Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Alaska

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to the 2013 A-Z Challenge!! I'm excited for another round of the A-Z and also happy to be helping out this year as one of the Warrior Minions! I'm on Team Shannon, of The Warrior Muse blog, and looking forward to getting to know lots of new bloggers during the month.

My theme for the challenge this year is Alaska, the setting of my novel Polar Night. I learned so many interesting things about our 49th state while researching my book that I thought it would be fun to write the challenge around it.

ETA: Just adding a quick addition to this post. If you are interested in Polar Night, please see this amazing review written by my friend Melissa Goodwin. Melissa is the talented writer of The Christmas Village, and I'm so thrilled that she wrote such a wonderful review of my book. If you don't already know Melissa, check her out. I know you will enjoy her writing and her blog! 

Back to the challenge, my choice for "A" was an easy one. Here are some fun facts about the state of Alaska:

1. Nearly one third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle

Source: Wikimedia Commons

2. The state of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times

Source: Wikimedia Commons

3. There are more active glaciers and ice fields in Alaska than in all of the rest of the inhabited world

Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. Barrow, Alaska holds the US record for the longest day (three months, starting in May) and the longest night (two months, starting in November)

Source: Wikimedia Commons

5. Alaska has the highest concentration of bears (grizzly, black, and polar) in the world

Source: Wikimedia Commons

6. Alaska also has the largest seal colony in the world

Source: Wikimedia Commons

7. The word Alaska is the Russian version of the Aleutian word Alakshak, which means great lands or peninsula.

I could go on forever with facts about this fascinating place, but I'll leave it at that since I know we're all pressed for time during the Challenge. See you tomorrow for B!


  1. That first photo is beautiful. I'd love to visit, but only for a couple of days - the endless day/night scenario would freak me out!

  2. Oh I really have a soft spot for Alaska. I don't know why, but I would really like to visit there. Thank for sharing.
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests

  3. What a gorgeous photo at top and I didn't know any of those facts! Putting Alaska on top of the rest of the country really brings home how large it is.

    Laura Eno – A Shift in Dimensions

  4. I'd love to visit Alaska, it looks beautiful :)

  5. That looks like a really cold place. Love those seals :-)

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

  6. I do adore me snowy regions, Julz!

  7. Oh, this is going to be such a fun theme! Love the facts you've given today! I've been to Alaska twice and it really is wild and beautiful.

  8. They say polar bears are lefthanded... I wonder if it's true. I'd love to see one!

  9. Wow! Great choice for A! I went to Alaska about 6-ish years ago with my family. I'd love to meet a polar bear!

    My blog:

  10. Ooh, these posts will make a nice companion piece to your novel, which I'm going to start later this week. :)

  11. Love this theme! I've always wanted to go to Alaska.

  12. Perfect choice to go along with your book, which I LOVED BTW.

  13. This post makes me want to visit Alaska!

  14. Alaska is really the last of the wild here in the U.S. I've never been there, but my hubby has climbed Denali.
    Looking forward to the rest of your posts, Julie!

  15. Three months of day? It would make sleeping difficult.

  16. @Annalisa, that's just how I feel. I know I wouldn't be able to handle living there but it would be awesome to visit.

    @Dani, I feel the same, I hope I get to visit there some day. Thanks for reading!

    @Laura, isn't it so pretty? And I couldn't believe the size either, it's hard to comprehend.

    @Laura, I agree!

    @Rosalind, me too! I think seals are adorable. :)

    @Dez, LOL, I only like to see them in pics, I don't want to be in them but they sure are gorgeous to look at.

    @Madeline, thanks! I bet your trips were amazing.

    @miss uncertain, LOL, I didn't know that. I'd love to see one in the wild too, they are so pretty. As long as I wasn't too close, obviously LOL.

    @Morgan, oh, thanks!! I'm looking forward to checking out your posts, thanks for coming by.

    @LG, thank you! I hope you will like it. :)

    @Regina, me too! Thank you!

    @LynnMarie, thank you so much, I'm so thrilled you liked it.

    @Sirisha, LOL, I thought that too when I wrote it!

  17. @Susan, oh, your husband must be adventurous. I admit I'd be too chicken to do that, and also too clumsy LOL. I'd probably fall and never be seen again.

    @Alex, I know, I almost think that would be weirder than the long dark spells.

