Alaska July 08, 2017
8 Places Alaska Still Has That Are Practically Historical Everywhere Else
It is said that Alaska is ten years behind the times, but sometimes it seems more like hundreds of years. People still sled down snowy hills and mine gold for fun. Many people in rural areas live without running water, some even without electricity. Hunting, fishing and canning food for the winter are still common practice for many Alaskans who enjoy the simple, old-fashioned life. Although these places may have disappeared everywhere else, we still have them in Alaska.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Video Stores
Many people in rural areas of Alaska can't get internet service at home. Even if they can, service is often not fast enough to stream videos. In Alaska many rely on video stores for their entertainment. That means we still have the problem of someone else renting the next disk in the series your watching and therefore having to wait for that juicy season finale. But knowing Alaskans, that show was probably aired in the 1980's so no one has to worry about spoilers.
2. Phone booths
Phone booths are a thing of the past in most of the world, but with spotty reception for cell phones in parts of the state, phone booths are still alive and kicking. The photo shows the phone booths near the docks in Homer where fisherman getting off the water need to call home when the common problem arises that their cellphones were lost at sea.
3. Internet cafes
Most of the U.S. now has high speed internet available, but in Alaska that is just not the case. There are so many people without the ability to get internet at their homes, and so many travellers coming through, that internet cafes still exist. Local coffee shops will also have a computer or two for public use and there are often lines all day.
contraption | Flickr
Many heat their homes with fire wood in the winter or have wood stoves as a back up system when ice storms take down power lines all over town. You'll see the piles grow over the summer and dwindle in the spring, but there is a steady supply from the vast and beautiful Alaskan forests, with a proper permit of course. Chopping wood is also an excellent workout to keep Alaskans fit enough to battle the cold and win.
While the rest of the U.S. takes indoor plumbing for granted, many Alaskans choose the classic method of plumbing: the outhouse. A small wooden shack containing a hole for personal waste is dug into the ground behind a home without running water. While primitive, many find this an economical and convenient solution to the plumbing problem. With freezing temperatures often causing pipes to crack and flood houses at 40 below temps, it is a lot simpler to just dig an outhouse.
In a world where most have amazing graphics on the games in their phone, Alaskans still go to the video arcade to play pinball and "ride" motorcycles for a quarter. You'll also see one or two games stashed in the corner of roadhouses and remote roadside stops.
7. Natural Springs
Many Alaskans carry blue jugs with them to fill with drinking water at fresh water springs tapped into the rocks around the state. There are many places to fill jugs with fresh, clear water that is tested for health and safety. The taste is so much better than tap water, you'll understand why Alaskans prefer their water naturally delicious.
8. Smoking Sections
Outside of Anchorage, you can still find communities and businesses that allow smoking indoors. There are even cigarette machines in some places, although usually before they will turn it on you have to show your ID proving that you are 19, the legal age for tobacco use.
Have you been to any of these in Alaska? Tell us about it in the comments below.