New Alaskans come from the airport

Not a joke, but sounds like one

At the grocery store in Fairbanks, a father and son stand in line at the cashier talking about the bee-things. The boy says to his father: “And where do new Alaskans come from?” The father answers “From the airport.”

As a non-Alaskan you wonder what made the father say this. Read on for the answer.

over 50 years old fashion blogger in chinos and silver pumps
Oliveo chinos, Brooks Brothers oversize short-sleeve cashmere sweater, Ralph Lauren silver snake imprint pointy-toe pumps (all own)

Fairbanks is a destination after the fall of the Iron Curtain

Since the iron curtain fell in the late 80s, Fairbanks is a destination meaning you never get to Fairbanks by bloody accident. The golden heart city of Interior Alaska is no longer a place to come thru. Back in the 80s , Reagan and the Pope met on a red carpet at the Fairbanks airport! That carpet is now in Fox, a small settlement 20 miles (32 km) outside of Fairbanks close to the goldmine, in the Howling Dog, a saloon that is open in summer only. It’s not a tourists’ place, but Fox is too small to keep it open when the Fairbanks crowd stays away because of the cold weather. It is hard to start an unplugged car at 40 below (-40oC), i.e. the way home may be a problem.

Fairbanks is a metropolitan area some where in the middle of nowhere

Fairbanks is an island in a sea of trees – somewhere in the middle of nowhere – in a taiga landscape with wildfires every summer. The next big city, population wise, is Anchorage 423 miles (681 km) bee line away. Not to mention that a bee probably does never in a live time fly so far ;). Driving to Anchorage means more than half a day on the road and crossing the Alaska Range, icy roads in winter. The so-called Parks Highway to Anchorage becomes a lonely one lane road in each direction with normal intersections once in a while after you pass the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ campus. The Alcan is a dirt road once you get into Canada. The Dalton is a haul-way to the oilfields and becomes an unpaved road about 35 miles (56 km) north of Fairbanks. Thus, most Fairbanksans leave town by plane when they go out of town.

Alaskan blogger in chinos with leather bomber jacket
As above plus Moda International aviator leather jacket (all own)

Seattle is the connection to the world

Under these aspects it is not an odd thing anymore that most Fairbanksans consider the Seattle Tacoma airport as their backyard door. It is there where you get the connection to the world and the Alaskans’ most favorite destinations Mexico and Hawaii. Fairbanksans use the plane like New Yorkers use the subway. Like people in a small town know the bus schedule by heart, Fairbanksans know the Alaska Airline flight schedules Fairbanks-Anchorage, Anchorage-Fairbanks, Fairbanks-Seattle, Seattle-Fairbanks by heart <3.

My first time seeing an Alaska Airline plane

When I saw an Alaska Airline plane at the Sacramento (California) airport for the first time in my life, I wondered

Who on Earth lives in Alaska? #travel #Alaskalife Click To Tweet

70% of the population moved to Alaska

Well, in Fairbanks only about 30% of the inhabitants are born in Alaska. This means 70% moved there. Where do these other people come from? This question reminds me of the little toddler with his father at the Fairbanks airport in the crowd of people who were waiting to pick up their folks. The little boy asked his dad “where do new Alaskans come from?” The dad answered “From the airport.” 🙂 I am one of those. I came to Fairbanks in 2001 and since then made Fairbanks to my personal runway ;).

LOTD: Chinos with aviator leather jacket

I am wearing chinos with a slouchy V-neck cashmere sweater and pointy-toe pumps on a cool summer day. The chinos are rolled up to above the ankle for a polished casual vibe. The statement necklace “fills” the neckline. Together with the silver pumps it adds a feminine touch to the otherwise boyish casual outfit. You can see how I styled the chinos in a different way in the post at the link.

Since it was a bit chilly and humid an oversize summer cashmere sweater with short sleeves was a good choice to stay comfortable temperature-wise. The bomber jacket serves to stay warm during the cool early morning and evening hours on a day with maximum temperatures in the lower 70s (23oC). Adding an aviator leather jacket is also a great option for protection on a windy day.

How do you wear your chinos? Let me know by email, I am curious.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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