Comments on Wander North?
Joined: Oct 16, 2005
Total Topics: 56
Total Comments: 864
Posted 10/03/13 - 12:38 AM:
Subject: Wander North?
I went to Alaska for a couple of weeks and rather enjoyed the change of state.
There is somewhat of a paradox of space there, precisely from the view of an islander (Hawaii). Alaska is the largest state in the union and it is enormous. By comparison, Hawaii is the 4th smallest state in the union but is divided into even smaller islands. Accordingly there are more people living on the tiny island I call home than in the entire state of Alaska.
The paradox comes in the smallness of Alaskan sprawl (population and infrastructure). There is really one road that goes North. The largeness of place contrasts with smallness of sprawl, so the state feels strangely small to me. So I understand a bit more how I perceive space relative to place and people. The magnitude of Alaska is hidden by its inaccessibility, whereas I have a pretty good concept of the nooks and crannies of my island.
My exploration of actual terrain is limited, so it is not easy to picture what it would feel like to know a huge area. The idea is energizing though. I have itchy desire or a budding dream to kayak down the Yukon River and bike across the Alcan into Canada. People do it and it must be quite an experience.
The North is strange in other ways. Annual daylight fluctuates between 20 hrs at the height of summer and 4 hrs at the low of winter. The sun never sets for half the year and never really rises for the other half of the year.
It is cold in the fall and frigid in the winter (-50 inland).
Alaskans are very proud of themselves, being able to tough out a living an inhospitable climate.
Bear poo can actually resemble blueberry preserves. You must resist the urge to taste it.
You can buy gold mine claims. Just don't pan for gold on another person's claim.
You can't homestead anymore. It ended in the 1980s.
About 5 or so people die each year trying to climb Mt. Denali.
It is a cool place and I'd like to go back to it.
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco
Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 11/05/13 - 2:57 PM:
it sounds amazing and i've been wanting to get out there myself someday