We have been in Alaska almost a year now, it has flown by. I had been thinking about some of the things I love here, some of the things that are a bit strange here and a few things I am not so fond off.
People here drive crazy, and yes I know that happens everywhere but I really notice it here a lot, you can be going down a dirt road and they will fly past you swearing as they go, so much for a nice drive. They spend far to much time talking on their phone while driving so I have had many near accidents with people who simply are not paying attention to where they are going. It makes me a little nervous to have kids learning to drive with these drivers on the roads.
Also my biggest pet peeve is the trash, you see it all over, especially when we go hike, people just leave their trash like we have miles and miles of wilderness so we do not need to take care of any of it. I get terribly angry when I see it and always take a bag to carry out not only our own trash but what we can pick up as well. A few weeks ago we took some of the kids from work to the park and it was full of garbage, I was so surprised and happy to see one of our little kids (she is 6) get a box and start picking up trash rather than playing, and then see several kids and adults pitch in and help.
The daylight took some getting used to, when we got here it was light almost all the time, we went down to about 5 hours of light a day and are slowly moving back up. Neither really bother me, I just have to pay closer attention to the actual time since it throws your body clock off.
It is the end of January and my neighbor still has his Christmas lights up and on, he is not the only one, lots of people still have them on, that is strange to me, we always turned ours off about New Years. I heard someone say they do it to "cheer up" January since it is usually the dark and cold. I don't know if it is really true, maybe they just like lights?
One very strange thing I have found is all our toilets run warm water in them, I guess it has to do with cold and condensation, I do not really understand it and still find it a bit odd, but ours are set up that way too and we have no problems with them so I guess there is a reason.
I love that we have very low taxes here, it makes things a bit more affordable. Many things are comparable with other places I have lived, but some are a bit more expensive.
I love that we have very lax gun laws and in return very little gun crime, the biggest gun crime we really hear about is illegal hunting. From time to time you hear of something, there was a shooting in Anchorage a few weeks ago, but it was a fight between two people does not make it ok, but at least it was not a full out shooting strangers attack. We have no concealed weapons permits, everyone carries, a lot of it has to do with the need to protect against wildlife. I saw a outdoor wedding last year while we were hiking, it was 2 miles back in towards a waterfall and one of the bridesmaids had a built in spot on the back of her dress for her pistol, I wish I had gotten a picture it was clever. I believe our law states we have a couple minutes from being pulled over to inform the officer if we have a weapon in the vehicle, but it is legal to have them.
We have lots of water here, numerous lakes within minutes, we have a program called kids don't float, at every lake you go to, even the ones way up in the mountains there is a lifejacket loaning spot, they are just hanging there for people to borrow and then put back so all kids who go in the water have a life jacket on, I think it is a great program.
Our elementary schools teach sign language with all their lessons, I think it is so neat, during singing time or reading time they sign as well and the kids learn it and join in, it is really pretty impressive to see these little kids learning so fast.
Of course it goes without saying that the scenery here is breathtaking and it is so nice that there are numerous places to hike, camp, or just spend the day in the wilderness. We went out several trails last summer and still did not even begin to see them all.
The wildlife is amazing, I see big bald Eagles almost daily, and even got to see a nest and baby ones last year, we have an abundance of moose that just randomly walk down the streets, it is really neat to see.
The Northern lights were one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen, you cannot always see them, but when you can it is a show worth watching.
We live in a small town, on the outskirts actually so we are in what they call the borough ( I thought they only had those in New York lol) rather than town itself. It's a very community oriented place and they have lots of festivals, get togethers parades ect. It seems there is almost always something going on someplace close.
The cost of housing here is considerable cheaper then one might think and utilities are comparable so we are pretty happy with that part of the move.
We are really enjoying being here, exploring's, finding new things and setting down roots in our town. We are excited that a few people are planning trips to see us, we love having company and hope more people will come as time goes on.