Many people in the lower 48 do not realize some basic things about our state.  I will discuss a few of them.  At the end, I will have pictures with captions to help you better understand.

1) Alaska is not an island between California and Hawaii.  My wife actually had a lady ask her, “How does it snow there, but not in California and Hawaii?”

2) Alaska is not the same as Alabama with 5 feet of snow.  In a space that spans as far as Florida to California, there fewer roads than probably a couple of counties in Alabama.  In Alaska, many high school students going to another town to play a ball game will leave by ferry or airplane the day before the game!

3) Yes, I have met Sarah Palin.  No, my wife doesn’t go shopping with her.

4) In Alaska, we do not have the density of churches as in much of the Southeast United States.  Here, we drive an hour one way from home to our sending church.  The monthly service I preach in Stevens Village takes me 9 hours to drive one way to the Yukon River, followed by another hour by snowmachine in the winter or boat in the summer.

5) There are no penguins here.

6) Although people do not live in igloos, many villages do not have the amenities of most “lower 48ers”, such as electricity and running water.  Sometimes I carry a generator to power lighting in a building where I preach.  We carry our water with us and during winter months, we keep it inside our coat so it doesn’t freeze.

7)  A common carry on item for commercial flights within the state will be cartons of eggs.  Some villages do not have stores, so when people fly from larger communities to go back to smaller communities their luggage consists mostly of groceries.


Alaska is very different.  It has only been a state for just over 50 years.  There truly is no other place like it on earth.  I mean where else would you hear in the news, that someone’s dog froze to death inside the house?