Month: October 2020

Alaska Day

October 18 is considered Alaska Day. Alaska was only considered a territory of the United States after the United States purchased it from the Russian Empire in 1867. It was not recognized as a state until 1959, remaining in the territorial status all along. Alaska was officially recognized as a state on January 3, 1959 after long struggles that lasted for decades.

When thinking of Alaska you have many thoughts, 24 hour darkness, 24 hours sunshine, Snow Snow and more snow, freezing temperatures, are among all of the thoughts. I wanted to share some fun facts about Alaska, in honor of Alaska Day.

  • Alaska’s coastline, 6,640 miles, is longer than all the other states’ coastlines combined. It is the United State’s largest state, measuring 1,400 miles long and 2,700 miles wide; Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
  • Alaska has more inland water than any other state, 20,171 square miles.
  • Alaska’s most important revenue source is the oil and natural gas industry.
  • Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States.
  • State of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
  • Prudhoe Bay, on the northern Alaskan coast, is North America’s largest oil field.
  • The Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on its 800 mile journey to Valdez.
  • The fishing and seafood industry is the state’s largest private industry employer.
  • Most of America’s salmon, crab, halibut, and herring come from Alaska.
  • The term Alaska native refers to Alaska’s original inhabitants including Aleut, Eskimo and Indian groups.
  • The state motto is North to the Future.
  • Alaska has been called America’s Last Frontier.
  • Every four years Alaskans elect a Governor and a Lieutenant Governor to four-year terms.
  • The Alaska State Legislature is made up of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
  • Twenty senators are elected to four-year terms; forty representatives serve two-year terms.
  • Nearly one-third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle.
  • Alaska Highway was originally built as a military supply road during World War II.
  • State boasts the lowest population density in the nation.
  • Alaska is a geographical marvel. When a scale map of Alaska is superimposed on a map of the 48 lower states, Alaska extends from coast to coast.
  • The state’s coastline extends over 6,600 miles.
  • Alaska is the United State’s largest state and is over twice the size of Texas. Measuring from north to south the state is approximately 1,400 miles long and measuring from east to west it is 2,700 miles wide.
  • Agattu, Attu, and Kiska are the only parts of North America occupied by Japanese troops during World War II.
  • Oil is the state’s most valuable natural resource. The area includes what is thought to be the largest oil field in North America.
  • Alaska’s geographic center is 60 miles northwest of Mount McKinley.
  • Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the United States.
  • 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are located in Alaska.
  • At 20,320 feet above sea level, Mt. McKinley, located in Alaska’s interior, is the highest point in North America.
  • Juneau is the only capital city in the United States accessible only by boat or plane.
  • The state’s largest city is Anchorage; the second largest is Fairbanks.
  • Alaska Range is the largest mountain chain in the state. It covers from the Alaska Peninsula to the Yukon Territory.
  • Juneau is the only capital city in the United States accessible only by boat or plane. It is also the largest US city covering 3,108 square miles. Los Angeles covers only 458.2 square miles.
  • More bald eagles gather along the Chilkat River than at any other place in the world.
  • There are more than 100,000 glaciers in Alaska and about 75% of all the fresh water in the state is stored as glacial ice.
  • Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States. Daily average yield of an oil well at full production in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay is 10,000 barrels. In the other 48 states, the average is only 11 barrels.
  • Alaska has the 16 highest peaks in the United States. Mount McKinley is the highest mountain peak in all of North America.
  • Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on a 800 mile journey to Valdez.
  • Alaska’s name comes from the Eskimo word Alakshak, meaning great lands or peninsula.
  • There are over three million lakes in Alaska. The largest, Lake Iliamna, is the size of Connecticut.
  • Of the 20 highest mountains in the United States, 17 are in Alaska. Mount McKinley, North America’s largest mountain at 6194 m (20,320 ft), is a highlight of Denali National Park and Preserve.
  • Malaspina Glacier, at the foot of Mount Saint Elias, covers an area larger than Rhoade Island

Termination Dust

If you search for the term, you wont find a definition in any of the normal places. Termination dust is an Alaskan term, that came about in the 1940, during the building boom in Alaska, The construction workers called the snowfall each year “termination dust” because it meant the end of their jobs would be terminated for the season. Now, it is used to refer to the first snowfall signaling the end of the summer season.

by September our fall is in full swing, and the average high temperature is about 55°F/12°C, and it will drop down to an average of 42°F/5.5°C in the evenings. It is rare, but occasionally we will get some snow in September, but it usually melts quickly. The earliest recorded snow in Anchorage happened on September 20th. Most of the time we get our first main snowfall around the middle of October, and the kids expect to Trick or Treating in several inches of snow.

The snow will continue to fall and accumulate until late March or early April, and you can usually depend on it being gone by mid to late April. Over the course of our winters, we will see an average of 74.6 inches of snowfall, and we can have anywhere from 3 to 10 plus inches. In fact, out of 365 days of the year, we will have at least 3 inches of snow for 128.5 days, and for 149 days of the year, we have at least 1 inch of snow!. So for five months, Anchorage has on average at least 1 inch of snow on the ground! Most of the accumulation happens between January and early March.

Don’t let the termination dust, stop you from visiting Alaska, and #ouralaskandream, there is still so much to do in winter season. From Skiing at, Skeetawk. Ice Skate on Rabbit Slough and Wasilla, Sled in Hatcher Pass, just 10 minutes from Our Alaskan Dream, Take a ride on the Alaska Railroad. You don’t want to miss the Iditarod (and Running of the Reindeer), the Oosik classic ski race.

Book with us now, you don’t want to miss out