Sunday, October 7, 2007

Misc. Comments on Life in Alaska

Four months into our new life here, I thought I would give a miscellaneous meandering of things that strike me, particularly after spending a week back in the midwest.
  • When someone asked me this past week, "Is Alaska really that different?" what came to mind was "wilder", "rougher", and "more remote". It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how and why that is, but Minnesota seemed very tame, and back in Alaska I can feel the "edge" of wildness again.
  • Today the sunrise was at 8:30 a.m. The days are rapidly growing shorter. It is still light out at 7 when I wake up, just no sunshine till a little bit later!
  • This past week there was snow at our kids' school, though we didn't get any here (the school is actually a few hundred feet higher than where we live). It is fascinating because there are mountains everywhere and you can "see the snow coming." It snows at higher elevations first, and the line where the snow stops is getting lower and lower. The glaciers we see from our house (Dixon and Portlock) were blue all summer, but are now white and covered with snow once again.
  • Fall colors here are peaking. Everything that can turn yellow, has turned yellow. The most beautiful sight right now is the yellow trees with green spruce mixed in, snow on the elevations, deep blue lakes below the mountains. Wow.
  • Gas is still $3.17 for a gallon of gas in Homer, while it has gone as low as the $2.70's in Anchorage. It has been at that price since we've been here. There is not a lot of fluctuation in gas prices like we saw in Michigan.
  • The diversity of people here is still one of my favorite things about Homer. It seems like everyone has some sort of accent, and it is fun to try to figure out just what type of accent it is!!
  • The other thing is that we really appreciate visitors from the Lower 48. It is fun to share and show this area with people.
  • Overall the quality of life here feels much higher than our life in Michigan. Again, it is difficult to put our finger on, except to say that our kids' school is awesome, Doug's school and district are very good, as is my college. Basically I think that we fit into what is available in this area.

No comments: