Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'll ask ya about Alaska

Some common questions about Alaska:

1. Is it cold?
In a word, yes. Compared to Doha, oh yes. Compared to Chicago, yes kind of. Just as being on the water changed the weather in Doha to a hot, sticky mess, being on the water here in Anchorage changes our weather too. Throw in some mountains and you've got some interesting stuff going on. It's averaging somewhere between 20 and 30 degrees since we've been here, and I gather that this is the norm. The water and mountains combine for massive amounts of snow, though. We've had about 6-8 inches in the past two days. Which, actually, is good because just before we got here they had a warm spell (in the 40's) and most of the snow melted.

There you go; that answer is just as boring as the question. Please stop asking. (Just kidding...kind of.)

2. Is it dark all the time?
Here in Anchorage, in the southern part of the state, it isn't quite as dramatic as closer to the arctic circle, but it is different. It starts to get light around 9, the sun is fully up around 10, it sets around 5 and finally gets dark around 6. The light is beautiful too, not that harsh desert sun of Qatar. On the flip side, in the summer we'll have 18+ hours of daylight.

3. Have you seen any moose/bears?
Yes, we almost ran into a moose on the way to church last Sunday. It was amazing. I mean, it was amazing because Brad saw it in time and we got to watch it cross the road. You can't imagine how huge they are.

Except for the stuffed bears in the airport and the mall, we haven't seen any of those and I'm hoping to keep it that way. Our kitchen did come equipped with bear spray, though. Which isn't really all that comforting. Especially since our backyard backs up to a green belt.

4. What about the volcano that is about to erupt?
My friend Lanny wrote to me on Facebook about the volcano, and I wanted to reassure you, if you've seen any reports, that if/when it erupts we're not going to be covered in lava, just toxic ash. We're pretty far away, and there are lots of mountains in between here and there. Winds would have to be perfect to bring the ash our way. However, it is a possibility, so we're prepared with drinking water, extra furnace filters, etc.

So, that's all the questions I can think of right now, but if you have any others, ask 'em and I'll give you an answer, even if I have to make it up. :)

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