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Old 02-01-2002, 09:57 AM   #1
Dr. WOT
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Default What's it like to live in Alaska?

This might seem like a stupid question, but I asking seriously... what's it like to live in Alaska? I have never met anyone from up there. I was looking at those pics from your meet and the terrain in the background looks incredible. REAL MOUNTAINS. I just saw "Cold Fusion" by Warren Miller and it features a segment of heli-skiing in AK and my god... that is the real deal. No ski patrol to come bail your ass out....

So what's it like on a day-to-day basis? Cultural, environmental, & socioeconomic. Are all the people crazy like they are up in Maine? Are there any Eskimos left? Do you guys have Canadian accents, eh? What type of ethnicity is the general populous? What is the cost of living? Are groceries expensive? How do the jobs pay up there compared to the lower 48? Are there any corporations? Do you guys get US TV stations? Cable? Speedvision? Do they have movies up there? What are your summers like (southern part)? Can you play any golf up there? Are the winters brutal? Do you have 4 seasons? (again, mostly the warmer parts of the state) What kind of wildlife do you have? What are the cities like? Are there suburbs, or is it all rural? Is there any pollution?

What's the deal... somebody give me a slice of life in the 49th. I'm guessing it's nothing like the NYC suburbs of NJ.
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Last edited by Dr. WOT; 02-01-2002 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 02-01-2002, 01:24 PM   #2
zemmo
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NOTHING like Joisey, but it'd take a novel to answer all your questions.

Eskimo is a honky pejorative meaning "raw meat eater". Yes, we do have a fair number of them, whatever ya wanna call them, out west and up north, coastally. But their culture, like nearly all aboriginal cultures, is disappearing rapidly.
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Old 02-01-2002, 06:45 PM   #3
WRXnFX
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WoW! I think your answers could better be answered by the Chamber of Commerce.

One morning, I got up and my face was stuck to my ice cube pillow because I had drooled everywhere. Once I had removed my face from the block of ice, I climbed out the small hole of my igloo. I looked around to make sure there wasn't any polar bears stalking me.

Anyways, Be careful with the Eskimo comments. The term eskimo can be taken with derogatory connotations. No, people up here are not crazy like those Mainiacs. No accents. There is a certain last frontier feel about this urban setting. We do have access to digital and satellite television. Summers are more like Spring. Anchorage does have suburbs. The golf season is about 5 months long and be prepared to dress warm. Believe it or not, In the city there is alot of air pollution during the winter months. Groceries are more expensive because of the shipping methods used. Most goods that come to Alaska are shipped via truck.

Hope that helps Winslow
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Old 02-01-2002, 08:10 PM   #4
Dr. WOT
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Thanks, that clears some of it up.

Absolutely NO offense intended by the Eskimo comment... I had no idea that was a slur. That's what that teach us in school here.

At least one part of the 2nd grade curriculum in my school was that -Native Alaskans- kiss by rubbing their noses together. Later that day John Huber and Debra Wang were caught "Eskimo kissing" in the cloakroom... oh the controversy!

Please notify that Anchorage Chamber of Commerce that I am waiting for my key to the city.

More responses are welcome.
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Old 02-01-2002, 09:41 PM   #5
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it's lame...everyday i wake and dog sled to work...and when i come home i have to make ice blocks because a wall on my igloo has collapsed! and it's sooooo cold!
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Old 02-01-2002, 10:53 PM   #6
AutoXr
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Just want to clear something up that was stated eralier. Contrary to what WRXnFX1974 commented on, most of the goods in Anchorage are shipped in on container ships or flown in. I think that there's at least 6 ships a week, something like that. We do not have UPS or FedEx ground service so shipping parts is way expensive.


Check out my web page . It's a bit old, but has some good pictures of Alaska on it. Here's more pictures of Alaska on my bro's web site.

Alaska has several mountain peaks above 16,000 ft. Alaska also has the most glaciated mountain range anywhere, the Chugach Range which stretches from ANchorage west to the Wrangell Mountains.

Winter lasts from October to sometime in March or April. Last year we had over a foot of snow at the house in early May. During Winter, the ground is always covered with snow except on rare occasions. When the snow and ice melt in Spring, we refer to this as "Break-up" since the ice on rivers "breaks-up" and goes out in a short time.

During the winter we have a low of 5.5 hours of daylight, butdugint the summer Anchorage gets up to 19.5 hours. Because of the lack of sunshine and intensity of sun, no melting takes place on the roads unless the temp. goes above 32. This is great for hard core rally drivers (wannabes) who like to tear it up.

Summers (trees with leaves) lasts from late May to mid September. We typically get frost ony 2 to 3 weeks before we get snow in an average year. Temps during summer are usually in the mid 60s to mid 70s in the Anchorage area. In the interior (Fairbanks) temps reach 90 on a regular basis (from what I am told).

Anchorage has more cloudy/rainy days than Seattle in an average year.

Winters can be brutal in the Interior where temperatures can get down to -70F without a wind chill. While this seems bad, "it's a dry cold". In Anchorage we typically hit -25 to -35 in an average winter. While Anchorage may seem really cold, it's usually not windy when it's that cold. During winter we get a weather phenomenon called a temperature inversion where the surface temps are much lower than just a few thousand feet up. This causes polution to be trapped at ground level and can become very bad at times. Usually we dont' have this much at all.


While Alaska doesn't have a lot of roads, it is very deceiving. A drive from Anchorage to Fairbanks is over 300 miles.

Lakes are almost never warm enough to swim in. There are a few exceptions, but usually they are too cold. Incidentally, jet skiing is a major summer sport for some people who wear wet and sometimes dry suits to stay warm while in the water.

