Why Alaska in Winter?

Well, why not Alaska in winter?

Alaska is immense and has countless choices to offer that will fill any and all time you spend there. I chose Alaska in winter for several reasons that go beyond the usual of wanting to see wildlife, Denali and the Northern Lights; and of it being considerably less expensive in the off season due to substantially less tourist traffic and that mosquitos are usually not a factor when the temperature in the interior is hovering between zero and minus ten. I chose Alaska in winter because I miss winter.

When I was a kid growing up in Detroit, we used to have really cold winters with tons of snow that my brothers and I dug tunnels through to create forts, or to build armies of snowmen, or ramps over the firewood pile to the roof of the outdoor shed that we used to slide or toboggan down. At least for the better part of recent history, it doesn't get that cold in Detroit anymore for snow to accumulate like that. Winter temperatures hover in the 30s and 40s. It's the middle of January right now and instead of snow, Detroit is rather warm with highs above freezing and almost no snow. The same is true in Columbus, where I now live. We've had more 50 degree days in January with rain instead of snow than we did in December. Alaska may not get a ton of snow in the winter, but it can. The mountains are snow-covered. The ski resorts aren't worried about a sudden thaw and winter sports of all kinds abound.

In Alaska, in the middle of January, dogsledding season begins. In Denali rangers take rare park visitors on hikes wearing snowshoes. Anchorage is alive with song from week long folk music festivals and the skies above Fairbanks are alive and filled with dancing Northern Lights. It's a dark, peaceful time with a slower pace. And it's this time of year, without the distraction of cruise ships that disgorge passengers by the thousands, that you can get a chance to discover the real Alaska with people who have more time to sit with you around an uncrowded bar or a fireplace.

That's why I chose Alaska in winter, and I can't wait. Thanks for reading.


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