Alaska is a Special Place
Alaska is a special place. Most who have been there once have a longing to return. If you’ve ever cruised there, you should definitely return to spend more time on land. What makes Alaska so special? Well, it is breathtaking in beauty and the complexity of her lands make her awe-inspiring.
The word Alaska comes from an Aleut word, Alyeska, which means “The Great Land”. It was purchased from Russa in 1867 in what many considered “Seward’s folly” due to the price tag of 7.2 million dollars (.02 cents per acre) and adopted into the Union in 1959. When gold was found there in 1898, people flocked to the state and still do to this day. The state sport is mushing and the largest sporting event in the state Is the Iditarod dog sled race.
Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the United States combined coming in at 34,000 miles of coastline! This coastline borders three bodies of water – The Arctic Ocean, The Bering Sea, and the Pacific Ocean. At the closest point, Alaska is only fifty miles from Russia.
Although it is the largest state, it is the least densely populated at one person per square mile. At one time the ratio of men to women was 2:1 (but that has changed and now 52% of the population are men), so the women coined the popular phrase, “The odds are good, but the goods are odd!” in relation to their chances of finding a spouse. The people of Alaska tend to have a reputation for being very adventurous, fun, and warm (not physically – but in personality).
The number one job in Alaska today is that of a zoologist or wildlife biologists with geological and petroleum technologists being the second. The most in demand job right now is that of dental hygienists and medical assistants. The minimum wage in Alaska is a little over $9 per hour and rent averages at about $1000 a month. Because there are so few passable roads in Alaska, pilots’ licenses are more popular in Alaska than drivers’ licenses.
One third of the land in Alaska is located within the Arctic Circle, and much of the land is still unexplored. No one person has ever explored all of Alaska, and they probably never will. In Fairbanks, the aurora borealis can be seen for more than 200 nights a year. Speaking of night – did you know that Barrow is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun? Why? Because when the sun rises in May, it will not set for nearly three months, which sounds pretty great. But in November when the sun sets, it doesn’t rise again for nearly two months. That means for two months, the land has very little light. Seasonal depression is a real issue in many parts of Alaska! It also means that in summer, those long days produce some pretty large vegetables – 39-pound turnips and 138-pound cabbages, anyone? Those two vegetables grown by a local Alaskan farmer hold the world record for largest cabbage and turnip! These extreme conditions can lead to extreme temperatures as well. The highest recorded temperature was 100F in 1915 and the lowest temperature was -80F in 1971. So, you may want to dress in layers when you visit!
Speaking of when you visit – I’d love to help you plan your trip to Alaska! Be sure to get in touch when you’re ready to start planning.