It’s not often that a person can upstage Alaska’s dramatic scenery, but Richard Beneville, the owner and guide of Nome Discovery Tours, has the magnetism to do it. A former Broadway showman, he’s a man with a catch phrase (“Hello, Central!”) and a TV show, but his real performances are on his tours of this wild landscape. He artfully employs his dramatic talents and in-depth knowledge of the area’s cultures and history, weaving the “short” 106-year history of Nome within the framework of 10,000 years of Eskimo culture.
Richard’s passion for the Far North—his home for the past two decades—will rub off on you. Seeing Nome with him is a truly authentic local experience you won’t want to miss!
To get a flavor for this city, take the Nome Day Tour (5-1/2 hours), Richard’s in- and out-of-town exploration. Driving around, you’ll absorb the historic flavor of this city’s 100 years--along with thousands of years of Eskimo history. You’ll visit the port, the cemetery, tour through town, and take a drive into the country to take a tundra walk (and get Richard’s insightful take on the unique ecosystem), then, if you like, try your hand at panning for gold on the beaches of Nome.
Or travel 40 miles out of town to see the Trains to Nowhere, Safety Roadhouse and Safety Sound Tour (5-1/2 hours). The three steam locomotives--frozen in their early 20th-century heyday--sit out among Safety Sound’s 30 miles of tidal wetlands, making an eerie comment on Alaska’s industrial past. Look for migrating birds and Tundra Swans, then see the remains of ancient Eskimo mound dwellings and Safety Roadhouse, the last official checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail.
If you have more time, try the Council, Trains to Nowhere, Safety Sound All Day Tour (7-8 hours). In addition to the eerie trains and shimmering Sound, you’ll explore the remote town of Council, where Nomeites go to get away from it all. Get ready for great fishing, crystal-clear water, and mountains rising in the background.
Another all-day option: Teller Day Tour (7-8 hours). Drive 70 miles through some of the Seward Peninsula’s most stunning landforms, to tiny Teller (population: 275)--the only village connected to Nome by road. Look for moose, reindeer, fox, and muskox, and see a glacial moraine overlooking the Bering Sea. History abounds, as well—you’ll see an old wooden gold-mining dredge. In town, you’ll visit a local Inupiaq Eskimo couple, Sarah and Norbert Kakaruk, born in Mary’s Igloo (a place, not a dwelling), who will share fascinating tales and videos of their remote life just below the Arctic Circle!
What to Bring:
Sack lunch (Richard will bring you by a store to pick it up).