3 Fun (?) Alaska Facts From the Internet Connection Salesman

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What I did expect: information about Alaska internet connections from internet connection salesman Anthony. What I didn’t expect: Alaska wildlife warnings bootcamp or some fun Alaska facts.

But I got both.

We are in the middle of some serious Alaska house hunting from afar. I need a house with an internet connection so that I can do many wonderful things like hold my work-from-home job and browse REI sales.

The thing I’ve learned, however, is that an internet connection is not exactly a given in Alaska. The further you get out of your typical neighborhoods in town, the more this appears to be true. And so when we started looking at a gorgeous house about 20 minutes outside of actual town, my immediate thought was “but what about my Netflix?” “I need internet for my job.”

And so I called GCI, the cable internet provider, and gave salesman Anthony the address. Answer? No connection, then yes, then no again, then “please hold,” then quite a bit of holding, then the decision that what we really need is a tech to drive out there and investigate.

Related: 5 Things Alaskans Never Say

But during all of this, my new buddy Anthony gave me a few unsolicited pieces of fun Alaska advice. And since this blog is meant to be a learn-as-you-go experience for both me and you all, I thought I would share it with you. Yes, I took notes while he was talking.

3 Fun Alaska Facts from the GCI Guy

1. No matter how far you’re in a town, you’re still in Alaska. This statement was followed by a helpful discussion of the grizzly bears that roam a high-trafficked trail near town, causing said trail to be closed part of the year, lest people become a grizzly snack.

2. Make noise while walking around so the bears know you’re there. Noted.

3. If you can see the hair on a moose’s neck, it doesn’t matter. The neck hair, Anthony said, is considered indicative of the mood of the moose in question. Anthony said skip that and check out their ears. Head down and ears pointed towards you? “You better find a new place to be.” And if you’re close enough to determine the status of the hair, well, like the man said, “it doesn’t matter.”

Let that be a lesson to all of you, too.

6 Responses

  1. Oh my gosh, Amy, when I first arrived in Washington, we were given a brochure of what to do in case you were “approached” by a bear! I have to find this for you. lol So hilarious!

  2. Some of my FAVORITES about being in a kid in Alaska were: ” NO, you’ll have to wait to go play, the bears are in the dumpsters again.” AND….. moose hanging out in the front patch of yard looking in the windows while we ate breakfast. I am so insanely jealous of you guys. lol

  3. Yes, they do have internet in AK. GCI is the dregs, unfortunately but you have no other choice. Also, for your cell phone, SWITCH TO AT&T. Do not have Verizon. I moved to AK with AT&T and like a fool, switched to Verizon only to learn the latter has horrible connections state-wide.

  4. When you hike: tie a strand of bells on a piece of yarn to a zipper fob on each of you. Bears are pretty good about not wanting to be seen anymore than you want to see them. The bells keep them from being startled by you, they hear you coming. There is a reason native dress has beads and bobs tied to it: to make noise as you go. Startled wildlife is unfriendly wildlife.

  5. I am feeling you! Currently starting the process of packing my family’s NYC apartment and permanently re-locating to Northern Maine. To be quieter and outside more. But also colder, much colder. Looking forward to following your journey as I embark on my own!

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