Alaska has the questionable distinction of hosting one of the known High-frequency, Active Auroral Research Program(HAARP)array sites.
It produces extremely high frequency radio wave pulses for 'studying the aurora', in addition to communications purposes.
Some believe such focused, high-intesity pulses can adversely effect complex biological systems, atmospheric variables, as well behavior.
So line that traveling cap with tin foil and come check out the salmon before it has more than just gills fins and a tail.
Come to think of it, better come see ANWR(Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and the rest
before we sell 'em outright to the highest bidder, oil company or PepsiCo or what.
Coming Soon: Missile Defense!!!!!!!!
I often walk, jog, hike, or bike around the "Interior" of Alaska in the winter. The best way to do any type of travel is in layered clothing. It also helps to keep those hand warmer packets, such as "Heat Treat" in your jackets and such. They can also be placed in shoes. Also, and I learned the the hard way recently, if you do any bike riding during the cold season, try to keep an extra inner tube for your tires as some places may be sold out of your tire size, AND may not get any more until Spring-time.
If you find that you need professional bike repair, the fine folks at Great Land Sports may be of assistance!
Watch your step in the snow and ice. Don't travel in the wilderness by yourself unless you're experienced. The snow can have holes you can fall through and break a leg and cell phone coverage is sometimes non existant away from town.
Careful of the moose. They delight in stomping you.
Always forerunners of innovation and change,
the US blatantly 'obliterated' the InterContinental Ballistic Missle Treaty with the rapid development of Ft. Greely's missle defense site
...ensuring Fairbank's place in the "happenin'' part of you-name-the-irate-nation's bull's-eye.
Missle defense...which has proven an unmitigated failure with every rigged 'test'.
At least this means lotsa work for Teamsters;
plus, my toiled-for tax-dollars are saved from being wasted on intangible frivolities such as social services, health care or education.
The first few days during my recent trip to Alaska were under clear skies with almost unlimited visibility. When I traveled north to Fairbanks, the skies were still cloudless but filled with smoke. The worst forest fires in history were burning 5 million acres of bush and forest in the interior of the state. This meant very limited visibility, in the worst places less than a quarter of a mile, which was a great disappointment to me and many other tourists who had come to see Alaska's pristine mountains, rivers, lakes and vistas.
To add insult to injury, I was appalled to learn that that many hundreds of acres of the fires had been deliberately set by the Bureau of Land Management as a "Prescribed Burn." I understand and agree with the reasoning behind prescribed burns, but what idiot would set more burns when the state was already aflame with lightening fires. I have allergies to smoke and the situation literally made me sick. Next time I invest my hard earned money in a trip to Alaska I will first check with the BLM to see what the wildfire situation is in the state.
This is no place to wander alone at night even if you are a local. It is a high crime area with a lot of drunks especially 1st to 3rd ave. I hate to admit to this because it is where our visitor's cabin is(1st). There have been some muggings of tourists along Cushman Street. Feel free to wander with a friend during the day. There are many gift shops and log cabin. Enjoy by day and be safe at night!
This might not be a surprise, but Fairbanks is cold. And I bet that if you come here at winter, you have packed your suitcases full of parkas and gore-tex. But what I want to warn, is that weather can be very variable. In the morning ti can be warm while sun shines and then, suddenly it drops lond under the zero....
Notice this specially when you are hiking in the Winter time or late Fall. Nights can be vey cold and chilly, even the day are warm.
On our drive to Fairbanks, there are lakes galore, and they are very beautiful scenery so much that sometime traveler that are not aware of this mud found themselves trapped and special people that do this kind of work for a living pull them out without getting themselves stuck. So be very careful and try to found solid ground.
The wildlife in Alaska is wild as the word suggests. Do be careful and never provoke the animals, especially with the larger ones eg moose, bears, caribou etc. Bears are very common and do get advice from the natives on what to do when you encounter them. Just remember that everything in Alaska is as real as it can get, so do watch out and try to view the animals from a safe distance !
If you are driving around alaska, you will see the occasional sign with a moose, that says something like 'next 1 mile'. These signs are worthless. Moose are EVERYWHERE. i have seen them in downtown fairbanks, and walking across the expressway. just be aware that they are there, and that they are a Lot bigger than deer. if you hit one with a car, you will just knock their legs out from under them, and the rest of the moose will quite likely go through your windshield. also beware of both moose and bears while hiking. bears are big and have claws. learn about how be safe outdoors before you hike. there is a saying in alaska, if you see a bear, don't climb a tree, a brown bear will just knock it down, and a black bear will come up after you. and though moose might look laid back, they can charge. Especially female moose if they have calves.
Also, roads can be ...exciting.. to drive on. in alaska we have lots of Permafrost. when roads are put down, they heat up and cause the permafrost to melt, which leads to severe buckling and horrible potholes. when you see a bumper sticker that says 'i drove the alcan highway', it actually means something. also be aware that Many roads are not paved, and 4-wheel drive is a definite bonus.
last, but not least, we do have mosquitos. often, MANY of them. bring repellent.
The most dangerous things in Alaska are what you might come across while traveling or fishing in Alaska. like bears, and moose.
Caution is advised when traveling the highways, watch for moose, they will run across the road in front of your vehicle, and cause much damage to your vehicle and can even cause death to the driver of the vehicle if you are traveling at a high speed.
You can also see bears on the roads, they are quite amusing to watch, but ONLY from the safety of your vehicle!
I've spent 8 years as a fire fighter/medic in Fairbanks. During the summer tourist season, one of the most tragic types of calls to get is a motor vehicle accident involving tourists. People far from home on a pleasure trip suddenly in a possible life-or-death situation... very depressing.
A vast majority of these accidents are caused by one of two things: a moose collision or the legendary 'frost heave'.
Moose are very active in summer months in Alaska, and the terrain around Fairbanks is prime moose wandering area. These animals can weigh up to a ton and appear almost magically from the roadside brush. You would think that an animal that size would be visible from a long distance, but this is not the case.
If you are driving in Alaska, take extra caution for moose. Pay extra attention to the sides of the roads when there is brush growing close the edge of the roadway. Moose also have an annoying habit of waiting until the last moment before dashing out in front of you. Don't assume that if you see a moose, it is going to stay put on the roadside!
The other common cause of highway travel hazard in Alaska is the frost heave. Frost heaves are bubbles of ice/permafrost that have formed under the roadbed and cause large bumps or dips to form. The asphalt road surface is often cracked or crumbling where these occur.
During summer months, areas of rough road are usually well marked by the State Department of Transporation. As a local, I have leared that if a 'ROUGH ROAD' or 'DIPS' sign has orange caution flags attached to it, they really, REALLY mean it this time!
The best defense against having a frost heave-related problem is to slow down. Hitting a large heave at highway speed can easily cause you to lose control of the vehicle and 'exit the roadway in an uncontrolled manner'.
Be careful and enjoy your trip!
Watch out for wildlife on the roads, especially during the long winter nights. I saw a moose once and would not have wanted to hit it! In general, road quality can be poor, because of the weather. Be careful where you go, unless you have 4-wheel drive.
*Dont go onto property where it says No trespassing!
THere are some very interesting characters that shoot first ask questions later. There arent very many but it only takes one.
* Bears - if you go hiking it is best to take a gun - Bear repellant has only so-so results.
* Moose are like deer in the lower 48. Only if you hit them (with your car - if with the fist - you have bigger problems) they are a bit heavier than deer and have trashed many cars and killed many people. Avoid driving at night.