We completed our first week in Anchorage, Alaska while settling into our temporary home, a cozy 795 sq ft two-bedroom furnished condo. New streets, new grocery stores, new weather, new culture, new people, new languages and new friends filled our days of exploration. Warm welcomes from our new church family greeted us in various fellowship events.

Some new things we discovered (or heard about):

  • Block Heaters to Plug in Vehicle – Electric Heating Element to Heat Engine in Extreme Cold Weather
  • Studded or Blizzak Tires – Traction Devices for Vehicles (October 1 – April 15)
  • Ice Cleats or Grips – Traction Devices for Shoes
  • Happy Lamps – Light Therapy to Reduce Seasonal Affective Disorder during Winter
  • Espresso Shops – Mini Trailers Offering Drive-Thru Service
  • PFD – Permanent Fund Dividend
  • Flattop – 3,510 Ft Mountain
  • Sleeping Lady – Mount Susitna 4,396 Ft
  • Outside – Not in Alaska
  • Lower 48 – Continental United States
  • Alaska Native – Alaskan who is Athabascan or Tlingit Indian, Yup’ik or Inupiaq Eskimo or Aleut
  • Cheechako – Newcomer to Alaska
  • Sourdough – Longtimer to Alaska

The days are getting shorter as we enter the winter season. Today, the sun rose at 9:19 am and set at 6:05 pm. We lose about 5 1/2 minutes of sunlight each day this week. It is an adjustment.

High speed internet is expensive and often limited. It took a bit of research to figure out that GCI is the main provider, internet service is offered at different speeds and limited data packages (unlimited runs about $180 at the moment) and you need to purchase your own router if you want a wireless connection. We purchased the smallest & most economical package.

We just experienced our first snowfall in Anchorage for this winter. The temperatures fluctuated a bit above and below freezing bringing us a mixture of cold rain and snow which equals slick roads. Winter tires, either studded or blizzark, are a priority on our endless to-do list.