Jen’s Journal – Alaska Special Edition

We finished the book, “Alaska,” by James Michener. The audio book is 57 hours long, so it took a while. The tome covers in detail Alaska from prehuman history until 1988: four native nations, Russian occupation, the gold rush, statehood, etc, etc. Since we just spent seven weeks in Alaska, it was easy to follow the locations and history mentioned in the book.

I thought it would be a good time to sum up my observations of Alaska. Keep in mind these observations do not apply to all Alaskans, they are just some observations I made.

1) Bog Boots are the big thing. Everybody wears them everywhere.

2) Pickup trucks no longer in use are common in back yards.

3) Garbage and debris is common in back yards, and the weeds grow over it and the snow covers it in winter.

4) We didn’t see many recycling opportunities.

5) Alaskans carry guns. To scare off bears.

6) Dogs are hardly ever leashed.

7) Breweries must close at 7 or 8 PM, and they don’t serve food. Exception is 49th State Brewery near Denali.

8) Alaskan is THE brewery, and Amber is served everywhere.

9) There is a large Russian influence, especially along the coast, which covers much of Alaska.

10) Mosquitoes are not present in August, but this year may be an anomaly. The weather was pleasant and we didn’t experience much rain at all.

11) Juvenile eagles sound like a squeaky metal tricycle.

12) We learned that Alaska is 43% wetlands – grass, sedge, and bog – that’s why winter travel over frozen land and rivers is easier.

13) You can’t tell Sitka spruce from their size and appearance, you can tell where permafrost is by the size and appearance of the spruce.

14) Signs which tally the moose-car accidents for the month are common.

15) We found food trucks made from an old travel trailer spray painted a solid color, like red or pink or turquoise. I loved the repurposing.

16) Alaskans love Alaska.

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