Chad Thorne

Top Reasons Alaska is Awesome

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Alaska was the 49th state admitted to the union and has the distinction of being the only US state that’s part of the North American mainland without being connected to the rest of the contiguous US states.  Alaska’s beauty and wonder continue to enchant visitors as well as lifelong residents.  If you’re considering a trip or permanent move to The Last Frontier, keep reading for more reasons to head to North America’s extreme northwest corner.

 

The natural beauty

There’s no better place to see the stars than Alaska.  With far less ambient city light than most places in the US, there are more stars visible here than pretty much anyplace else.  And don’t forget the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.  This swath of green light across the sky can’t be matched.

 

Believe it or not, there are well over 100 active volcanic fields and volcanoes in Alaska, though none are in danger of a major eruption.  With their own unique beauty and power, you’ll definitely want to make sure at least one of them makes it to your “must-see” list.

 

Some parts of Alaska, like Barrow, are north of the Arctic Circle, meaning that there are about two months during the winter when there’s no full sunlight and about 80 days during the summer when there’s nothing but daylight.  

 

The wildlife

It’s not at all uncommon to see a bear or a moose roaming around populated areas.  Just because they’re in town, though, doesn’t make them any less wild.  Yes, they’re usually at least as afraid of you as you are of them, but they’re still potentially dangerous, even deadly, so admire them from afar.

 

The king crabs and fish are among the best anywhere, and seafood doesn’t get much fresher than in Alaska.  Also, despite the depiction of Alaska as nothing but wilderness (and there is a lot of wilderness), there are also any number of restaurants that feature local fare and will give you a taste of the real culture of Alaska.

 

There really are reindeer in Alaska, and though they don’t actually fly, they do run pretty fast.  There’s even a 10-day festival celebrating these wonderful creatures.

 

Frontier living

If you’ve thought you’d like to give the prepper, survivalist, or off-grid lifestyle a try, Alaska can certainly be the place to hone your skills.  When the nearest town is hours away, you’ll learn how to make the most of the trips you do make into town and how to get by with what you have.  You may want a generator if having power at all times is a must, especially in the areas with the harshest weather or least reliable municipal power sources.

 

The Alaskan Bush is a place like no other if you want the type of backpacking adventure you might picture when thinking of this remote state.  Some areas of the Bush are so remote that you’ll need a plane to get there.  One thing to keep in mind is that not every wilderness area is public land.  Do your best to respect the fact that you might be hiking through someone else’s property.
One important thing to note is that Alaska’s distance from the continental US and its overall remoteness mean that things tend to cost more there simply because of the cost involved in shipping from the mainland.  The natural beauty and endless sources of adventure are definitely worth it, though!

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About Chad

Chad Thorne is a high school math teacher and wrestling coach in Juneau, Alaska. He also offers math and wrestling coaching outside of school for those who could use it. Please contact him for rates.

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