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Alaska: The Last Frontier and my home
I have lived in Alaska pretty much my entire life. I was actually born in Reno, Nevada, but I only lived there three weeks (and I haven't been back since). I then spent the first four years of my life in the Seattle, Washington area while my Dad finished his neurology residency at the University of Washington. Since basically the whole my reality has been shaped by living here and I have no norm to compare it to, I do a very poor job answering the question "So, what's it like living in Alaska?" Hopefully by throwing facts and stuff at you this page will do a better job shaping your perception of the state than I can give you. (Because I pretty much answer the above question "Um... it's kind of like living anywhere else, I guess. Except it's in Alaska"). Just remember, above all else, Alaska is my home.
• Alaska is 586,412 square miles (approx. 365,000,000 acres). It's about 1/5 the size of the contiguous 48 states. Because the Aluetian islands cross the international dateline, Alaska has the western, northern, and eastern most points in the U.S. The state's coastline extends over 6,600 miles.

• Alaska's population is approx. 648,818 (US Census, 2003). One in six are Alaska Natives. Almost half (260k) live in Anchorage. (for perspective, Lancaster county, PA has a pop of around 500k.)

• Nearly one-third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle.

• Barrow, 800 miles south of the North Pole, has the longest and shortest day of any town in North America. When the sun rises on May 10th, it don't set for nearly 3 months. When it sets on November 18th, Barrow residents do not see the sun again for nearly two months. The langest day in Anchorage is about 20 hours and the shortest is about 4.5 hours.

• Alaska officially became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.

• America's biggest earthquake, on Good Friday, March 27th 1964, devastated much of Southcentral Alaska. The earthquake measured 8.6 on the Richter Scale. This has since revised upward to 9.2 - the strongest ever recorded in North America. 120 Alaskans were killed in the quake and ensuing tsunami. (The Earthquake that devistated so many lives in Asia measured 8.7.)

Frequently Asked Questions:
How cold is it in Alaska? - Really cold. Like, all the time. I've never seen it warmer than -20 F. Except there was one time back in '96 it got up to -15 F. As I recall, all 600,000 of us headed for the beaches. With 6,600 miles of coastline, we each had about 500 feet to ourselves.

Does it snow there all the time? - Oh yeah. Year round. We do tend to get a little bit more in the Winter (about a foot a day). It backs off quite a bit during the summer. All those pictures you see of Moose standing in green grassy fields with Mt. McKinley in the background are fake. With some practice you take out the snow pretty easily in Photoshop.

How do you get around in the Winter? - Same as in the summer- by dogsled. Some people like to use snowmachines (or, Snowmobiles as they call them on the East Coast), but they require much more matinience and are hard to fix when it's colder than -50 F. Dogs are much better suited to the cold than those new-fangled "iron dogs." Sometimes, when we get a lot of snow, we get snowed in and we can't go anywhere for days. In such times it's really easy to come down with cabin fever.

Do people really live in Igloos? - Well, yes and no. What people normally think of when they hear Igloo is a tiny little dome thing with crawlspace for a door. That's just ridiculous. You expect a whole family to live in 10 square feet? Real igloos are much larger and more sophisticated than what you see in cartoons and stuff. My family lives in a three-story igloo with indoor plumbing and broadband.

Where is Alaska? Maps seem to put it in different places... - Yeah, that's kind of a problem. Most maps have it correctly, though. Alaska is just off the coast of Southern California. It's a little bit south and west. Sometimes it's hard to tell if Alaska is an Island or not, but no, it isn't. We're right next to Canada on the east.

So, do you see a lot of wild animals? - Nope. Never.

Is is it light there all the time? - Yes. It's light 24/7, 365 days a year.

Is it dark there all the time? - Yes. It's dark 24/7, 365 days a year.

Aaron Trimble - webmaster@aarontrimble.com - Ph. 907.696.257 - 19430 Upper Skyline Dr. Eagle River, AK 99577 - Send me Stuff