Friday, March 21, 2014

The Difference Between Alaska and Colorado

Footwear of AKRWA members
Annual retreat in Soldotna, Alaska

On a map, Colorado is a rectangle --- and Alaska, stuck off in the corner, resembles a flung blob of spaghetti, but people still get them mixed up.

I recall an advertisement for an Alaska telecommunication company which featured kids sledding in the wonderful Alaskan winter. Except it wasn't Alaska. The mountains in the background included the Snowmass ski area.

Colorado advertisers aren't exempt from the confusion. A political campaign for a Colorado candidate included a photo of what he thought was Pike's Peak. Woops! It was Denali, Mount McKinley to everyone outside Alaska.


The mountains in Colorado look like Alaska but only if viewed from the north. Viewed from the south, where the Colorado sun shines hot and dry, these same mountains look like Arizona.

In Alaska, both sides of the mountains look like Alaska.


Colorado is sunny. It snows a bit and then it's sunny. It rains and then it's sunny.

Alaska: fog, wind, snow, rain, more snow, overcast, ice fog, high winds. Alaska might get sun for an afternoon, maybe in June.


Those conifers. You know what I mean, the type of conical trees you cut down for Christmas. In Colorado, they might be spruce or they might be pine or they might be fir or Douglas Fir.

In Alaska, if there are any around, they're spruce, different kinds of spruce, but still spruce. That is unless they're planted in a yard in Anchorage.


In Colorado, your Chihuahua might get eaten by a mountain lion.

In Alaska, he's on the menu serving bears, wolves, eagles, and mosquitos.


Alaska is noted for having the worst dressed city in the US. We aren't sure if that distinction belongs to Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, or Bethel.

Colorado is better dressed, but not by much. If in doubt, check the footwear. If you see waterproof boots such as brown rubber XtraTufs,
you're in Alaska.

Children dancing during book festival at Loussac Public Library. Anchorage, Alaska

--- Lizzie Newell writes science fiction romance. She lives in Anchorage most of the time but travels both inside and outside Alaska attending writers' conferences. Her travels frequently take her to Colorado.


Anonymous said...

Lizzie, love your post! I find when traveling Outside-I must consider what to pack for my feet. Everyone else is in sneakers, I'm in heavy duty hikers. I don't own sneakers-except for the ones dedicated to my treadmill. When I left the states I brought several pair of high-heels-they have all gone to Salvation Army. Function over Form any day.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Good comparisons, and I love the footwear photos!

Morgan O'Reilly said...

I'd also mention that along the Front Range rain and snow disappear very fast! One fact I loved about living in Colorado for five years. Very little snow clearing to do. Thunderstorms rush in and make a big to-do, then slip away and an hour later the ground is dry.

Great comparisons!