I get SpeedVision {SpeedChannel) on my Dish Network system. I understand that it is available on cable in Anchorage too.

Leaving Alaska and traveling to the lower 48 after you've been here awhile is a bit of a shock. Not as bad as it used to be, but still a very different experience. We refer to the experience as "culture shock" and the actual trip as going "outside".

Food is more expensive than in the lower 48, especially prepared food from resteraunts.

Last time I checked, the cost of living was something like 1.3x the national average. Jobs pay is highly dependant on the industry you are in. We typically have good paying professional jobs and a few other areas too, but don't count on it.

We have a 16-plex movie theatre across the street from where I work. We get all the latest releases at the same time as the lower 48.

Ancorage has no deer, mostly moose. Other critters include lynx, bear (black and brown/grizzly), all 5 varieties of Pacific salmon, trout, etc, squirrels, rabbits, mink, fox, and bunches of other furry things I'm forgetting. The inlet around Anchorage has whales too.

Hope this answers more of your curiosities.
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Old 02-01-2002, 11:37 PM   #7
RallyX13
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...and sometimes I jet-ski in just a pair of shorts and a life-jacket!

Alaska is a place that has to be experienced to be appreciated. I have not traveled alot in my life, but the places I have been pale in comparison to Alaska.

The mountains are what do it for me, they are always there, and it is beautiful.

It is a pain in the butt to keep your car clean though, and sometimes I want to move somewhere warmer just so it is easier to keep the car in good shape.

But I highly recommend it, and where else to you get paid to live there?

Kris
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Old 02-02-2002, 12:03 AM   #8
RawCode
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We are just like your average 300,000 people city.

The only difference is that we get lots of moose running around. And sometimes a bear. In order to get out to the "bush" (that si rural alaska) you have to fly, or snowmachine. That is the only why out there.

We have snow 7 months of the year and it is usally dark. One thing I have really noticed is that the sun sets really slowly here. We have LOTS of twilight. Unlike down in the states, where swish! it is gone!

We have very little air pollution. It is generally a very easy and clean place to live.

Want to know more?

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Old 02-03-2002, 06:14 AM   #9
SirWally
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It's just somewhere you have to go to really appreciate. Even with all the "negatives" such as a slightly higher cost of living, more expensive food and goods, the winters, etc. it is definitely worth it. There are SO many positives.....the mountains, the people, the land.....the disassociation with the lower 48

I lived in New Mexico for 5 years, and have traveled a fair bit around the country (and lived in a few other countries, too) and I have to say that Alaska it one of my favorite places. That is why I am here.

I don't find the winters THAT bad. It could be worse. It could be the midwest. It get colder there than here, but the winters aren't as long.

If you like fishing, then I gather that Alaska is worth a trip just for that! I personally don't have much love for the sport (I was never good at it anyway.) And if you like berry picking, then you can always trundle around in the tundra, fighting bears for the abundant wild blueberries. They are good!

As a side note, I believe that you can ship FedEx/UPS ground OUT of Alaska, but the cheapest IN is 2nd day air.
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Old 02-04-2002, 07:45 PM   #10
RawCode
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I remember when I checked on how much it wold be to ship here UPS ground... it was around 12 thousand dollars! They calculated the total milage and went from there to figure out the price, if they drove the entire way from the east coast!

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Old 02-04-2002, 10:49 PM   #11
Bankheist
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Like I said before, I bet you guys have wonderful roads to drive on!

Someday, my future wife and I will take our Imprezas all over the country and visit you guys!
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Old 02-05-2002, 12:13 AM   #12
TheSubaruJunkie
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Default Alaska's Subarus

Alaska kicks ass and sucks all in one. Its secluded so you cant go anywhere, but its so beautiful you wouldnt want to leave anyhow.

Also.. Alaska has the most Subaru's per person in the United State's. No where else in the United States will you find a state with more subaru's per person according to population. I lived in Alaska for 19 years and recently moved to California because there's almost no opportunity in Alaska unless your well qualified or you want to work on a boat for 3 months at a time.

-Brian-
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Old 02-05-2002, 12:24 AM   #13
KapaFool
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Question

Subaru Junkie - did you work in Anchorage or somewhere else?
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Old 02-08-2002, 12:23 AM   #14
TheSubaruJunkie
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I worked there, but could never find any good steady work. Like I said, unless your qualified... you cant get any steady work other than fishing or some crap like that.

Although, i do miss my PFD's

-Brian-
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Old 02-08-2002, 01:03 AM   #15
KapaFool
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Cool

Here's some Subie pics with Alaska as the background.
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Old 02-08-2002, 01:07 AM   #16
KapaFool
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This one is the drive to Fairbanks last summer.
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Old 02-08-2002, 01:57 AM   #17
KapaFool
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Here's a picture of some mountains on the drive out of Anchorage.
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Old 02-08-2002, 02:03 AM   #18
KapaFool
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Picture of downtown Anchorage with Fur Rondy dog race starting line.
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Old 02-08-2002, 02:58 AM   #19
WRXnFX
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Nice pics. I'm going to miss it when I leave. Winslow
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Old 02-08-2002, 08:56 AM   #20
GoodFinder
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... great pictures ... you guys do work for the Chamber of Commerce, right

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Old 02-08-2002, 03:04 PM   #21
KapaFool
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Here's a pic at Arctic Valley.
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Old 02-08-2002, 03:11 PM   #22
SQUAD_907
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very nice pics!
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Old 02-08-2002, 03:13 PM   #23
KapaFool
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More subies......
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Old 02-08-2002, 03:17 PM   #24
KapaFool
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Thumbs up

Artic Valley Road. Very fun !!
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Old 02-08-2002, 03:23 PM   #25
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Talking

Of course I can't leave out the beautiful port of Anchorage.
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