What’s a sourdough status?
When you are attending a party in Alaska and there are people who don’t know you the first thing they will ask is how many winters you have been in Alaska. Everyone less than three winters is considered a greenhorn. The time in Alaska is measured in winters being there. The unit is called Sourdough Status. My sourdough status is 18.
In Alaska, an old time Alaskan is called a sourdough. You are respected by the winters you survived in the darkness, and bitter cold weather of the harsh and beautiful land at the Last Frontier. The term relates to the facts that in the early times, Russian trappers and later in the Gold Rush time, goldminers carried their sourdough starters against their bodies everywhere. Doing so was needed, as their woodstove-heated dry cabins would quickly cool when the stove went out when they could feed their stove while they were outside.
Another curiosa is that companies who were founded very early often have the term sourdough in their name even when they don’t sell bread, pancakes and alike. The first photo in this post, for instance, shows the store of a rental car company in Bethel and their name is guess what?
Why is Alaska like super-computing?
Seventy percent of the Alaskan population have not been born in Alaska, i.e. new Alaskans come from the airport. Typically people either love or hate Alaska. Those of the latter category try to get out of here as soon as possible. Thus, they leave within the first two or three years. Those who love Alaska stay for life or at least until they retire leading to many people being in Alaska more than 20 years. I am one of the few people in the transitioning phase between the less than three, and more than twenty years categories that make up about more than 40 percent each.
Alaskan population diversity
The feelings about Alaska lead to a U-shape distribution when you plot years in Alaska versus number of people being that amount of time in Alaska. The many people who are less than three years in Alaska are typically military, students, people working on the oil fields, in mining or tourism, and some adventurers and extreme environmentalists. The people who are in Alaska 20 years are more than the 30 percent of Alaska’s population who were born here. Recall the many new-bees to Alaska are in the majority young people in the age group of becoming parents. Altogether this makes Alaska a very young state – population-wise.
You either love or hate living in Alaska
People either hate or love Alaska. There is nothing in between. Alaska is like a supercomputer that only knows 1 and 0. It is like black and white, land vs. water, day vs. night, yes or no.
It’s mostly women who don’t like living here. However, being or not being an outdoor enthusiast or loving snow related sports has nothing to do with it. There are many things why a non-outdoor gal loves life in Alaska.For me the great outdoors is the space between buildings. #Alaska #lifestyle Click To Tweet
I am wearing sleek straight leg taupe linen pants with zipper details at the ankles that give these classic pants a bit of a streetstyle edge. I paired them with a black short sleeve cashmere sweater and strings of pearls – a Coco Chanel type fool proof style. I added my recent thrift store finds of the taupe Jaeger leather tote, and Anne Klein open toe pumps with Alaska state logo that you have seen in the post at the link before. On that I also found some sandals from a brand that recalled childhood memories.
These neutral colors make for a great office look and make a great canvas for my golden Burberry trench coat (photo above) that was a gift from my husband on our wedding anniversary this year. This coat gives the outer outfit a bit of classic and streetstyle.
Focus Alaska is a series here on High Latitude Style featuring Alaska curiosa, lifestyle, wildlife, street style, weather, and insider travel tips.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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