Tiny Alaska Island on of the last places to see 1999 fade away
Theres a tiny island in Alaska where you can be one of the last people to say goodbye to 1999 and can step into the New Year, literally. The rocky island of Little Diomede is getting some attention by tourist groups.
Little Diomede is located about one mile east of the International Dateline. This means the island joins Western Somoa is one of the last places on Earth to ring out the old and bring in the New Year. If the water surrounding the island is frozen you can actually take a trip from today to tomorrow with a short hike.
A tour group leader has figured out just how to take her clients on time travel on its most basic level. Lori Egge, who owns Sky Trekking Alaska, is offering an 11-day "Dance of the Dateline" tour package.
She plans to reach the island just in time for the New Year's Eve. Egge will take out a global-positioning receiver and will cross the invisible line that separates one day from the next. While its still 1999 east of the line, the tour group hopes to step into 2000. A remote spot in the Antarctica will be the first place someone on land will see the first dawn of 2000.
This is possible because Little Diomede is just a couple miles away from Big Diomede, a Russian military outpost at the United States back door. During the cold War, American and Soviet soldiers watched each other suspiciously across the date line.
This primitive time travel will take a lot of planning, and quite a bit of luck and determination. First the tour group will have to fly by helicopter to the freezing cold island. The island is only two square miles and most of the islands 160 residents are Ingalikmuit Eskimos. The residents live on fish, crab, walrus and seal. In other words, there are no restaurants, no hotels, and no luxuries at all. On top of that the island sees only four hours of sunlight during the winter months.
Thats just a small part of the problems facing the tour group. If you want to cross from the U.S. to Russia you need a visa. But the visa is going to be the least of the groups worries on this trip. They could encounter polar bears, shifting sea ice, unpredictable weather, and did we mention a price tag of more than $12,000 for the experience.
All this and no champagne when they ring in the New Year. Alcohol is banned in the village of Diomede. In fact, the mayor says she would fine the group if they bring alcohol to the tiny village.
Thats not all, theres also no guarantee the ice will be frozen around the island. The water usually doesnt freeze solid until late January or February. This means walking across the timeline may not even be possible in December.
Once the tour group makes it to the island, they might wan