Thursday, December 30, 2010

About Alaska

I get constant questions about Alaska. In the interest of providing resources, I thought that I would make a post about it to point questions to. I also came across a great resource - Alaska.org - that is written by Alaskans. Most of it seemed accurate. There were a couple pages that I had issue with, but it's a good resource.

Alaska is huge. Therefore, the stereotypes you may have heard about it may or not be true. Darkness? That's up at the top of the state, around Barrow. Frozen igloos and snow all year? Mmm, not so much. I've never heard of anyone actually building an igloo. Although, where I am at, it isn't really possible, so that could be part of it.

Climate
Alaska has all ranges of climates. I live near the ocean, so my town doesn't get as cold in the winter, nor as hot in the summer as it could. That's how Southcentral is. Southeast, where the state capital is, is rainy and muggy, like Seattle. The interior gets very cold, but also very hot in the summer. (Ok, not Arizona hot, but pretty warm)

In Southcentral, we get snow from October to April. It really sticks from November through March. As I write this, in mid April, Spring is finally arriving. That is a relative term, however. Plants won't start growing until at least May. Summertime is the reason I live here. The trees burst with greens. The mountains across Kachemak Bay lose a lot of the snow and turn a bluish tint. On a good, sunny day, usually in July, our temperature can get up to 65, and I've seen 70 degrees a couple times. That might not seem very warm, but we have a dry heat. It's mostly a comfortable warm, not unbearably.

Scenery and Wildlife
Alaska is full of gorgeous scenic views. Driving just 5 minutes from my place yields an amazing view of mountains and ocean. Alaska is a landscape and wildlife photographer's dream. And the wildlife is wonderful, also. Moose tromp through yards and through town. Bald eagles soar over head.

Culture
What about culture? Weird quirks? You might want to check out this post I wrote.
Alaska is a bit behind the times. Depending on how you live your life, that might be good or bad. We don't have the latest fashions. In fact, around town, people come to weddings in Carhartts and mudboots. In general, the people around here that actually try to dress fashionably are those in high school and college. And that's about it.

But we are a friendly group. We help each other out often. We're not stuck up. There aren't social classes here. You either survive or you don't.