My fiance’s job had required me to pack up all of my clothes, my extensive shoe collection, and my little warm-weather dog and move to Fairbanks, Alaska. The first night we were here it snowed- and didn’t melt for 6 months. I thought I would hate Fairbanks, despite everyone that lived in the city saying they loved it and would never live anywhere else. Today, a year after our plane landed in Alaska, I can honestly say I like it here (not love, not yet). Along the way I’ve had some interesting experiences, and they are all things that I’ve never done or seen before.
My First Time In Alaska Experiences:
Been to the Arctic Circle
It was kind of ironic the time I went to the Arctic Circle- it was sunny and 80 degrees. Not a single hint of the area being ‘arctic’. Well, except for the sign that said “Arctic Circle” where all the tourists were getting their picture taken. In a way, I was kind of hoping that there was a blue line like they use on a map to mark the Arctic Circle.
Drove Down a Dirt Highway
All the roads the state wants to keep people off of (too dangerous, too much haul traffic) they seem to let deteriorate to dirt. Did that stop my fiance for taking a trip down them? Of course not.
Missed Daylight During the Winter
With only 4 hours of daylight during the height of winter, I had a tendency to nap through the whole day or work a five hour shift that spanned the whole day. It was not fun. This year I hope to get a sun lamp for Christmas.
Missed Night During The Summer
I would often miss the 4 measly hours at night. At the most, nighttime in the summer could be compared to dusk. This was great though- I spent many nights on my porch, drinking beer and enjoying the sunlight at 2 a.m..
Saw An Actual Politician Speak
Well, it was Sarah Palin and she was giving her good-bye speech. It was interesting, I’ve never seen so many people in the same spot in Alaska. Well, except for Wal-Mart. That’s besides the point. From that I got a great article, a wicked sunburn, and my first political experience outside of Fox News.
Visited the Ice Museum
In the middle of the summer, I visited an ice museum. It was fun to see all of the carvings and the beds made out of ice. Would I do it again? Nope. Although I hear that the 20 degrees it is in there at all times actually feels warm during the winter.
Handed Out Candy for Halloween
Last year was the first year I didn’t celebrate Halloween because I was still waiting for my belongings to be shipped, so I handed out candy to all the little ones. It was so cold on Halloween last year that every kid that came to my door had their Halloween costume over their winter coat.
I’ve Been To North Pole
North Pole is a town in Alaska not far from Fairbanks. North Pole has candy cane light poles, a Christmas themed Wendy’s, the Santa Clause House. At the Santa Clause House you can buy Christmas decorations and sit on Santa’s lap all year round. It’s a neat little town that brings out the kid inside.
Cut My Lawn Too Much
With all the sunlight during the summer, I was cutting grass at least two or three times a week. Unfortunately, I was using a Weed Eater, which wasn’t very helpful at all. I finally gave up and let it grow. The snow is going to cover it anyways.
Pet A Reindeer
I don’t think I was supposed to stick my hand through the fence and pet Santa’s reindeer at the Santa Clause House, but I did anyways. They kind of smell weird.
Saw My First Moose
It was a winter day and I looked out the window to see a group of 4 moose standing there. I’ve never been that close to a moose, especially with nothing but a pane of glass separating me from them. At that point, my dog started pounding at the window because she saw them. I had to hide her… I didn’t want a moose to get too excited and break the window into our living room. But my fiance was lucky enough to get pictures as they climbed the snow plow piles before leaving the complex.
Watched A Dog Race
Well, not the whole thing. I also forget which one it was, but I watched the teams of huskies go through Fairbanks. I even saw my first “Dog Team X-ing” sign along the road.
Did A Science Experiment
On one of the last cold nights, I threw a cup of water into the air to have it come down as… just water. It was 30 below. Apparently it needs to be 50 below for the water to turn to ice before it falls to the ground. This winter I will try again.
Since the full year has been packed up to this point, I think the only thing I want to experience this year in Alaska is to view the Northern Lights. But then again, who knows what will come up and ask to be explored.