Social Question

starshine's avatar

What is it about Alaska that people find so intruiging?

Asked by starshine (576points) March 3rd, 2010

I live in Alaska, and every time I leave it, someone, without fail, asks about igloos and polar bears. What is it that makes people think this about AK? Does anyone have a question about Alaska they would like answered? Have you ever/ would you ever consider moving to Alaska? Why or why not?

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18 Answers

Steve_A's avatar

Are you an eskimo :D? (joke)

When I think Alaska I think snow, just pure snow haha. Is it pretty much like that?

Truth be told I don’t know jack squat about that place on any real level…I guess that is why people jump to those conclusions it is the steroetype of that place you might say.

starshine's avatar

haha, no @Steve_A , I am very, very white. haha.
To be honest, i just helped my mom dig her car out of the snow tonight. It is cold here—very cold—during the winter, the summer is absoutely wonderful (it last from may-late august and is generally around 65 or 70 degrees). In the main metropolitain area, we do not have bears and do not live in igloos. We live in regular houses. Last year there were states that got more snow than we did. During the winter, the sun comes up at 10 or 11 in the morning and sets around 4, as we near spring, it has been coming up around 8 and setting around 7, and in the summer it never sets, we do sometimes have sunsets durring the summer, but it will remain light outside. Most of Alaska resembles pictures from Louis and Clarks expeditions across the western United States’ mountainous areas. it is beautiful here, but the winters do cause cabin fever in many (myself included!)

rangerr's avatar

It’s not where most of us live.
Anywhere that isn’t here for us is interesting.

starshine's avatar

* polar bears…we do have brown bears and the occasional black bear, but these are seen fairly rarely. Moose, however, are a pretty common sight anywhere in alaska.

DominicX's avatar

What’s it like when the sun never sets and never rises? (I know that varies depending on where in Alaska you live).

I don’t think I could live in a place like that; it would just be too weird. I do find Alaska interesting only because it’s so vast and so sparsely populated and there is so much natural beauty there. Also the fact that it is part of the United States, but it’s so different than the rest of the U.S. For me, though, it’s just too far away from everything, too cold, and too bizarre with the weather and sunlight and everything. I would love to visit, but I could never live there. I grew up in the desert of Nevada and I now I live in California. :)

(I’ve been looking a lot of Alaska on Google Street View recently, as much of the state’s roads were added not too long ago).

YARNLADY's avatar

What I have heard other people say – If you are ‘wanted’ in the U.S. for a minor offense, you can get a job in Alaska without any problem. – If you are an ex-con, you can get a job in Alaska, no questions asked. If you don’t mind hard work, but you don’t like to follow the rules, go to Alaska.

jazzjeppe's avatar

Definitely the nature

starshine's avatar

@DominicX , I know some of my friends from the lower 48 say they miss the stars durring the summer, but I really enjoy the extra daylight. i remember learning to ride my bike at midnight one summer, and it was bright as day. The wether is pretty crazy here. If I had my choice, I would live somewhere else—somewhere were it’s summer all the time. If Alaska had year round summer, it would be heaven on earth.
@YARNLADY , yeah, that is true. A lot of weirdos can be found here. Some of my relatives, even, are not the nicest of folk, but I also have relatives who were part of the founding of some of the suburban areas here in Alaska. At the place I work, there have been many a shady character. The truth is that most people in Alaska have had their share of hard times and not going to purposely put other people through them. They also seem to believe that everything comes back around. This is not true for all Alaskans, but I know many people that would atleast never send someone on their way without money in their pockets and a full stomach.

YARNLADY's avatar

@starshine I hope I did not sound like I was saying all Alaskans are criminals. I have several clients who are not employable because of their background and they believe that they will be accepted in Alaska.

ucme's avatar

My wife’s brother lived in Alaska briefly several years ago.He used to race huskies there.As for what I think of the place,kind of a north pole where Sarah Palin is president.

starshine's avatar

@YARNLADY , oh I most certainly did not think that! I knew just what you meant, and you are right, a lot of people do feel that way, and there are many jobs where a criminal history is no big deal. ;)
@ucme Some of my mom’s friends used to be very good friends with Sarah Palin in college they actually went to some pretty interesting parties with her…There are many people that are not fond of her. As of right now she has no governmental power, and really, she’s more of a big deal in the lower 48 than here. She is not a very nice lady. She has hurt many people, and not done a great deal of good for Alaska, just put herself on the map and then ditched us when she didnt think we could take her anywhere else. I am not fond of her. She let down a lot of people who voted for her.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I love Alaska; served two tours at Ft. Wainwright. My first tour was cut short by a winter-over tour at Amundsen-Scott Station (South Pole) and my second tour ended early by being assigned to complete my MS and teach ROTC at Georgia Tech. The “Polar Bears” job was to train for Arctic warfare, (with frequent maneuvers in Canada and Norway) and rescue Air Force types. Although the Arctic Survival School (“Cool School”) belonged to the USAF at Eilson AFB, many of the instructors such as myself were Army.

I fondly remember the haunting beauty of the Aurora Borealis (you can hear it, too). The ice rugby games, the Midnight Sun baseball game with the Alaska Gold Panners (many major league players have played in this game), sunbathing at 10 PM. The exploits of the UAF “Nanooks” hockey team. Our helicopter rescues of downed flyers, both sides of the border, since the Canadian choppers lacked the range of our Chinooks.

All that kept me from retiring there are my solid New England roots, my business interests are not portable and I’d have a hard time earning a living there. A breathtaking place.

Sarah Palin? Meh. Doesn’t even represent the real interests of Alaskans.

marinelife's avatar

I lived in Alaska. I think it represents the last notion of wilderness in people’s minds.

janbb's avatar

And it’‘s so cool the way that moose walks right down the main street of town!

Zaxwar91's avatar

Its honestly one of the purest places left on Earth. Its beautiful to see somewhere that has bearley been touched by man. Plus, depending how far into the interior you live, you may get payed by the state just to live there. Uts one of the few places left where you have a better chance of either being eaten by an animal or freezing to death instead of being hit by a car. Other wise its a wonderful place to live no matter what. I loved it.

kyanblue's avatar

It’s one of the last states acquired, it has a fairly tiny population, it’s not part of the continental US, you can see Russia from the suburbs, and the Eskimo have been romanticized in people’s minds as indigenous American people that still adhere to the old, quaint, interestingly cultural ways.

At least that’s how I see it. I’m sure every state has a whole raft of clich├ęs attached: Kansas = backwater, California = glitzy and Hollywoody. You know.

forestGeek's avatar

I personally am intrigued by the beauty, wildness, clean air, vast open space, variety of climates and ecosystems and wildlife being more abundant than humans. I’ve been there a few times and plan to go back many more times in my life.

Though I think it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, I am not so sure I could live there. I would miss the music scene, arts, abundance of independent movie theaters, vegan/vegetarian restaurants, easy access to other big cities, and the over abundance of liberals that are present here in Seattle. Don’t get me wrong, I know AK has all of these things and more, but there are just a lot less there.

Aster's avatar

I saw a tv show and the families were driving in the snow up to a window at McDonald’s to get their dinner. Not in a car; on those..what are those called? Snowmobiles?
You’d think they have a thriving “black sleep mask” market.

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