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Personal Question for the Regular Responders

MD
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Personal Question for the Regular Responders

I first discovered this forum when I was planning our trip to Alaska last year and posted a few questions that were kindly answered by the "regulars" here---you all know who you are! After seeing your names so much then and now, I always wonder how those of you who originally come from the lower 48 ended up in Alaska and how long have you lived there? Some of you even seem to know each other. I hope this isn't inappropriate. You all just feel so familiar to me, now. Thanks, again, for all your help to those of us down here who wish we were up there!

Bristol, Connecticut
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1. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

You know I have been trying to come up with an answer to the "how I got to Alaska" question for a while. In an airplane is my best answer. I was at a HS reunion recently and swore I would come up with a good answer but I really haven't.

The best I can say is in '93 I did the backpack across the states and see Alaska thing. A tent, a backpack and trains, planes, taxis, ferries and buses. It was a great trip and I wanted to go back. After tiring of the seasonal thing on Nantucket in '95 a friend and I made another trip with the intentions of staying and I did, he lasted 2 years me I am on 15yrs. I married a born and raised Alaskan so may end up there forever, right now I am on a detour in the lower 48 dealing with family stuff.

It is a great place to live but so far away from family is hard. All my vacations are spent visiting family. I have a job that allows me to see a lot of AK so I consider that my vacation time.

I have yet to meet any of the regulars, tried to meet up with fti at Iditarod '09 but I had a friend who wanted me to fly out to Skwenta so I couldn't pass that up. Now I am down here for now so it might be a while before I get to.

I am glad we could help and that you had a good trip.

fti
MN
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2. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

Well, I am a "regular" but don't live in Alaska. Having said that, my friends and family think I should move there rather than just travel several times a year.

My first trip to Alaska was in 2000. It rained almost the entire time that I was on the Kenai Peninsula. Even with the rain I loved the trip. But I regretted not going slightly earlier in September and getting to Denali NP. My next trip included Denali and other places. I really love mountains and lakes (lived in Austria for 15 years), as well as wildlife and photography. Alaska fits the bill perfectly.

Having accumulated lots of frequent flyer miles from various sources (mostly not flying - applying for credit cards, credit card purchases, etc), I can afford to fly to Alaska often.

Hopefully I will get to meet up with spacefry either during Iditarod 2011 or during my June 2011 trip. It is fun to meet other TA posters after seeing them so often on the forum. It takes a bit of effort to meet up though. It is not easy to plan enough time in a location to accommodate others' work schedules, or maybe someone is close but not close enough, sometimes plans change like postponing a flightseeing tour thus not allowing time to meet someone (that happened in August in Seward).

John

Edited: 30 October 2010, 01:40
haines, alaska
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3. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

Well, like John, we came here on vacation every year.....a different part of the state each time.......never really had plans to move here, until we happened upon Haines and as we were leaving on the ferry popbear looked over his shoulder and said "I could live here".....mulling it over, visiting during the winter to see just how bad it was and if we could handle it......we downsized upon retirement and moved to enjoy what we always had on vacation, only every day now.......folks here are so friendly and the tight knit community really cares for one another, kind of like stepping back to a kinder, gentler time.........

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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4. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

I don't live in AK either and I suppose would be considered a "semi-regular" poster around the AK forum.

Several of us have made the internet connection, with plans to "someday" meet in real time. As I looks now, there seems to be three of us who may connect for an Iditarod event in March 11. I had a "just miss" in Denali NP this past fall with one of them, as his RV was camped in the same campground as ours, but we never seemed to be around camp (and awake) at the same time.

I have met one TA contributor in person, ironically she she lives in AK and we connected on her visit to Madison (WI) this past year. We also got together during my trip to AK this past fall. She's not around here on TA much these days, however.

As for moving/living in AK, I would do it in a heartbeat but my hubby (and furkid) don't care much for the cold. Therefore, we need to win the lottery so that we can have our "summer place" in AK and I can spend some bonus wintertime there too while hubby dear is enjoying the warmer climates like Hawaii.

Bristol, Connecticut
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5. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

John where is your bear avatar? You seem to be the odd man out as of this post. Though I love your Denali picture.

fti
MN
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6. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

OK spacefry, I guess it was time for a profile photo change. How is that for a Kodiak bear photo I took last August?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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7. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

{{applause}} for John!

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

I first started commuting to Alaska, mainly Anchorage/Fairbanks/Juneau/Bethel in 1968, while I was working for the federal government, based first in San Francisco and later Seattle. After spending several years working in Scotland, I returned to Alaska and co-founded an architecture and planning firm specializing in developing low-income housing in villages throughout the bush, While we worked statewide (comparatively little in SE Alaska) I ended up being focused mainly on southwest Alaska, principally the Aleutian chain and the Pribilofs.

Later I moved into local government administration and worked as a "circuit riding" city manager/CEO in several villages simultaneously. We left the state when (a) my wife's job was transferred to Seattle and (b) I'd just walked away from my third plane crash in two years (all light planes, not injured noticeably in any of them) and felt my luck was running low.

However work, family and permanent friendships, and a love of the place, take us back 2 or 3 times a year, and I don't see that changing.

Edited: 30 October 2010, 03:56
Ketchikan
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9. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

I moved to Alaska twenty years ago to take the job I still have. I married into a longtime Alaskan family who have lived in Ketchikan five generations so I am an honorary Alaskan now. Because of my job and some freelance writing I do, I've been fortunate enough to travel all over the state and I really enjoy sharing my discoveries with visitors. I have to admit the rain in Ketchikan gets to me from time to time which is why I also enjoy traveling "down south" and I leave as often as I can to enjoy some sunshine, good restaurants, sightseeing and shopping but it always feels good to return home to fresh air and small town charm.

Michigan
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10. Re: Personal Question for the Regular Responders

I also pop in from time to time and was the 'just miss' that TimeshareVon spoke of in her earlier post. I saw her 'Beast' parked in the Tek campground also and was disappointed that we didn't connect but am looking forward to meeting her and also John (fti) this coming March in Anchorage for the Iditarod. I did however meet BevWarwick_NewYork along with her husband at Tek as they camped in their RV in the site directly across from me. I very much enjoyed talking with them and hope to run into them again someday.

As for me, I was introduced to Alaska back in the 70's when I was stationed at Fort Richardson. I lived off-post in an apartment along with my wife (now an ex!) in Spenard for two years. Ever since that time I've wanted to return but didn't make that happen until a few years ago with a 3 week RV trip in 2009 followed by another 3 weeker this past August/Sepember. Now you can't keep me away with a stick and have a 10 day trip planned for March and am working on another 2 week trip for Fall 2011.....Pete

Edited: 30 October 2010, 06:44