Although few visitors
still expect to find Alaskans living in igloos, many are surprised
that daily life for most Alaskans is much like the Lower 48.
Some Alaskans choose an isolated and independent life in backwoods
homesteads. But most live in modern homes, drive cars, watch
television, and shop in modern stores.
communities have fast food restaurants, theaters, recreation
facilities, modern health care facilities, and the usual city
conveniences. Art galleries, museums, concerts, and live theater
as well as a statewide university system also contribute to
the quality of life.
telephone service and television into even the most isolated
villages. Although some of Alaskas smaller towns have
one-room school houses, most classrooms throughout the state
are very similar to schools anywhere in the U.S. and are equipped
with computers and other modern learning tools.
wild about outdoor recreation. Activities include dogmushing,
skijoring (skiers pulled by a sled dog with a harness),
snowmobiling, canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, hiking,
mountain and rock
climbing, biking, and even scuba diving
is the dogmushing capital of the world. Dogmushing is
the official state sport. Dogmushing races ranging from
local club meets to world championships are held throughout
the winter. The 1,049-mile Iditarod, which runs from
to Nome, is Alaskas most famous sled dog race. The
winner of the first Iditarod in 1973 completed the race
in 20 days,
while 1996 champion Jeff King finished in just 9 days.
In a typical year, 60 mushers will compete. Only two-thirds