Living in New England my entire life, I thought I knew everything there was to know about snow. I knew the sound it makes when you step on it, how to navigate it efficiently, how to dress for it, how it looks two days after a snowstorm...and then Alaska messed it all up for me.
Guys, I was AMAZED by the snow in Alaska. As sick of it as I am, Alaska showed me a world of snow that I didn't even think was possible. Here in Rhode Island, the snow is wet and sticky, giving a sloshy sort of crunch when you step into it. In Alaska, snow is as dry as snow can get. The ultimate powdery sort which gives a super sharp crunch when you step on it. It's weird, but it reminds me of wet cardboard. I don't know, man. It was crazy stuff. Oh also no one told me how DEEP it was! Snow in the northeast typically starts melting immediately after the storm. Alaska? Oh no. That stuff has LAYERS. Feet and feet of snow, there since winter started and not going away anytime soon. Naturally, it's just waist high. Everywhere.
Other things that surprised me about Alaska:
1) there is an astronomical amount of Mexican food. Like, more than seafood. Who would've thought?!
2) The pizza is to. die. for. I've had a lot of pizza. I will never have enough Alaskan pizza. Take me back.
3) Don't laugh at this one but...it was crazy how AMERICAN it was. I guess since it's so insanely far away, I expected more log buildings and shacks. Ya know, rugged stuff. Oh no. If I ignored the mountains in the distance, it felt like I was back at home, driving down the most populated street in Rhode Island passing Walmarts, Wendys, and Walgreens. Corporate America knows no borders.
4) The MOUNTAINS. Oh my god. I will never get used to mountains. We took a six hour drive from Anchorage to Fairbanks and I was just stunned speechless basically the entire time. You ever feel like you didn't deserve being in a moment? That there was no way possible it was happening to you? Oh yeah. All the feels.
Admittedly, we had some bad luck as far as clouds go. The first day they covered the whole tops of the mountains and the whole reason to drive up to Fairbanks was to see the Northern lights. No such luck. Ah well.
How to dress for Alaska: cling to boyfriend for warmth.
Bad habit: constantly blowing off the itinerary to pull over to the side of the road when things get pretty. No ragrets.
Oh another thing- snow on trees only exists during the actual snowstorm in New England, falling off as soon as the sun comes out the day after. This place? Winter wonderland. Reminded me of a Christmas display with fake trees at the mall!
Congratulations! You made it past the mountain photos. Here's a token moosen.
What we're best at: breweries. Double Shovel in Anchorage has a special place in my heart because A) I'm still a wimp who loves her hard ciders B) chicken and waffles food truck outside. Best breakfast ever.
Anchorage Brewing company had access to their brewing area and an outdoor firepit which, amazingly, was pretty nice to hang out at at night in Alaska.
Denali Brewing Company was my absolute favorite purely because they had a moose outside named Bruce who frequents the place.
49th State Brewing in Anchorage was the Target of breweries - go in for one beer, come out with way more merch than anticipated.
Bonus photos- my boyfriend being ridiculous:
So the entire point of this trip is because he's on a mission to get Taco Bell in all 50 states. About a year ago I asked "sooo...this means Alaska and Hawaii right?" AND HERE WE ARE
There are less than ten Blockbusters left in the US. Anchorage has one of them and oh yes, it was a top priority.
Up next in travel blog posts: HAWAII