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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/5/2003 12:40:01 AM EDT
Ok, I admit it. I'm quite interested in Alaska.

My wife and I have talked about it - we're planning a recon mission there at the end of October, and I need some info.

We'll be flying into Anchorage, most likely, and I need to know where to stay, or more importantly, where not to stay. Where to eat, etc...

I also would like some information on the job market there. Yeah, I know, as locals, you'd rather not see someone new come into the state, looking for work - just another mouth to feed.

I understand, but I really would appreciate your help. I doubt that it would happen right away - my daughter wants to go to the Art Institute here in Seattle for College, so we'll probably stay in this area for a couple years yet - but it would not be out of the question for me to commute that far for work (it's been nearly 2 years, and I'm beginning to feel like LordTrader!).

How's the IT market - programmers and such? Otherwise, I'd need about 50-60K maybe a tad more, to make ends meet (at least that's what I calculate currently)...

Thanks for the input.
Link Posted: 9/5/2003 6:30:57 AM EDT

Apparently %50 of attempted transplants fail, and move back to the lower 48 within a few years.

I'd be interested in hearing why that is.... is it really the weather?

Link Posted: 9/6/2003 10:19:54 PM EDT
Sorta like the californians that come up here in July/August and the weather's all nice so they decide to move, and they get here in Dec/Jan/Feb and don't see the sun again until May or June?

I don't know how many of 'em move back to Kali...

Personally, I'd love them to come up here...

<­BR>Leave their money at the border, and go back home

Jus' kidding - well maybe
Link Posted: 9/6/2003 10:45:50 PM EDT
I've not been to AK in years, All I can remember is that EVERYTHING is expensive if you are visiting.

Send Shadowblade an IM and ask for his advice - or catch up with the AK crew in the hometown forum for AK
Link Posted: 9/9/2003 10:18:36 PM EDT
I have to admit I can't be much help ...

I haven't heard of any place NOT to stay, and don't have much experience in the area since I usually just stay at home.

The only place I can think of right now to eat would be to try Wings and Things if you like hot wings. One of my favorite spots. But I don't eat out very often either...

All I can say about the IT field is that I couldn't break into it. Everyone wanted previous experience and my degree didn't mean jack. If you have been in the field a few years you would have better luck than I.

That being said... Let me know if you make it up and I'd be happy to try and meet you for coffee or go shooting. It'll probably be pretty cold by October, so be prepared.
Link Posted: 9/13/2003 1:05:59 AM EDT

Ever since I visited Alaska, I've wanted to move there. Moved to Washington state from Texas because Texas was too hot. Now I consider Washingtons weather to be too hot-- and it never rains here, compared to Texas! (Seattle is not rainy, its misty. In texas you get real thunderstoms-- actual rain where teh rain is droplets, rather than moisture in the air. I sure miss that.)

Anyway, I doubt the winters in southern Alaska / Kenai are going to be too much for me, but its kinda hardt o get experience with them without moving up there....

I'd love to hear what things people get in trouble with when they move there... and what things you have to dea lwith that you don't in the lower 48. For instance, do you have to do a lot of mods on a gas powered truck for the cold? What's it like heating houses with tanks outside-- do you just have them filled up a couple times a year and thats it, or are they constant maintenance? Anything to look for when buying a house?

Also, why are some houses up on blocks, or have a gap between them and the ground? I assume thats because they are on tundra and don't want to transmit the heat... is there a way to know what areas will have tundra and what areas will have more soil, or what the percentage of water to soil is in a given area? I hear people talk about building basements, but I was under the impression it was always frozen a couple feet down....

If there's a "So, dummy, you want to move to alaska, well here's a cluestick for you!" type book, please tell me to go read it! I'd be happy to.... otherwise, very interested.

Are the environmental regulations whacked out? I'm assuming not-- for instance, here in order to burn wood in a fireplace, you can only do it a certain number of times a month and only on certain days. Would planning for both wood heating and a fuel heating / cooking for the house be unwise?

Probably going to buy some raw land and build our own....

Link Posted: 9/14/2003 9:06:04 PM EDT
What we really need is an Alaskan primer post, cause that's what a lot of the readers come to this board for. Myself, I only have experience with Fairbanks, Barrow, and very, very remote parts of Alaska. I don't spend much time in Anchorage.

P.S. Try eating at Gwennies. It is old school Alaskan style - good homecooking with Alaska sized portions. Nothing fancy.

When you get here, try to pick up some tourist magazines like they have in the hotels, they will tell you some great places to eat, drink, and visit.

As for me, I need to start on what I can offer as a primer cause people keep asking me what Alaska is like, and I get tired of writing it over and over...
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 10:22:22 AM EDT
It would be hard to write a one size fits all primer, each part of the state offer unique challeges. Best thing to keep in mind is nothing is impossible. As far as cars/trucks go you need at the veary least a oil pan heater. block, battery blankets are highly suggsested.