  18. Julie, I'd love to visit Alaska some day. Thanks for the info. Cathrina Constantine

  19. Perfect way to start the Challenge. Looking forward to learning about Alaska, and reading your book. Can I get a copy from my local Barnes and Noble?

  20. First of all good luck with the challenge ... and second thanks for bring Alaska back to me. Was visiting in 1978 - worked aboard the little red ship, Lindblad Explorer ... that took me all the way up into Bearings Sea - signed on in Prince Rupert .. one of the most memorable visit was Alaska and Antarctic from my year aboard. Fantastic ...

  21. After watching 30 Days of Night we think we would visit during Alaska's "longest day" months.

    Dani & Jax @ Cover Girls

  22. Wow, amazing facts!
    It has a certain sterile beauty... and gotta love those polar bears...

  23. Great topic! Not sure if I could handle two months of night. And I would never want to sleep in the summer.

  24. You're right, these are interesting facts. Especially the origin of the name. Thanks for sharing.

  25. My mom & I talked of doing a Tall Ship sail up to Alaska from Vancouver Island. It's on the bucket list as I know it would be amazing. There's just something untamed and beautiful about Alaska.

  26. Oh, I would love to visit Alaska very soon. Love the fact about the size of Rhode Island in relation to Alaska. Really gives a great picture as to the size of both.
    Wonderful way to start the Challenge. Looking forward to future posts.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

  27. Did you know that Alaska is the answer to a bar trivia question?
    As in...which state is the farthest west, north, AND East?
    Alaska is east because a few of the Aleutians lay west of 180 degrees west. Hence, they're actually in EAST longitude.
    Most people say Maine, and they have a point to a degree. But I wouldn't push it.
    No sense arguing state trivia.
    You're in a BAR, after all.

  28. Interesting facts! I wonder, though, why the longest day is so much longer than the longest night? Intuition would say that the passage of the sun above and below the horizon through the course of the year should be roughly symmetrical, or are those examples from specific (and different) years?

  29. What a great idea relating this to your book. I've always wanted to visit Alaska. I shall do so this month vicariously through your posts!

  30. Wow, the overlay of Alaska on the rest of the US really puts things into perspective. Thanks for the Alaska facts! It will be fun learning more about Polar Nights. (:

  31. @Cathrina, my pleasure. And I totally agree about the visit.

    @Tim, thanks! I don't know if the local Barnes & Noble stores have it but I know they have it on their site.

    @myguiltypleasures, wow, what an amazing experience that must have been! And thanks for the good luck wishes.

    @Dani, LOL, I can believe that.

    @Michelle, I know, I love the bears too. Especially the cubs!

    @Carol, I know, I couldn't handle either extreme, I'm sure.

    @RedFox, thank you!

    @Riann, oh, that does sound like an amazing trip. I've always wanted to see Vancouver as well, I bet it is beautiful there.

    @Silvia, thanks so much, I appreciate it!

    @Al, oh, I didn't know that! Interesting. LOL, now maybe I can win a trivia game with this.

    @Botanist, I wondered that too, I thought at first I read it wrong to be honest! Although perhaps the source I read was wrong, could be.

    @Julie, thank you!

    @Elise, it is strange, isn't it? I never would have guessed it was that big. Thanks!

  32. Alaska is a state that needs to be visited at least once in a lifetime, but preferably a multitude of times. It is a land of wonder.

  33. An Alaskan Cruise is my all-time favorite vacation of all-time!!! Been on it twice and can't wait to return! :)

  34. Hey Julie! Love that you're doing Alaska. One of my fave places. After going there for the first time, I was in love. We've even talked of moving there, but you know how that goes.
    My neighbor is from Barrow and still has family there. And coincidentally (or maybe not) my current WIP takes place in AK to some extent--starts off there anyway. Which means I need to read your book and check up on my AK accuracy. ;)

  35. @Susan, I can imagine it is. I so hope I get to visit it someday!

    @DL, that sounds amazing.

    @Michael, LOL, no, on Palin here. :D

    @Pk, oh, how cool that your book takes place in Alaska too! I hope I did justice to it in mine even though I haven't been there.

  36. Thanks for this great info on American Social Studies and History! I love it. I will be looking forward to learning more.

