Living in the Last Frontier
For many people in the lower 48 Alaska is a distant thought. There is still the perception of people living in igloos and polar bears roaming the lands. Recently reality TV shows have helped spread light on how life in the 49th state truly is. Have you ever wondered what it would be like growing up in a state like Alaska? Alaska is the biggest state in the U.S. Life is different from coast to coast. Environments in the North Slope are dramatically different then Southeast Alaska and the inside passage. There is a city that holds nearly 1/3 of the state’s population and there are villages all over the state with hardly 100 people inhabiting them. There are children learning to go out on traditional whale hunts and others spending months at a time out on a commercial fishing vessel. Growing up in Alaska is unlike any other state.
Alaska provides many outdoor activities. Southeast Alaska is surrounded by coast and rain forest. Salmon and trout run abundantly in most streams in your surrounding area. Halibut are in deep waters easily accessible by boat. If you have a boat you are out setting crab pots. Deer, moose, and waterfowl hunting are why you live for the weekends. Many kids in Southeast Alaska grow up with the outdoors. It provides so many experiences that you learn and grow from.
Playing sports in Southeast Alaska is far different from playing sports in the lower 48. Traveling town to town by Boeing 747’s is unheard of for most youth. Not if you grew up in coastal communities of Alaska. There are no roads connecting towns. Instead you travel by plane or ferry. This turns sporting trips into 3-4 day events. This type of travel and time away from school attracts many students to participate in local sports.
Growing up in a coastal community of Southeast Alaska opens up opportunity for high paying summer work. Many high school youth spend their summers working on commercial fishing vessels. This work causes many kids to be out on boats for most of the summer months. Commercial fishing has the benefit of making great money while working for a short period of time. This is how a lot of kids from these communities pay for the college education. Commercial fishing creates lifelong experiences and for many youth lifelong careers.
Life in Alaska is unique. After school moose hunting, commercial salmon fishing, and flying to a neighboring town via jet is common for Alaska youth living in coastal communities. Alaska has benefits that create incredible experiences and lasting memories. Alaska truly is the last frontier.
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