Alaska

LINGO

"BREAK UP" has nothing to do with failed relationships. Here it means signs of Springtime, with melting snow & ice from roads, lakes & rivers.

"OUTSIDE" refers to any location beyond the Alaska borders--typically the "LOWER 48", meaning the contiguous United States.

"T-Dust", short for termination dust, tells us that winter is right around the corner.  Not much time left to prepare!

"HARDPACK" is what we call the packed down snow that covers the roads and parking lots in much of Alaska during the winter.

 

  We drive and shuffle on top of it all winter long.

Plows remove snow by taking their blade down to the top of the hardpack.

 

Come Spring, it gets peeled up in huge chunks by dozers to prevent it from turning into inches of slush that makes driving treacherous.

"ALPENGLOW" 

the gorgeous, firey red-orange glow that sometimes drenches the hills & mountaintops located opposite of a  rising/setting sun. The sun, being below the horizon, gets reflected off of water particles in the air.

 

If you were dropped, blindfolded in the midst of this phenomenon and didn't know East from West, you'd have a hard time figuring out which side the sun is actually setting on.

 

A soothing sight well seen near Anchorage.

"GREENUP" is the very welcome transition from the browns of 'breakup' to green grass and the budding of trees in vibrant, lime green hues that tells us

SPRING IS HERE! 

 

Some Alaskans would say that Spring has sprung "When the leaves of a birch tree grow to the size of a squirrel's ear."

"BUNNY BOOTS"

While being designed by the military for use in Arctic climates, many Alaskans (unpretentious as we are - and proud of it, mind you!!) don these white, bulky, rubber boots as a matter of practicality and survival!

 

Pressed wool and felt, sandwiched between thin rubber of these un-lined, vapor barrior boots, protects the wearer in temperatures as low as -65F.

 

The black ones, called "MICKEY MOUSE BOOTS"are rated to -20F and are known for their oil/diesel resistance.

 

Both are equipped with a valve to release pressure at extremely high altitudes. 

"SOURDOUGH" 

the term for someone who has lived in Alaska for at least a year, braved its extreme climate and lifestyle and wouldn't dream of leaving, despite.  The length of time that defines it is debatable.

 

"UP ON THE SLOPE" 

typcially refers to someone working in Alaska's North Slope Borough, at the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field at Deadhorse, AK.

 

Slope jobs are well paying but consists of very long shifts per day--some up to 18hrs per day and are usually back-to-back shifts in increments of

2 weeks on /2 weeks off <or>

1 week on / 1 week off

(not for the weary)

 

THE ALASKA "BUSH"

refers to any location in Alaska that is not connected to a road system or the ALaska ferry system. Most of these remote locations are only accesible by bush plane, snow machine, four-wheelers (ATVs) or sled dogs.

"ALASKA TIME"

Alaskan don't apologize for being generally leisurely. Outside (in the Lower 48), people  might comment that so-and-so is 'fashionably late'.  Here, we say that they are operating on Alaska time. So if you really want someone to arrive at 3pm--you'd better tell them 1pm. (and forget RSVP's--it's as if they'd never heard of such a thing!