Photos of our Adak Alaska Adventures

When I learned that you could take a round trip from Anchorage to Adak for 15,000 air miles, have inexpensive lodging and truck rental and a high probability to shoot some caribou from the road system I knew that it was something we had to do. Somehow what was brewing into a guy’s hunt turned into a Family Adventure and before I knew it I was on a plane with the whole family and our Alaska “Granny” bringing enough food and tubs to cook for the entire village of Adak. The other camo clad hunters on the plane looked a little perplexed at the sight of triplet infants on board and I could see that everyone was excited as I was with all the extra seats aboard to allow folks to settle in quieter parts of the plane. Well, why not?  According to our host, it was the first time in the history of Adak that triplets have been on the island.  Well we couldn’t pass up an opportunity like making history, and in fact, maybe that will be our next set of adventures…. finding unique places that triplets have not been. What do you think, triplet 2 year olds summit Denali, Triplets make the North Pole and well you get the idea… and now back to reality.

Coming down through the clouds and wind unveiled an amazing landscape that has the feel of recently erupting from the volcanoes below the sea and is equally rugged as it is beautiful. After we scrambled out of the plane into the airport it was clear we were not in Kansas any longer and in fact this island is one of the more bizzare locations I have ever explored. In fact it turns out the group that filmed the blair witch project will be coming to Adak in the spring to film a zombie film around the old abandoned military bases that are all around the island. We were met by Cynthia Galaktionoff from and quickly loaded the family up for the short truck drive to the fourplex where we would be staying until the flight out come Sunday. The neighborhoods are all old military housing and every house looks pretty much the same with only a few of the fourplexes occupied making for a strange abandoned leave it to beaver looking neighborhood or maybe more an apocalyptic movie like a scene out of the movie mad max. The strangeness of the atmosphere is more than made up by the friendly people of Adak and the rugged beauty of the surroundings and I was excited to jump in the truck and start exploring.

At its peak, the station housed over 6,000 naval and Coast Guard personnel and their families. In 1994, the base was downsized, and both family housing and schools were closed. According to Cynthia their are only 150 folks living in town now and about 18 children are at the huge school that is also the clinic, city hall and even a church – how is that for separation of church and state – I love it:) You can learn more about Adak at,_Alaska and you might even consider moving out as we were told you could bid on and purchase one of the 4plexes for around $15,000 which is likely the lowest you can buy multi family dwelling for in the united states and the quality of the construction is actually quite good. I tried to explain to Granny Linda that we were moving out and that this was where she would be spending her final days and she would have none of it, something about not being close enough to Costco – but for me – well it is an intriguing idea but I think I might just settle for a yearly visit to chase the caribou.

Well you might be wondering if we actually shot some caribou and I have to admit that in this area we were unsuccessful as the 3,000 plus caribou that live on the island were still more on the south side and don’t move across the road system until the snow drives them down a little further. If we had wanted to we could have walked up into the area about 3 miles and taken one but since we have a fair supply of bear, deer and moose this year we decided we would just explore the road systems and see if we could stumble onto a less intelligent wandering boo. Our neighbors actually had a caribou run across the gun range where they were sighting in their rifles and things did not end well for the caribou so I believe they found the one we were looking for.

I would have liked to have seen Adak back in it’s heyday when the school was full of children and all the buildings were buzzing with life, what an amazing contrast that must have been to the now wind blown and rusty buildings that used to be so filled with life and stories. I am not sure what the future holds for Adak but from the people I sense pride, a wonderful history and an expectation for future commerce including opening a crab fisheries plant, selling water overseas and many other new dreams and ideas that come from the wonderful people of Adak. I know one thing for sure, our family will be back to spend time on this isolated island to learn more about the people the history and to bring home some the islands caribou.

Here are some photos of the trip – until the next adventure cheers from the Sundog Crew!