Myths About Growing Up in Alaska

Myths About Growing Up in Alaska

divini rae alaskaI am proud to be an Alaskan. I was born and raised in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. In my many travels since leaving my native state I’ve encountered several misconceptions about Alaska. Here are the most common. Are you guilty of believing any of these myths?


It’s Winter Almost All of the Time

Many people from The Lower 48 think Alaska is blanketed with hip-deep snow 11 months out of the year with temperatures cold enough to turn your guts to ice. While Alaska gets snow (and plenty of it in many regions), and the thermometer can dip well below freezing during the winter, we do experience seasons. In Fairbanks it’s been known to get as high as 90 degrees in the summer months and several areas average 60-75 degrees in the summer. Since Alaska is so far north we get almost complete sunshine starting in May, which means that by June most of the snow has melted away.


You Can’t Drive to Alaska

A lot of people think you can only fly or take a boat to Alaska, but that’s false. The Alcan (Alaska-Canada) Highway slices
through Canada from the Lower 48 states of the United States and every year thousands of tourists drive their hairy little bodies to Alaska that way. Which leads to another myth about transportation…


Everyone Has a Dog Sled

Yes, there’s a famous dog sled race in Alaska called the Iditarod, and many people (including me, my sister and my mother) have used dog sleds, but there are roads in many parts of Alaska allowing for transportation to most spots.
Tanana, where I grew up, is more remote and you have to come in via plane, but once you’re there you can use a car, truck, snow-machine or four-wheeler. The vehicles are shipped to Tanana by barge in the summer.


Anyone Who Moves There is Hiding Something

You’ll occasionally meet people who think anyone who chooses to live in Alaska must be the sort of person who has something to  hide. Maybe they’re a fugitive wanted by justice somewhere in the world, or an anti-social individual. Well, it may be an exciting notion that Alaska’s wilderness is packed with criminals or people wanting to escape some sort of responsibility, but that’s not true. Most people who come to Alaska want to enjoy the beautiful scenery and unique lifestyle that a more remote place affords. Many live in Anchorage or Fairbanks, which isn’t much different from cities in the Lower 48. Sure, some people may want to be “left alone,” but that doesn’t mean they’re bad people.


Everyone Lives in an Igloo

Alaskans live in homes just like anyone else, built out of wood, brick, cement, you name it. It wouldn’t make sense to live in an igloo — it gets too warm in the summer and an ice-built house would melt.
Many people in Alaska have plumbing, electricity, and even the Internet. Amazing, huh?

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