Alaska is no stranger to disaster. The Good Friday Earthquake of March 27, 1964, struck 120 km (85 miles) east of Anchorage. It proved to be one of the most powerful earthquakes ever, with a magnitude of 9.2 on the Richter scale. Many Alaskans were killed by the related tsunami that destroyed coastal towns and several native villages on the southern coastline.
Modern Alaska's economy relies heavily on petroleum extraction, with more than 80 percent of the state's revenues derived from the industry. There have been some problems however, as in 1989, when the oil tanker Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of that oil into Prince William Sound, creating an ecological disaster.
Excluding oil and natural gas, Alaska's main export product is seafood, but because of its topography and weather extremes, in-state manufacturing is rather limited, so most basic necessities must be imported.
With very few roads yet-built across the state, and long distances between cities, the main transportation methods are by water and air. In fact, Alaska has an extensive bush pilot system and has the highest number of pilots per capita of any state (1 in 78).
Snowmobiles and ATVs are popular personal vehicles. Dog sledding is the state sport, and Alaska is world famous for the annual 'Iditarod Sled Dog Race,' a demanding 1,150 mile route from Anchorage to Nome in normally harsh conditions.
From grizzly bears to polar bears, and from humpback whales to sea otters, wildlife abounds across Alaska. Anchorage is probably the only city in the United States that has a major moose problem, as there are hundreds within the city limits.
Alaska is like no other place on our planet. It's a constant adventure for those that live there, and for those fortunate enough (or smart enough) to travel there, it often proves to be their most exhilarating and worthwhile adventure.
A grave in Skagway Alaska's "Boot Hill" marked as unknown.
Alaska Cities, Counties & Area Codes
|Fairbanks||Fairbanks North Star||907|
|Iliamna||Lake and Peninsula||907|
|Craig||Prince of Wales Hyder||907|
|Delta Junction||Southeast Fairbanks||907|
|Hooper Bay||Wade Hampton||907|