Link Posted: 9/15/2003 2:25:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By clinth:
It would be hard to write a one size fits all primer, each part of the state offer unique challeges. Best thing to keep in mind is nothing is impossible. As far as cars/trucks go you need at the veary least a oil pan heater. block, battery blankets are highly suggsested.




Heck, I use ALL those at the same time, plus a battery plate. When I buy a vehicle, I immediately dump the battery and go get the biggest battery I can shoehorn in there - sometimes I even have a custom battery built for the space. You can NEVER have too much battery power up here. I also replace the thermostat with the HD version if available. Get a custom grill cover to zip up in the winter, silicon rubber windshield wipers - those stock OEM windshield wipers are crap. Sheepskin car seat covers, real or faux, are nice - cool in the summer, warm in the winter - you quickly find that unheated leather seats suck, cloth seats are much more practical - the only top of the line package option I downgrade on purpose. Heated leather seats, heated side mirrors, are kind of nice up here.

Since I grew up in Alaska, I thought all cars came with rear window defrosters and plug in cords out the front for engine heaters. Wrongo. People would see the heater cord and tease me or simply not understand and ask me if I had to plug my car in to recharge it at night.
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 9:49:22 PM EDT
Were'd you grow up? I to spent my life here, hunting fishing the works, I rember when track rigs were the only way to hunt, and you could actually use them every where. How thing have changed :(
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 9:58:05 PM EDT
clinth,

I grew up in Fairbanks, but not so long ago I remember the things you do
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 3:26:04 PM EDT

Thanks for all the car advice! I have some shopping to do...

So, what do you do when you can't park by an AC outlet? EG: if you go hunting or something? OR do you guys leave your vehicles at home and plugged in to go hunting and take snowmobiles?

I really should drive up there in January for a looksee.
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 7:26:57 PM EDT
What you do is rely on a really good battery, perhaps multiple batteries. You don't forget and leave your lights or radio on. You don't leave your vehicle out, unplugged, when it's really, really cold - at which point you are not out hunting anyways. If you go snowmachining, and leave your vehicle at the farthest point you can go, you come back before the vehicle is too cold to start. If you got to make it to work, and it's freaking cold, you go start your vehicle every so often.

However, there is a simple solution. Many people use autostart systems - I have them installed on every vehicle. These allow you to start the vehicle with a remote control from inside the house or say while you are inside the movie theater. Also, they can be preset to start up and run every so often once it gets to a certain temperature, say -40 or colder. This has saved me more than once in parking lots like when I go to the movies and could not plug in. My truck would just start up every hour or so, run for about 15 minutes, and shut down, keeping it warm enough to start for me when I need it. I had to help jumpstart quite a few people since mine would start, and their's would not. Some people simply don't make it to work cause their vehicle would not start in the extreme cold.

Autostart - I love them.
Link Posted: 9/24/2003 12:40:46 AM EDT

Excellent... didn't realize you could get autostart that went by temperature!

At what temperature is it really a risk? I'm assuming that down to around -10 F the vehicles are ok, and its when it gets below that that you have to worry, or plug them in. Or am I too optimistic?

Fortunately, my current vehicle turns off the lights and radio when you leave.

Is it generally better to go to the dealership for a warmer and autostart install, or are these cheaper to get from third parties? should I get them here, or wait til I move up there? Planning to move up there in the spring.

We have a lot of Alaskans who visit and live in this state, but havent' seen much talk about car modifications. Not necessary here, but I figure a lot of people buy their cars here before going up to alaska. (In fact, met a dealer who specialized in that-- the cars are bought in alaska, technically, though delivery is taken here.)

Gotta find some space for spare batteries, too.... hood isn't that crowded.

Bedliner first though.

Thanks for the advice...
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 12:43:43 PM EDT
Depends on your vehicle. A vehicle in really good operating condition should be able to start, unplugged, down to -20 to -30 in my opinion. I only plug in when it gets down to 0 or less. Beyond -20, things can get rough. The interior gets colder than the exterior of Alaska. In Fairbanks, you can expect temperatures to get down to -50 to -55 below for a week or two at it's worst. Fairbanks has the widest temperature range of any city on Earth +99 to -66. If I can't plug in, I set my autostart to start cycling when it hits -35 or colder, and that's only for a vehicle that isn't in the garage. My family and I just have it installed by a company that deals the brand we use (Command Start), many companies will do this, probably the car dealer as well. I think it costs around $250 to $550 depending on options. You can have an alarm option, door locks, - the works, so it all operates off of one electronic key fob. I love being able to just hit the button and have the vehicle start without even going outside. Sometimes I do that before I have even gotten out of bed...

Bedliners are good - I recommend the Rhino Hide type. Drop in bedliners, removed after a long period of use can reveal worn finish/bare metal where it rubbed, sometimes rust if it traps moisture between the lining and the bed.

I don't actually have extra batteries, just the most capable battery I can fit in there. Some people I know carry a spare. When I was in highschool, friends I had carried a bank of batteries and charged $5 a pop to jump start you. Fords still have the two battery setup if I recall, one just for starting I think (not a Ford man!)
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