"Life is lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back through the valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale.” Jill Savage

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Alaskan Vacation

A quick review plus more:

I flew into Anchorage Alaska, a 7 ½ hour flight. (It was an hour less on the way home). Alaska is four hours 'earlier' than we are here in Georgia. If it's 4pm here in Atlanta, it's noon in Alaska.

Alaska is so wide/huge that the islands south of Alaska - extend so far west they actually extend into another time zone, in fact a different day - the islands are called the Aleutian Islands. The international dateline was literally extended there so that it shares the same time zone with the rest of there state.

Arrived in Anchorage around 6:30pm and went to the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Anchorage and stayed for two nights. Just to get my sea legs and the timing down. Catch up on some sleep and some much needed peace and quiet. Also to get used to the almost 24 hour sunlight.

I went shopping in downtown Alaska. That is where I did most of my souvenir shopping. I really wanted to spend the rest of the trip experiencing Alaska - although I spent a lot of time looking for a duck for my friend Richard's son who collects ducks - and while there was every other type of animal in every shop - ducks were scarce.

I will say that that as I was on that plane flying to Alaska, I was wondering what in the world I was doing – if I could do this – and why exactly I was doing it. By the time I was at the airport going home – I didn’t want to leave. I actually cried. The woman next to me gave me a Kleenex and never said a word.

In fact I cried a lot in Alaska and that is the one thing I never dreamed I would do. I used to cry a lot – at everything and anything – I’d see an old man in the street struggling and I’d cry – but then so much happened in my life – I cried so much – I thought I had cried all my tears - maybe I was hardened. I'd go to sad movies and shed not one tear. My daughter was in tears wondering where mine were. So I go to Alaska – I see so many awesome things – I don’t even have the words to describe it – I fall in love – and I cry at the beauty and awesomeness that surrounds me that I know I have to eventually leave. I guess the with the knowledge of reality and the question of why we can't do the things we want to do in life once we find them (isn't that a song or something) invades my mind. Maybe Alaska opened and softened me again.

I spent 12 wonderful days - without any demands. No one asking anything from me that I didn't want to give. I could get up when I wanted, go where I wanted to go, do what I wanted to do. I could listen to my own heart and soul. No criticisms. No expectations. No one hurrying me. No one hurting me. Eat when and where I wanted. I needed Alaska - the time away - a spiritual journey for self. I needed to find myself again. A friend wrote that, "It sounds as if it did the trick and that you found your journey to self. Now...the trick will be, not to get all covered up again in everyone else's needs and wants, and get swallowed up in them." B-I-N-G-O!

Believe me I don’t know the word to use that describes the vastness that I saw. It’s BIG! Large, full-size, huge, gigantic, giant, immense, large, great big, enormous, vast, whopping, considerable, substantial, sizable, significant, large, important, massive, extensive, wide, spacious, capacious, roomy, deep, tall, high, lofty, and last, but not least, towering,

"Some people are still unaware that reality contains unparalleled beauties. The fantastic and unexpected, the ever-changing and renewing is nowhere so exemplified as in real life itself." ~ Berenice Abbott

Some Alaska Information from - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

State of Alaska
Nickname(s): "Land of the Midnight Sun"
Motto(s): North to the Future
Spoken language(s) English 89.7%,Native North American 5.2%,Spanish 2.9%
AlaskanCapital Juneau
Largest city Anchorage
Area Ranked 1st in the US
- Total
663,268 sq mi(1,717,854 km²)
- Width
808 miles (1,300 km)
- Length
1,479 miles (2,380 km)
- % water
Population Ranked 47th in the US
- Total
686,293 (2008 est.)[3]626,932 (2000)
- Density
1.03/sq mi (0.4/km²)Ranked 50th in the US
- Median income
US$64,333 (4th)
- Highest point
Mount McKinley[4]20,320 ft (6,193.7 m)
Pacific Ocean[4]0 ft (0 m)
Admission to Union January 3, 1959 (49th)
Governor Sarah Palin (R) (Now retired)
Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell (R)
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R)Mark Begich (D)
U.S. House delegation Don Young (R) (list)
Time zones - east of 169° 30'
Alaska: UTC-9/DST-8
- west of 169° 30'
Aleutian: UTC-10/DST-9
Abbreviations AK US-AK

Okay some side notes. Yes, Sarah Palin retired. They respect her a lot there. Went past her home - very modest.

Land of the midnight sun - because there is sun a midnight - in the summer anyway.

They have been trying to change the capital's location for quite awhile now to Anchorage.

So being ranked the biggest state with the 47th lowest population - you can imagine the space out there - although to be honest - while there was a tremendous amount of space out there - most would be hard to make it inhabitable - as least that is my opinion. And that is why the Alaskans like it. They don't want it crowded and inhabited.

The medium income seems 4th highest and I do believe there are still jobs out there -the recession has hit, but not nearly as bad as the Lower 48.

The Lower 48 refers to us here in the actual USA. They definitely have a sense of pride and felt like maybe they looked a bit down on us for what we don't have compared to them - scenery and no traffic and not many people. The people who live there are called Sourdoughs.

To us it is Mt. McKinley - to the Alaskans it is Mount Denali. They are trying to have it officially changed.

Also they have 8 roads - that's it. But remember that they just became a state 50 years ago - we have a few years on them. Plus they have a heck of a time getting supplies in. They plan one year for what the barge can ship in the next year - as the ports do not stay open all year round.

And last but not least - the Aleutian Islands is the farthest point west - we have some big time military operations there - and that's where they extended the time zone.

Chatty finishing her journal for the today. . .

Love, Chatty


ClassyChassy said...

Ahhhh - the continuing story of 'finding yourself'! Very good reading today. Good journal!

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

People in Alaska seem very independent and no-nonsense to me. I think the weather toughens them up.

One of my brothers said that he felt "free" in Alaska and the West. Free to be as you described, just himself without all the expectations and roles assumed for others' benefit.

As to the tears:
Aragorn, in Lord of the Rings:
"I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil..."

They can be very helpful...

Chatty Crone said...

Thanks CC.

ODP - thank you for your advice on tears - don't know why or what they are from 'totally' yet - but I am trying to just let them come so I can feel or heal.

I do think the people are Independent and no-nonsense out there - something seems to have toughened them up. Don't know if it is the weather or the reason that brought them to Alaska in the first place ...

I had some locals tell me that out there - that they just let people be - they don't ask questions - just just listen to what is told to them.

Which for me can be a good thing and a bad thing.

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Your Alaska posts are sure a good read! It's neat to see how YOU unfold during your travels. The trivia on the state was cool too.