Friday, September 18, 2015

Here's Some Interesting Facts About Alaska

OK, this is another travel weekend for me and I don't have time to do a full blog post about our travels.  Instead, I'll share some of the interesting facts we learned about Alaska while we were there.

Fannie Quigley's Dinner Table
First a little story about Fannie Quigley.  Fannie  is legendary in the Kantishna mining district. She arrived in 1906, and stayed until her death in 1944, at the age of 74. She staked her share of mining claims, and mined them, and although she had never shot an animal before she arrived in Kantishna, her prowess as a hunter became known throughout the Territory of Alaska. She learned to hunt caribou, sheep and moose, and to trap fox, wolves, wolverine and lynx. She was famous for her wilderness cooking, including her famous flaky pie crusts made from rendered bear lard. She grew remarkable gardens full of vegetables and flowers on the rocky slopes above timberline.

OK, here's some interesting facts about the largest state in the Union:

  • State sport - Dog Mushing. 
  • State Nickname - The Last Frontier (no, not the Final Frontier)
  • The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million, about 2 cents an acre. I bet they would like to take that deal back.
  • Alaska has more than 80 potentially active volcanoes and on average 1,000 earthquakes registering 3.5 or more on the Richter scale occur in Alaska each year. 
  • Longest Day: Barrow the sun rises on May 10th, it don't set for nearly 3 months.
  • Shortest Day: Barrow when sun sets on November 18th, Barrow residents do not see the sun again for nearly two months.  Yikes!
  • There are more than 3,000 rivers in Alaska and over 3 million lakes.
  • 17 of the highest 20 mountains in the U.S. are in Alaska. It has 19 peaks over 14,000 feet. 
  • Of the total 365 million acres of land that make up Alaska, less than one-twentieth of 1% is settled.   If you got lost your bones may never be found.
  • The largest state in the union, Alaska is one-fifth the size of the Lower 48 and spans 2,400 miles east to west and 1,420 miles north to south.  Take that Texas.

We were there for two weeks and only covered a tiny little corner of this enormous state.  I see more Alaska vacations in our future.

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