By Bryan Flow
Hello everybody. I’m Bryan from Alaska. I’d like to share a little my impressions of visiting the Russian north.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to abandon their holiday abroad, reconsider their plans and take up new hobbies. Like other travel lovers during the border closure period I got involved in reading articles and watching video blogs about interesting places, which prompted me to write about my trip to the other side of the Bering Strait, namely to the Magadan Region. This one of the young regions of Russia is famous for its rich reserves of gold and silver, beautiful northern nature with exciting hunting and fishing. The administrative center of the region is the city of Magadan.
Sometime in the 90s, I first visited this city. There was a direct flight between Anchorage and Magadan, which at that time became sister-cities. It all started with the exchange of school delegations, gradually establishing cooperation between institutions, creating joint ventures, opening public organizations that contribute to the development of US-Russian ties.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, I had a chance to visit Magadan again, which has changed in many ways since then. I traveled the region. The climate and nature of the Magadan region and Alaska are very similar. A real wild north, a riot of colors, sensations and feelings. Snow-capped mountain peaks are adjacent to endless forests. The pristine nature and the harsh climate attract and frighten at the same time.
Joining a group of tourists, I got to Jack London Lake. I really wanted to visit this place in order to understand the secret of its name, which is hidden in the name of the writer, who vividly describes Alaska in his works.
Jack London Lake is one of the most romantic and picturesque places in the Magadan region. It is located in the upper reaches of the Kolyma River, 307 km from the city of Magadan. Its length is 10 kilometers, its depth reaches 50 meters.
The lake is located between the mountains, among which there is a graceful mountain peak in the region – Aborigen Peak (2286 meters above sea level) – a climbers’ dream.
The mirrored surface of Jack London Lake reflects the dense greenery of coniferous forests. Summer promises a rich harvest: lingonberries, blueberries, cloudberries, numerous mushrooms, pine cones. The fauna of the surrounding area of Jack is rich, as the locals call it. Here the owners are a bear, a wolf, a wolverine, a bighorn sheep.
The water in the lake is so transparent that you can clearly see the fish scurrying in it. The main inhabitant is grayling.
The name of the lake leaves no one indifferent.
Old-timers say that the lake got its name thanks to an unusual find made by the “discoverers”. When the lake was discovered, researchers found a book by Jack London on the shore.
In fact, the reservoir owes its name to Yu.A. Bilibin, the head of the first geological expedition to the Kolyma, which discovered gold here. It was he who proposed to name one of the geographical objects by the name of Jack London. “A courageous writer,”Bilibin said, “we must call something by his name.”
Jack London Lake is one of the most amazing lakes in Russia.
To visit this amazing place, travelers are better off planning a trip for July-August. In June, the water near the coast can reach a maximum of + 12 ° C, while ice floes will float in its central part. Already in October, the cold solidifies the body of water. The average air temperature in early summer rises to +20 ° C.
Jack London Lake is a great place for active recreation, where you can spend one or two weeks in the bosom of pristine nature. The lake is surrounded by small, but no less beautiful lakes with islands that will leave you an unforgettable experience. On one of these lakes – the Lake of Dancing Graylings, great fishing awaits you for true connoisseurs.
An island named Vera is located near the northern coast; a meteorological station has been operating on it for a long time.
Getting to Jack London Lake is very difficult, but real. This path is clearly for those who are strong in spirit, looking for unforgettable impressions, wanting a break from civilization and dreaming of becoming a pioneer.
The unique lake attracts not only tourists but also scientists. In August 2021, a group of scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences visited here, exploring the unique natural complexes of Russia and the world. As a result of the expedition, the academicians made preliminary conclusions that this part of the territory, according to the climatic indicators of summer time, meets the extreme conditions of the Arctic and is of great scientific interest for studying the activity of ancient glaciers.