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Friday, January 9

To The Wild Country (John Denver)

Living in Alaska

Are you curious about what it is like to live in Alaska? I know I was before I moved here. I had this vision about Alaska as this frozen tundra, this baron land. Northern Alaska is very cold, but Southeast Alaska has more mild weather. It is far from a barren land! It rains a lot here in Southeast because we are right in the middle of a rain forest. Southeast Alaska is a temperate rain forest.
We moved to Juneau, Alaska in October 2013. Juneau is the capitol of Alaska and the largest city in southeast Alaska. 32,000 people live here. The city is named after gold prospector Joe Juneau, who was a miner and prospector from Canada. 
Juneau is a quaint little town. It’s character varies depending on the season.  When the legislature is in session from January through April, lawmakers and lobbyists come into town. In the summer, the streets of downtown fill with tourists, many off cruise ships. October through December locals enjoy having the town to themselves.
If you are seeking serenity of nature, you will find that Juneau is a great starting off point for all types of outdoor activities. The city has an extensive trail system; you will have no trouble getting off the beaten path. Whenever it is not raining we try to hike a trail. We have our favorites, like the short one mile flat walk to the waterfall at the glacier. In the summer it gets pretty busy with tourists, so we try to go either early in the morning or later at night. You can enjoy lots of outdoor activities in the summer here because it stays light out so late. 18 hours of day light on our longest day. (Summer solstice) Equally, winters are dark. 6.5 hours of daylight on our shortest day. (Winter solstice)
The most common tree species are Sitka spruce and western hemlock. Wildlife includes brown bears, black bears, wolves, Sitka black-tailed deer, humpback whales, orcas, five species of salmon, bald eagles, harlequin ducks, scoters, and marbled murrelets. You have to be careful here about leaving trash outside. We had a bear in our trash three times this summer. It was scary. He was huge! I wrote about having a squirrel in our house on my blog!
We live in a cabin on a very quiet road. But there are houses, condos, apartments and house boats here. Cost of living is very high, with the average single family home costing $350,000. We heat our home with a diesel heater called a monitor and a wood burning stove. (and a couple electric space heaters) We have diesel fuel delivered monthly, along with propane (to cook with and heat our water). We do have electricity and internet at our house. We don’t have a tv; we watch mostly Netflix on the computer.
Shopping in limited. We have a Fred Meyer and a Walmart for big box stores. We do have a Costco and a couple smaller grocery stores. I mostly shop at Fred Meyer, and sometimes Walmart. Everything has to be barged in here. Did I mention the only way in or out is by boat or plane?
Starting in January I will be writing a series about living in Alaska. You can ask any question you have over on my Facebook page.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Alaskan unit study :

The Year of Miss Agnes & FREE lapbook
Inside Passage Walking Tours DVD
Alaska DVD (FREE with Prime)
Erica is wife to an Alaskan Fisherman, a mom to a busy "Little Crab" and a part-time office assistant. She writes over at We Three Crabs.  The video included is her own work.
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