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Adak Island, Alaska

Adak is near the end of the Aleutians, a chain of around 200 islands that arc out from southwest Alaska and separate the North Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea. The Aleut peoples heavily populated Adak as early as 9,000 years ago, heading east in the 19th century to follow the Russian fur trade. The U.S. developed Adak as a naval base after World War II. When the base closed, a small settlement of several hundred remained.

Adak is very near to Siberia and Asia. It is a land of high winds, sub-zero temperatures, and up to 100 inches of snowfall a year. Adak is also a bountiful island, half of it held within the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge. Eagles are everywhere. 700-pound Adak caribou roam wild.

Springtime brings carpets of wild flowers. Mudflats and sheltered tundra habitats attract rare indigenous birds to the shores -Clam Lagoon offers excellent opportunity for bird watchers. The Aleutian Housing Authority can provide a warm, colorful, comfortable place to stay. And the Aleutian Sports Bar and Grill in the former VFW Hall serves hot food and drinks.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Manfred