Posts in the “alaska” category

Dog in a coffee shop, Seward, Alaska

As I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop in Seward this afternoon, a dog walked in the back door and just stood there, looking at everyone. The owner tells me he was looking for a good poker game. ;)

~ photo from Seward, Alaska, February 25, 2011

The speed limit sign on the Dalton Highway, Alaska

This is THE speed limit sign on the Dalton Highway in Alaska. If I remember right, this is the only speed limit sign you’ll see when headed north from Fairbanks heading towards Prudhoe Bay.

I started off driving about 50 mph, but then after realizing I was the only person on the road — an almost-entirely entirely dirt road — I drove as fast as conditions allowed, typically a little over 90 mph.

A map of Talkeetna, Alaska

Every spring I think about moving back to Alaska, and last night I ran across this high resolution map of Talkeetna. For the record, I used to live on I Street in Talkeetna, which isn’t shown on the map.

They don’t clean the snow off the streets in Alaska (much)

I don’t remember where I saw this photo — it may have been the Fireside Books account on Twitter or Facebook — but it shows that they don’t worry about cleaning the snow off the streets too much in the winter in Alaska. This photo was taken about three blocks from my old apartment in Palmer, Alaska. (My apartment was one block down this road in the direction shown, and one or two blocks to the right.)

Someone is always in the way

“Someone is always in the way.”

That was my predominant thought after living in Alaska, and then moving back to the Lower-48.

In Alaska you can go to a lot of places and find solitude, and when you go to the grocery store it isn’t crowded, but as soon as I came back to the Lower-48 I constantly found that someone was always in my way, standing in front of me, at the grocery store, at the post office, in the Rocky Mountain National Park, wherever.

December 31, 2010: Aimed for Seward, ended up in Anchorage

Way back on December 31, 2010 I lived in Wasilla, Alaska, and planned on driving down to Seward to spend a few days around New Year’s there. But a bad ice storm and the inability to find the right size tire chains derailed my plans, and I ended up in Anchorage instead. But because of that, I learned that they have a great fireworks show in Anchorage on New Year’s Eve.

As I mentioned in my second Facebook post on that day, there’s an Alaska saying that goes, “There’s old pilots, and there’s bold pilots, but there ain’t no old and bold pilots.”

Cat gets a free 2,500 mile ride to Alaska

So a cat in the state of Washington walks into a shipping container ..... then 2,500 miles and a week later, it shows up at a Home Depot in Kenai, Alaska. And thanks to social media, the owners were found and the cat got a free flight home.

The story is here at

Sherry Simpson, mentor to a whole generation of Alaska writers

“Fainting does feel as if I’m practicing dying. Already I know how abruptly the world withdraws even as people call out your name, how darkness and confusion shutter your vision and bewildering images crowd your brainpan, how you cannot simply will yourself to return once you’ve entered that shadowy place.”

From this story about Sherry Simpson, “brilliant writer, beloved friend and mentor to a whole generation of Alaska writers, passed away unexpectedly earlier this month after a brief illness.”

If you’re going to have an obituary, “She changed my life” is a darned good one.

10 a.m. sunrise, Anchorage, Alaska

Here’s what the 10 a.m. sunrise looks like in Anchorage, Alaska on October 27th.

(While that picture is too dark to tell exactly where I was, I was at one of the two main hospitals in Anchorage that day for a medical procedure.)