  37. What fun trivia bits! Great start to the Challenge. One day I'd like to visit Alaska. It's so beautiful.

  38. I'm going to be in Alaska next month. Just three stops on a seven day cruise, but I'm really excited.

  39. Interesting! :) As a newcomer in the USA, I have a lot to learn about the states. Thanks! :)
    Happy A to Z!

  40. I've always wanted to visit Alaska! My mom ran a marathon there five years ago.

    I always forget how massive it is too. Cool theme :)

  41. Sounds like a fascinating place. I'd love to go but not during winter!

  42. Great facts and beautiful photos! I'm also excited about your wonderful review! I would love to take an Alaskan cruise.


  43. Beautiful photos and fun facts.

    What a perfect combination to kick off your A to Z--Alaska and your book. Congrats on your release!


  44. I'd love to visit Alaska but, since I can't, I'll live vicariously through your A to Z theme! :)

  45. Have you read Mitchener's Alaska? Great read. I couldn't handle a 3 month day or a 2 month night.

  46. That is an amazing place.!! I thought the facts were interesting and lots of things I didn't know!! Good luck with the rest of the challenge :)

  47. lovely pics! I'd really love to visit the entire world and the Challenge makes me wish even more to be traveling!

  48. Wonderful pictures! I like bears and I fear they might be loosing their habitat, but that one there looks happy.
    Don't know if I could cope with a two month night. Probably I would just hibernate.

  49. wow the vastness of Alaska blows me away Julie - on my to visit list for sure..

  50. @Nancy, thanks so much!

    @Christine, me too, I'd love to see the scenery in person.

    @LD, oh wow, how exciting. I hope you have a fantastic trip!

    @Tarkabarka, thank you, so glad to meet you! Happy A to Z to you as well. :)

    @Samantha, thanks! And I'm impressed with your Mom, I can't imagine ever running a marathon.

    @Nick, that's how I feel too LOL.

    @Julie, thank you, I was thrilled with Melissa's review, she's awesome. :)

    @Barbara, thank you!

    @Mark, I'm kind of living vicariously through it too LOL.

    @Mary, I haven't, I should check that out.

    @Carolyn, thank you, I appreciate it!

    @Adriana, I agree, you see so many wonderful places just hopping around the blogs. :)

    @Al, I agree about the bears, it's a shame. And I'd be hibernating too, no doubt.

    @Cherie, thanks!

    @David, mine too!

  51. I want to visit Alaska so bad, and just can't squeeze it in this year. You're making it easy to be an armchair traveler instead.

  52. I always wondered where the word "Alaska" came from but never looked it up. Awesome!

    Jessica @ Visions of Other Worlds
    Twitter: @jmarcarelli, #atozchallenge

  53. Whoa! So many interesting, and even mind-boggling, facts! I've read up on Alaska a little bit in the past, but never knew all this before...

  54. Great choice for a theme! Those are interesting facts. I'll be following your blog

  55. Alaska is somewhere I'd love to visit, and I can only imagine what a great setting it was for your novel. Looking forward to more of your April posts.

    My A Post

  56. I don't think I realized how massive Alaska is! I want to go to the town that's overrun by polar bears once a year. I forget what town it was.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  57. I'm excited to learn more about Alaska! :) Love the quarter. So cool! Looking forward to more.

  58. Hi Julie .. I'll get to read Melissa's review and get your book ...

    but for now - I love the facts about Alaska and seeing it sprawled over much of America - it's large isn't it ..

    Love these sorts of posts .. cheers Hilary

  59. @Patricia, I felt like an armchair traveler writing the posts, I have to settle for that for now LOL.

    @Jessica, thanks! Great to meet you.

    @Heather, I had no clue when I started reading about it, it's such an interesting place.

    @Lorena, thank you!

    @Tia, thanks, looking forward to yours as well!

    @Shannon, I didn't know about that, but now I also want to go to the polar bear town.

    @Rebecca, thanks!

    @Hilary, it's crazy to see how big the state is in relation to the rest of the country, isn't it? Thanks so much.

  60. Alaska is just WOW! and so beautiful! And I love learning. Thanks!
    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

  61. It's such a gorgeous state, and these facts about Alaska are wonderful!

  62. @Jamie, thanks, and thank you for coming by. Looking forward to checking out your blog!

    @MJ, I agree, the pics of Alaska are just so gorgeous, I can't imagine living around that kind of scenery.

  63. I have never visited Alaska but I would love to someday. It looks like my dream place :)

  64. @Trisha, I hope to visit someday too, I'd love to go there. :)

  65. My hub's been to Alaska. One day I hope to go.

  66. Wonderful idea, as evidenced by all the posts that came after.

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