Please tell me about Alaska. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 09-04-2004, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have no clue what Alaska is really like. MY husband would like us to go there in a year or so on vacation. I am a tad scared we might never leave if we do go..and would like to know what it is like ????

I have read a few articles in magazines, and I have a copy of Peter Jenkins book that he worte while he lived there for over a year. I have heard stories about fishing trips and islands and bears and snow and how my father in law told my husband he would be able to go up there and live because he can do small engine repair on 4 wheelers or hunt or fish or operate his own small sawmill on some island outside of Homer( they have built one and run it here in oregon ) ...so I saw my husbands eyes light up at that thought.

For personal( and medical ) reasons, I would NEVER want to live out in the middle of nowhere, but I have a feeling he might like to try it. This scares the crap out of me.. so please, tell me, are there nice sized towns in the state, where a person could have a good mix of both small town and woods..with out it being a small town of, oh, 4 people in our house being the town?

I read an article in M.E. N. this last month about a family who live in a remote home and have to travel to town by boat and do so once a week. They have no phone lines and no electricity and grow their own veggies and so on..and they have 2 small kids. They are ok with this life style..and when I was 18, the thought of living like that sounded great to me as well. However, now I am 28 with 2 small kids of my own and the thought of living like that scares the crap out of me!

I would not mind living in alaska ( weellll..I would mind actually, I like where I am...) if I had a nice sized town nearby, or actually lived in town with neighbors and the ability to get to a grocery store or a drs office quickly.

I guess I no longer have any sense of adventure or am intersted in "roughing it" anymore...and so I am wondering if those of you who actually LIVE there could tell me really what it is like.

My husband just thinks " Hey, we could live on an island with a few hundred people, not go to town but once a few months(( and then face a boat ride over the ocean. Oh joy of joys to me)), not have telephones or electricity and I can fix 4 wheelers and you can..oh I don't know, go slowly but surely MAD ...it would be GRRREATT honey! Lets go!"


He thinks it would be great for the kids to live out in the wilderness, and i sort of agree..but only if it meant we lived in Pennsylvania ! I can handle those woods! The thought of bears that can pull the doors off and winters that make people lose it and being cold for months out of the year and being so isolated ( because he seems to think that is the way to go for us) just scares me. or the knowledge that my FIl and BIL would move in, ruin my marriage and expect me to work like a mule( hey, I know, give becca the chainsaw and the kids, she can go off into the woods and cut down a few trees, then come home and make dinner and then stay up and have sex with me later on!! ) and think like a man and ..well..they are an odd bunch and I will tell more later on. I just don't want to be like that. I like me now. I don't want to learn how to use a chainsaw, or run a sawmill. You know what I want to do? Take a pottery class. Walk through a museum. Bake some bread. Plant a nice garden.

I know that there are cities there, but what are they like? Are they similar to a city like, say, Portland oregon? Or a city like, um..Klamath falls? How do people get around? What sort of vehichle do you need to have to get places? Does it have to always have four wheel drive? Do they salt the roads or do you need chains ? What sort of grocery stores do you have ? Are the prices outrageos?

If I wanted to buy a house in the 'burbs" would it be avalilable? I know we would only need a 3 bedroom house... but I also know he hates to deal with yard type work..yet wants to live in the boonies....


Please tell me what it is really like..nso I have a better idea and am not confusing real Alaska with someones made up ideas about it or a few snippets in a magazine or a travel brochure. I mean, I am smart wnough to relaize it is not " northern Exposure/ Cecily-esque.." but since I have never been there I have nothing else to compare it too.

Anything would be good at this point. Thanks.
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#2 of 4 Old 09-04-2004, 03:17 PM
 
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Everything you (and dh)said is true and untrue depending on where you live. Ak is HUGE and has incredible diversity in every single facet of life. Dh and I travelled around a lot due to work and decided to settle in "the city," and are totally, 100%, happy here. Check out the thread maybe just couple down about a similar question. If you think you may want more in the interior, talk to the Fairbanks moms. And, there are some SE moms rattling around MDC somewhere

You can find exactly what you want here, but you need to know what you're looking for. (deep, huh!)
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#3 of 4 Old 09-09-2004, 07:48 PM
 
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Agree with previous post. If you put Alaska ontop of the rest of the US, it reaches both the west coast and the east coast at the same time. With that said, Northern Alaska usually has the really deep snows, western Alaska is pretty windblown, but has pretty, woodsy areas too, Southeast is rainy like Seattle area. Southcentral has the big city, and most communities are connected by paved road.

I read a recent article about someone going bankrupt that was in the logging industry. The article said that things went from bad to worse as the economy in this type of trade went down overall. Maybe a sawmill is a bad idea right now?
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#4 of 4 Old 09-09-2004, 07:52 PM
 
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Forgot to add...

with paved roads, chains are really not necessary unless you drive a school bus, and in many areas are not legal. Most cars do fine with studs on them if they are front wheel drive. Personally, I drive AWD, (either vehicle) and am comfortable with just that, but dh always gets studs put on anyway, I think because of the kiddo in the car factor.
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