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Extreme Alaska – not the tourist version!

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The New York Times had a spread on “Extreme Alaska” last Sunday. A gentleman and his sister came up to Anchorage to try some snow- kiting and winter surfing. The flaw in this adventure was evident on the first page where Mr. Todras-Whitehill admits, “I didn’t think about how it would feel to be bracing myself against a 25-mile-per-hour wind… ” I guess his piece was geared towards reptiles who don’t have to think about the cold. Unfortunately, there are very few reptiles in Alaska because they die. I guess he could brag to his buddies who might pay a lot less money to have the same experience in Vermont, assuming that Todras-Whitehill was comped his expenses because he was writing for The Times. Even then I would not call these versions of Alaskan experiences “Extreme”. I would call them EXPENSIVE and maybe SILLY. Let me show you extreme.

Alaska EXTREME Politics!

Many of you have seen this clip of our elected officials tittering at talk about gay marriage. I would guess that we are one of the most conservative states in the Union. We were probably part of North Korea before continental drift.

We also suffer from an EXTREME case of political entitlement.

King Cove residents can reach an all-weather airport in Cold Bay for medical evacuations.
Between them is some water and Izembek Wildlife Refuge. They want a road built  to help them in medical emergencies.Alaska legislators are adamant that the federal government should pay for this road. If they do not, Lisa Murkowski threatened to vote against the current nominee for The Department of Interior. This although they recently built an emergency clinic and got an hovercraft. The ferry and the airport are often shut down in terrible weather. But they think a 10 mile road will not be?

Here’s a sample of Ms Murkowski’s plea. She is pretty put out. You might need a tissue.
“I never thought that I was going to be in this situation where I was going to have to explain to the world where King Cove was and why this 10-mile stretch of gravel road was so important,” Murkowski said. “I felt the [the Interior Department’s] Fish & Wildlife Service was going to do the right thing. They haven’t, we have got to correct it.”

Maybe she is too busy to find Google a map and send links.

This is the place

This is the place

Murkowski told The Hill Thursday she would consider placing a procedural “hold” on the nomination of Sally Jewell over the proposed road. “It may be that I have got to make threats, it may be that I have got to hold something up, I am hoping that I don’t have to,” Murkowski said in the Capitol.

I’m sad she has to take hostages but at least she hasn’t got her gun out.

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At the same time our state legislators in Juneau voted in some legislation which has already been deemed completely unconstitutional. They are telling off the Federal Government (the same one they want the money from), that no one should be telling Alaskans what to do with their guns. That will sure show them. Remember when the Feds said everyone had to lower the speed limit to 55 or not receive any federal road dollars? I hope they think of something like this to encourage gun responsibility because we are too EXTREME to be trusted with coming up with constitutional laws.

Alaska EXTREME eating!
Alaska is home to some of the biggest ice cream eaters in the world. It seems ridiculous given that it’s very cold here. Unfortunately, many people here stay in during the winter and binge. We are sometimes very unhappy without enough natural light and heat. There are a few EXTREME athletes who try to make up for the rest of us by burning up more calories than they can possibly eat but they usually fall off mountains and such. Here’s an ad I found in the paper yesterday.

This is an EXTREME Alaskan health campaign

This is an EXTREME Alaskan health campaign

I liked the small arrow which indicated that the shopper must buy 4 Coca-Cola items.  We like to brag about our giant cabbages but you’ll never see buy 2 get two free with some arugula thrown in. Do you know how expensive greens are here? Especially ones that haven’t frozen on the barge or plane in transport? We aren’t the most obese state in the union, probably because the cold pares off pounds without any effort. I think dentists do well here though.

Alaska EXTREME auto Addiction!

I just got through 2 months without a car. That these months were January and February were not convenient. It’s really hard to look for a car when the used car lot is cold and dark and you feel like a weirdo on your mountain bike. I recently put money down on a car which I will get when it’s owner moves out of state mid March. It’s much too big a car for me but I really didn’t have the energy to look around much given that I’m exhausted after commuting on my bike. How big are the cars here?

According to our friends at Wikipedia – Alaska ranks 7th in number of autos per capita by state. This when we have many rural villages where a car has absolutely no use. We rank 6th from the bottom in actually road miles that can be driven, just above Delaware and Hawaii. My new car is a Forester. This is considered a small SUV but it feels like an assault vehicle. I will sit so high that bicyclists will look like voles on the side of the road. Not that I like to run over voles but they’re so little and quick.

Is that a biker or a vole?

Is that a biker or a vole?


I hope that some of you will come visit Alaska next winter to laugh at our politics, eat some high calorie food and dodge our assault vehicles. Happy EXTREME travels!


About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

One response »

  1. Reblogged this on Sykose and commented:
    @SykOse. Live. Extreme.


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