|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
Coldfoot, Alaska is a census-designated place with a 2010 population of 10. It is one of the settings in my novel Polar Night, and is the home of the haunted asylum turned tourist attraction that plays a key role in the book.
Coldfoot is located on the Dalton Highway in between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay. It has a restaurant and overnight accommodations for tourists who take bus tours up to the Arctic ocean.
Originally a mining camp in the early 1900s, Coldfoot had stores, roadhouses, saloons, and a gambling house during its heyday. It still has a post office, a visitor center, and an airport, which is pictured above.
I've read that the town got its name because gold prospectors going north along the Koyukuk River would get "cold feet" about going any farther than Coldfoot and turn around. That may be the case but it's more fun to think the name of the town is literal. I would imagine the miners' feet really were extremely cold!
I loved the name Coldfoot and thought the area was perfect for the desolated setting I wanted for my book. When tourists and truck drivers traveling along the Dalton Highway leave Coldfoot and head north, they don't find any services again for 240 miles, when they reach an unincorporated community called Deadhorse.
It was hard to imagine a creepier setting for a haunted asylum than that.
Today is also the day for the monthly meeting of Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. If there's anything I'm feeling insecure about right now, it's keeping up with this year's A - Z Challenge! It's amazing how many great bloggers are participating and between checking in with my regular friends and keeping up with my minion duties, I'm already feeling more than a little overwhelmed.
This happens every April though so I know I will get back on more of an even keel as we go along. Or at least I hope so, anyway. Yikes! :D