. People wanting to save money don't spend money shipping water to the middle of a water soaked swamp. Not for long anyway. People wanting to save money use powdered mixes and supply their own water.

    The mail system up here is heavily subsidized so the US Post Office is your friend and Brown hates you. Packages from family through the mail will only take a day or three longer than what you are used to. If you have the "free shipping" mail order addiction where the merchant uses UPS Ground you will have to deal with your withdrawal as quick as possible and then look for other vendors that are not Lower48 only shippers.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Your friend for shipping to Alaska is the USPS, especially the flat rate packages. You'd be suprised what you can stuff in one and ship for $11-13. You can get anything you want in Alaska, but you have to pay for it, and if you're off the road system, you have to pay quite a bit more.

    I would think the university would be able to assist you in lining up housing, at least you'll be working for a reputable entity, sometimes employers can be shaky and showing up to the bush with no housing for a job that disapeared would be a bit of a bummer, to put it mildly.

    It takes time to form relationships in communities, and sometimes there will be people that don't like you know matter how much you try. I'd say the greatest skill in gaining acceptance is listening, not talking, and learning, not preaching/teaching. You'll be dealing with people that have managed to live in a harsh environment and hence many of them are very intelligent and have a great wealth of knowledge. Just because they may not have lower 48 technical background does not mean they aren't smart. Then again, there will be others that just want to get drunk or high and watch tv.

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    Good thing im not a huge fan of the sugar water. Energy drinks are my personal favorite but i can settle for a nice cup of coffee.

    I am planning on becoming a Costco member and i didn't know that Sams Club was up there so that is another great option!

    Thankfully i don't have have any shopping addictions so the shipping shouldn't be much of an issue but that is very good to hear about the USPS. Do they have those flat rate shipping boxes we have down here in Oregon?

    I am very thankful that i will be working for a reputable company as well. Sounds like it is a good thing that i am more of a listener than a preacher. I am not expecting to be liked by everyone as that is virtually never possible it seems. I do how ever do not judge books by there cover. I find that people who may not know technical stuff generally have a wide wealth of knowledge. If they would like to share that knowledge i am happy to listen and watch.

    I do not expect to move there and have the entire village be my friend, i honestly expect a fairly cold reception (no pun intended) but i will have to deal with that when i get there. Hopefully i can meet at least one person who doesn't mind getting to know the new guy. But these are just guesses, i will hopefully see when i get there.

    Thanks for your input Paul and Ray!

  12. #12
    Member Unalakleet yooper's Avatar
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    With your job, your office is close to residential housing and many have been converted to apartments so you should have housing options close to your work.

    There are 3 grocery stores in Nome, with the AC being the largest.

    Yes the USPS is your friend for shipping. Flat rate shipping boxes are all the same. Also remember that if you are in Anchorage, you can do a bush order at the Dimond Wal-mart which you can have shipped to yourself COD.

    I would have your employer send you ads on vehicles for sale to give you an idea of prices. This would let you see more of the area. I would be looking for a smaller 4wd pickup to start with.

    An example of food costs is Subway, in the lower 48 they have a $5 footlong sandwich. In Anchorage, it's $6, and in Nome, it's $8.

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    Good to hear Yooper. I can deal with an $8 dollar sub since i dont do restaurants very often. Now what are prices of household good going for? I read something like $40 for a pack of toilet paper, and $10 for a 6 pack of coke. How much is meat up there? I would rather go hunting but at least until i become a resident the grocery store may be my main source of meat.

    Now with having companies ship to the bush, how much does that typically add on the the total typically? I understand this varies so a rough number would be great.

    You read my mind, that is pretty much the type vehicle that i was thinking of!

    Thanks everyone for all your answers, I really appreciate being able to pick your brains. :-)

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    Member Unalakleet yooper's Avatar
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    I gave you food price to give you an example. I would figure you food costs to be at least twice your lower 48 price. I buy the bulky paper products at Sam's or Costco and mail them in as the price when I looked here a few years ago kind of put me in sticker shock. Coke was advertised in the AC flyer here for around $12 a twelve pack. Add another couple bucks when it is not on sale. I can tell you that milk here is $7.38 per HALF gallon and around $4 per gallon in Anchorage. Your prices might be slightly better as you have 3 grocery stores and a bigger village. I try to get most of my groceries in Anchorage and ship them out. I bring totes to town with me and will ship them back with an air carrier. This includes freeze and I have not had a problem. You can figure around $1 per pound for shipping.

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    jibb, yes I will be at the show, table O11, I have been at the same table for about 20 years. If you are in town stop by. Gerberman

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    Thanks Yooper, that information is very helpful and on par with what i was expecting. At least i wont be shell shocked when/if i get up there.

    Gerberman, i will definitely stop by this will be my second year at the show and my brothers third or fourth year. I am not sure what table number we have this year but we will be there with some walrus oosik and other nifty items along those lines as well as my brothers custom knives. I am not 100% sure what he has in-stock but its a hard table to miss.

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    Member Unalakleet yooper's Avatar
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    On a more positive note for food prices, Norton Sound Seafood Products has a retail store in their fishplant. you can get pretty good prices on halibut, salmon, and crab, when available. I have also picked up smoked salmon and tuna there before.

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    I live in Nome. If you get the job, I may have some leads on housing, trucks and 4 wh'ers. Let me know how it shakes out. I have lived all over this state and Nome is, by far, the funnest town I have ever lived in.
    Good luck

  19. #19

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    Gas has been $5.00 a gallon all winter. It will probably go up a buck or more this summer. Don't expect to live off wild game. Moose population has dropped a lot over the past 20 years; we have quotas and many experienced locals do not fill their tags. Caribou are 100 or more miles away. Lots of Tundra Chickens though.
    Housing is in short supply, almost as bad as when I moved to Nome in 1984. New hospital construction probably the reason. I see adds every day from people looking for housing. Jet service (Alaska Airlines) three times a day, but the last flight is not on schedule 97% of the time. If you want to get out and see the country or hunt, you're going to need transportation; 4WD pick ups, 4 wheeler, snow machine. I moved away in 96, came back in 99. What does that tell you? Welcome to Nome.

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