FAQ about Alaska

 

This may seem silly to have, but I really do get a ton of questions about living in Alaska, so I thought I'd include them there.

 

Is there dark all the time?

Nope. In order to get a day without sun (and the reverse in summer), you’ve got to get to the Arctic Circle. I’m in Anchorage, which is roughly 700-800 miles from that point. That’s about the distance from Seattle to San Francisco. Or Maine to Virginia. Being from a state that is one-fifth the size of the Lower 48 (or what you down south may call the “Contiguous United States”), means we cover a lot of area and that there’s a lot of variation between one part of the state and another.

 

Winter in Anchorage is darker than a lot of places—the sun rises around 10am and sets around 4pm—but I don’t really notice it all that much. I grew up here, so it’s fairly normal to me. And though people fixate on the darkness, they tend to forget the fact that it gets equally light during the summer. Actually, it’s even better. The sun rises sometime around 3am and sets around midnight or so, but really, it never gets pitch black in the summer.

Is there snow all the time?

Not even in the most northern parts of Alaska does that happen. Summer in Anchorage runs about 70-75*F on average and 15-20*F in the winter.

Do you live in an igloo?

Of course not. And I don’t know anyone who does.

Have you seen penguins?

In zoo's? Sure. In the wild? Wrong hemisphere. Though I have seen a couple bears, dozens and dozens of bald eagles, and more moose than I can count. And when I say bears, I don't mean polar. Again, I've seen them in the zoo, but never in the wild.

Have you seen a car before?

Believe it or not, I have had someone ask me that before. And I’m not going to dignify it with an answer. I live in Alaska. Not the moon.

Don’t you get paid to live there?

I hate when people say it like that. As if the only reason someone would have to live in the Last Frontier is money. Residents of Alaska receive the yearly Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend or PFD as Alaskans call it. I don’t feel like getting into a detailed lesson about the history of where it came from or what it does, but feel free to check out the Alaska PFD webpage or Wikipedia. It's not so much getting paid to live here as much as benefiting from the revenue that comes from Alaska'a natural resources. That might sound like splitting hairs, but I love my home, and I live here because I love it, not because the PFD.

Summit Lake, AK