I often like to say that moving to Alaska is like moving to another country, but one where they speak the same language and use the same currency. I'm not sure how much more different Alaska and Texas could be in some ways, but the differences with this area of Texas and our part of Alaska aren't really as dramatic as frequent watchers of the Discovery Channel might believe. Yes, parts of Alaska really are very wild and really do try to kill you, but rest assured, we're not going there!
Maybe this will help answer some of the questions that you might not feel comfortable asking - although believe me, other people have asked them! LOL
Do you have to live in an igloo?
No. In fact, the closest thing to an igloo I've seen in our area is a yurt, and they're really not all that similar. We get to live in a regular house just like you do.
Is it really dark around the clock all winter?
Not where we're going. The pictures below were taken in the middle of December. They show the road on our property. We will have about five and a half hours of daylight in December, with an extended period of twilight.
Is there bright light all day in the summer?
It seems like it! But no, the longest summer day for us will be just under nineteen and a half hours. It's no wonder that Alaskans get a lot of gardening done during their growing season!
How much snow do you get in the winter?
I'm still looking for an average annual snowfall, so I can't tell you that right now. When Jim went to visit the Plan B house in March, he said about 5" of snow fell during his three-day visit, and there was three feet of snow in some places.
How cold is it? Or how warm does it get?
Summers can reach into the lower- to mid-70s, and the winters can dip into the negative 30s for brief periods. Click here to read more about weather in different parts of Alaska.
How big a problem are moose and bears?
We are going to a relatively urban area, so the bears won't be the problem that they might be in more remote areas - but they're still nearby and do need to be watched out for. Moose strikes are common and drivers need to be careful not to hit the huge animals on the roadways. Moose are really very large animals (they're not cow sized, they're much, much larger) and they can do a lot of damage or even cause death if you hit one with your car or are attacked by one.
How big is Nikiski? How big is the nearest larger town?
Nikiski has a very small population of around 4,400. The next town over, Kenai, is considerably more populated with 6,700 people. Anchorage, by contrast, has 281,000 people. For Texas readers, you can compare Nikiski's population to that of Murphy, Texas, where South Fork Ranch is located. The people are packed fairly close together in Texas, whereas in Alaska, there is quite a lot of room to spread out, so that's what people do.
Will you say hi to Sarah Palin for me?
No, sorry, Sarah Palin is nowhere near us. She's most likely to be in Juneau (over 1000 miles away) or Wasilla (200 miles away). And we don't have much of a burning desire to go look her up. :^)
If you still have questions, feel free to ask them. We're getting used to it by now!