Pumas 4 Palin

Summer in Alaska – A Sarah Solstice Interlude, OR, I bet you didn’t know that …

Posted on: June 23, 2009

Alaskan Fireweed - Symbol of Summer

Alaskan Fireweed - Symbol of Summer

While following Governor Sarah on the Twitter, see sidebar for clickable link, I stumbled upon this gracious tweet invite.

Summer Solstice reminds us every second in AK’s gorgeous summer is unmatched so enjoy! Go outside get fresh air, keeps things in perspective.  12:36 PM Jun 20th from TwitterBerry

Which got this Lower-48er to do some thinking, err rather, googling I mean. So, off I went in search of information and came up with these delightful nuggets about Alaska, the amazing land of our favorite Governatoress.

I bet you didn’t know that in Alaskan Summer ….

….  at night the sun is never far below the horizon. (Alaska is not the place to go to see fireworks on the Fourth of July, because in most of the state it just doesn’t get dark enough — even after midnight — to show them to best advantage.) The further north you go, the more daylight you get.

In Anchorage, it’s possible to read a book outside at midnight in late June.

In Barrow, on Alaska’s North Slope, it doesn’t get dark at all for several months.
(Emphasis added)

Oh, it is sad, of course, that  one couldn’t enjoy the fireworks. But, on the other hand  it is possible to play golf at midnight!

In most states, tee times end before dinner. Here, you can forget that mad rush to get to the course in time.

“Here you can get off work at 5, go home, eat dinner, spend time with the family, then go out at 8 and get a full 18 in,” said Bryan Stenehjem, Anchorage Golf Course Marshall. [sic]

Midnight golf in the land of the midnight sun — it’s a fine way to end an Anchorage summer day.

Late-night tee times are available until about the end of July.

And speaking of Summer Solstice:

Talk about your endless summers. Daylight lasts 19 hours here now, and Anchorage is poised to celebrate Saturday’s summer solstice with a massive street fest and marathon that has filled nearly every hotel room in town. The Summer Solstice Festival begins Friday with 10 musical groups and a dozen more on Saturday. A marathon and half-marathon are also scheduled Saturday, under almost ideal conditions. Highs Friday and Saturday are expected to be in the upper 60s, under patchy clouds, with only a slight chance of a moose attack. (Emphsis added)

To put it differently:

Alaska’s Interior can be characterized by warm and seemingly endless days, maybe an afternoon shower, and of course mosquitoes. Most visitors to the Fairbanks area are surprised at just how warm it can get here this time of year. With a continental climate and over 21 hours of daylight, temperatures near 90°F during June and July are not uncommon in the land of the midnight sun.

If you want to wade through them all, some nice pictures of Alaskan Summer Solstice can be found in these webshots.

Here is a link to a one hundred year old travel book A Summer in Alaska by one Frederick Schwatka.

Color Plate - Summer in Alaska - circa 1893

Color Plate - Summer in Alaska - circa 1893

Summer is camping time, outdoors time, so remember these survival tips and more:

First, set up shelter in an open area, not dense woods, to give you visibility. Don’t camp out by a salmon stream since bears feed on them. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have food along for your wilderness slumber party, keep it away from your shelter and from a bear’s reach. Try to hang it about 100 yards (30 meters) away from your sleeping quarters at least 30 feet (9 meters) high. In case you have extra clothing, pack the ones you wore while cooking with the food, since the lingering scent may draw bears to you as well.

Another interesting Alaska Summer event is the annual Mayor’s Midnight Marathon in Anchorage. They also feature a half-marathon and other shorter races.

Finally, in this article published over a decade ago, bearing the rather coy sub-title of  TUNDRA DANCING, a writer of the New York Times waxes eloquent about a trip to Alaska.

I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this research and/or armchair travel of Alaska for/with you.

This post is done in honor of Governor Sarah. I hope you enjoy it too.

Also, please visit this other post, it was quite popular last year, Grizzlies Live on Alaska Webcams. Thanks!

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