10 March 2014

Since March is Six Years ...

Here's the first significant post I wrote, way back when:

I heard once, while traveling through Wyoming, that the folks there are really friendly. I also noticed that the towns are about 70 miles apart, so I asked a guy while pumping gas (this was back in the late '70s, when gas was around 65 cents a gallon...).

He said, "Nope, we're not any friendlier than anyone else. We're just lonely."

Well, I understand that, now. Alaska is about 587,000 square miles, and has a population of around 686,000 more than 700,000 people. Since Anchorage has 270,000 now 301,000 of those, that doesn't leave much for the remainder. In fact, 95% of the state is off the road system. That means air or sea access only.

Add to that the distance from elsewhere ... for example, to get from Anchorage to the state line is a 7-hour drive. And that gets you to (drumroll, please) the Yukon Territory.

Everything is a long way from here. There's one road in and out of Anchorage. Seattle is 1,350 miles southeast. In fact, nearly everything is south of here ... like British Columbia.

Most businesses seem to think Alaska is a foreign country. We're just so dang far away, don't ya know! They charge more for first class mail than the Post Office charges. There's a movement up here to avoid purchasing from companies that consider Alaska a foreign or overseas destination. We have happily joined it.

It's far enough that friends from the lower 48 have trouble making (or affording) plans to come visit. And with fuel prices continuing to go up, it's just that much more expensive.

So, we're sometimes lonely, a bit isolated, and paying slightly higher prices for most goods than elsewhere in the country. (Notable exceptions: Hawaii and California.)

So come on up and see us! You'll be glad you did - and we'll be happy to see you, and tell you about our wonderful state. Just don't think you're going to see it all in a short trip. 587,000 square miles is a lot of territory, pilgrim...


Chickenmom said...

Pilgrim - LOL I bet you felt like one (or a pioneer)!!

Rev. Paul said...

Chickenmom, it was very much a "pilgrim" experience to spend seven days driving here. Best. Week. EVER!

Cathy said...

Hubby and I just found "Buying Alaska",
It really makes you appreciate the beauty, isolation and very interesting people that settle there.

Rev. Paul said...

Cathy, it's an unusual place, and we wouldn't live anywhere else.