Alaska: America's Final Frontier - in Love with Alaska

Article excerpt

Don't expect someone just home from three glorious days on a snazzy boat in Prince William Sound with good friends and great fishing to write objectively about Alaska. It was easy to forget winter--the season Alaskans love to hate--while surrounded by uninhabited islands, forests, and mountains and viewing whales, otters, eagles, and bird rookeries. Not to mention my catch of a 70-pound halibut!

Winter is seldom the reason we live here. "Openness/friendliness of the people" tops the list. What is it about Alaska that brings out people's better qualities? (1) Most newcomers immigrate and stay because they choose to; (2) they know their presence matters; and (3) with families far away, friendships and social contacts become essential.

People stay young longer here, I think, and are still optimists even after surviving devastating boom-and-bust periods. Alaskans of all ages enjoy the freewheeling lifestyle, but they work hard to better themselves and their communities. They are fun loving, caring, culturally tolerant, educated, generous, and, yes, highly opinionated. Add great scenery, good wages, low crime, a clean environment, innovative schools, and affordable urban living--what else could anyone need? …