Adapting to Alaska

Living here, there are adaptations one has to make.  You’ll need extra clothes since layering is a must.  Layering allows you to stay warm or cool no matter where you are.  So, it’s a tee covered by a long sleeve fleece or sweater for inside.  Add a coat, beanie, and gloves if you are going to be outside for any amount of time and if you are walking, put a set of Trax over those shoes and socks.  If it would actually snow, I could wear the boots I brought. Sigh.

If you have a vehicle, you would probably want to buy a set of four winter tires that are coated to give them more traction on snow and ice storing the summer set of tires until time to change back to them after breakup.  You must also accept that your vehicle will be dirty all winter long.  Oh, sure, you can wash it, but an hour later it will look the same if you’re out driving.  The slush on the roads splashes up covering the entire bottom half of the car or truck hiding license plates as well as the color.  As you drive along, your vehicle looks just like everyone else’s.  You have to laugh since as far as you can see all the vehicles, despite make or model, seem to have come from one factory equipped with only one color of paint.

You also have to adapt to having a windshield with a crack in it if your drive much.  The gravel used to keep the roads passable with ice or snow gets thrown by the wheels of the vehicle ahead of you and invariably will hit your windshield.  Not driving in heavy traffic is an option if you’re retired or unemployed that solves that problem.  However, it seems wiser to be employed and deal with the cracked windshield.  You sure don’t want to be homeless up here.

Finally, it has been hard for me to get used to how empty the stores seem to be.  There are always other people there, but not like I had been accustomed to seeing in stores in the lower 48.  It is so strange to go to a grocery store on a Saturday afternoon and barely seeing anyone there.  My one visit to an emergency room during a visit was eerie since I was the only patient there.  I’ve never had such good service.

Things do change during the summer when the tourists arrive, but winter is another story.

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One Response to Adapting to Alaska

  1. Cliff says:

    Great descriptions, Mom. I get a great visual image of Alaskan life through your posts.

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