5 Reasons to Visit Alaska …
Knowing my how deeply my husband Paul loves Alaska, the Great Land as he fondly calls it, I asked him to name the top 5 things he loves about Alaska. Now to be honest there was a dislike, too, but we’ll get to that later.
As you may have read in our little sidebar biography, Paul truly had a “love-at-first-sight” moment when he saw a magazine photo of Mt. McKinley (now called Denali) when he was just a young school boy. He asked his dad where that mountain was and that’s when “ALASKA” became his dream destination when he grew up. So even before he made his first trip to Alaska, he would say Mt McKinley’s rugged scenic beauty drew him here.
#1 Rugged Scenic Beauty
Winter Sunrise at the Wildlife Conservation Center near Girdwood and Portage Glacier on Turnagain Arm
At 17, Paul jumped at the opportunity to spend a summer in Tok, Alaska, to help start a wilderness camp for boys. It was a bonafide adventure, the real thing … frontier living in a log cabin … in the woods … right in the middle of the grand majestic scenery and wildlife. And you know, he still finds the mountain scenery awesome and spotting a moose amazing, even if it’s just in our front yard! Yes, wildlife ranks up there in his top 5 reasons he still lives in Alaska.
#2 Wildlife (Yes, it’s still wild even if it’s in the front yard!)
One of Anchorage’s resident moose out for a walk on the Southport Neighborhood Greenbelt in Anchorage AK
Paul left Tok but returned again this time to make Alaska his home. He just couldn’t resist Alaska’s appeal and a major part of that was spending time outdoors. Even in his home state of New York, he grew up spending much of his youth hunting and fishing. What better place to hunt and fish than wild untouched Alaska? Hunting and fishing actually led him to his career with Fish & Game as a fisheries biologist spending many years working in the field on remote Kodiak Island known for Kodiak bears. In fact, he became known there for working so closely with these bears that he had names for them.
We enjoy the bountiful harvest that GOD supplies … moose … caribou … Dall sheep … mountain goat … Sitka deer … halibut … salmon … crab … Arctic hares … ptarmagin … grouse. Oh, and we can’t forget black bear and brown bear. Wild game … it’s the Alaskan version of organic beef!
#5 History & Frontiersmen
Paul has quite a collection of Alaskan-themed books about the pioneers that made their own way and he had the privilege of knowing some of these men like the old bear guides on Kodiak Island. These men and their stories grew Paul’s love for the wilderness to a great extent.
One of our family’s favorite places to visit near Anchorage is Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine, an old gold mine. It is one of those off-the-beaten path spots to poke around and explore while imagining what life was like back in the old days of mining. I will include it in our TOP 10 LIST soon!
Alaska is truly unique to the United States offering such a diverse climate, culture, geography, history, beauty, and adventure. Maybe you, too, have dreams of Alaska and be able to plan a trip to explore and experience it for yourself.
And the thing he doesn’t like? Well, we’re getting old and snow removal is not one of our favorite things … 10 inches in one day can make a sore body.
More blog posts about Alaska coming soon…