9 Questions Asked About Alaska

by Lynn

People ask a lot of questions about Alaska, and rightfully so! The Last Frontier is intriguing to so many people around the globe. Every year, mostly in the summer, people flock to Alaska to set out on a new adventure, or a trip of a lifetime.

Some questions can be amusing to locals, while others are downright irritating.

CAN I MEET SOMEONE I SAW ON TV?

The short answer to this is probably no, although you may run into someone who is out and about.

Life here is usually not what you see on TV. Thanks to Hollywood going over the top with so many TV shows, people really have gotten the wrong impression of how things work here.

While there are exceptions to every rule, meeting your favorite Alaskan TV star is most likely not going to happen, even if it is your “favorite mayor.”


Sorry to burst your bubble.

about alaska
The start of McCarthy Road in Chitina | March 2018

CAN YOU USE AMERICAN MONEY IN ALASKA?

Alaska gained its statehood in 1959 and proudly sports the title of “Forty-Ninth State to the United States of America.”

So, since we are part of the United States, yes, you can use our currency.
Eh-hem, I mean the US Dollar.

Money in a jar. Saving for Alaska!

WHAT TIME DO THE NORTHERN LIGHTS COME ON?

The lights come out when they want to. For whatever reason, some people think that there is a magic switch that is controlled by someone behind a curtain like in the movie, The Wizard of Oz.

I will go ahead and add this, however – with the extended daylight in the summer months, you will not see them in the summer!

Aurora
The Northern Lights are seen from our backyard in the Fall of 2019.

IS ALASKA AN ISLAND?

No!

Maps like these give some folks that impression though for both Alaska and Hawaii.

map
Image Credit: Reddit

See below for an accurate visual of where we are located.

map
Image Credit: Google Maps

Yes, if driving here, you must go through Canada.

WHAT TIME ZONE IS ALASKA IN?

We have our own time zone. 

We are one hour behind PST. 

As of this date in 2020 we still observe Daylight Savings Time as well. We are still wondering why, though…

map
Image Credit: Time Temperature

DO THE OIL BARRELS GET STUCK IN THE PIPELINE?

If oil barrels were sent through the pipeline, I am sure they would get stuck from time to time. 

We are safe from that ever happening, however. Rest assured that the only thing flowing into this massive pipeline is the oil itself. 

Alaska Pipeline and Fireweed. Richardson Highway, Alaska.
Alaska Pipeline and Fireweed. Richardson Highway, Alaska

HOW FAR OUT IS SEA LEVEL?

I was amazed at how many times I was asked this question when I worked the docks. 

People would ask me while standing on the boat, “how far out do we have to go to get to sea level?” 

“You’re at sea level,” I would reply. 

Believe it or not, some folks would argue that fact with me…

Valdez, Alaska small boat harbor
View from the north side of the Valdez small boat harbor.

WHAT TIME DO THE MOOSE COME OUT?

The wildlife does their own thing, on their timetable. 

Alaska moose
Moose bedded down in the Willows at Rainbow.

IS IT ALWAYS DARK?

I am going to be the odd one out on this answer and answer this the way that I feel and not what the popular posts say.

Without extended darkness (how much depends on where in the state you are) you would not have the bright lights of the star-filled sky on a clear night or the amazing view of the Northern Lights.

So, with that being said, I guess a better question would be, what is your definition of “dark”?

I actually wrote an entire post about this question! You can check that out here: Is Alaska Always Dark?

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