Postcard from the top of the world

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Last year I visited Barrow, Alaska on an Alaska Airlines award redemption. The small arctic town is surprisingly warm-hearted for a place whose average summertime highs hover around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.   One of the few restaurants in town we visited is a Mexican restaurant named Pepe’s North of the Border, run by the legendary Fran Tate.

brw map

The Path to Barrow

The memories of this trip hit me like a title wave this morning as I opened the mail.  I don’t even remember leaving my address but sure enough, it was a holiday card from Fran coming from the top of the world.  Better late than never, plus I figure it takes awhile for the mail to reach tropical Chicago.

0_IMAGE_150Holiday Card from the Arctic Circle

0_IMAGE_149The legendary Fran Tate

For those that are interested, check out the new movie Big Miracle in theaters now.  The movie is set in Barrow and does a wonderful job portraying the town.  They even spend a good amount of time inside Pepe’s North of the Border, though they changed the name in the movie and I didn’t see Fran as a cameo.

I intend to write about my trip to Barrow in the near future, as it was the most memorable trip I have ever taken.  Has anyone out there ever been to Barrow?

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About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. Funny you mention this, because I’ve been toying with the idea of traveling to Barrow this summer. If ya don’t mind revealing it now, where did you stay, and was it decent? Seems lodging options are fairly limited…

  2. @Denise – Very cool. Most publications I’ve read just pay lip service to Barrow. I am excited to share my experiences.
    @lucky – I visited both options. King Eider Inn is the way to go. It has charm.

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