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Discover The Ice Paradise Of Alaska

Aug 17, 2007
Alaska is USA's 49th state and it became part of the country in 1959. Where does it get its name from? It is derived from the term "aleut alyeska" which means "a greater land." It lies way up on the Yukon Trail and borders a part of Canada. The Arctic Circle lies within it and it has tall, snow-covered mountains. It has a lot of land area and is the largest state in the US. It also has the largest coastline of all the states.

The first inhabitants in Alaska probably came through the Bering Land Bridge. This piece of land used to link Alaska and Russia way back in the Ice Age but it has long since been submerged. Who were these first settlers? They were the Yupik Eskimos, the Aleuts, The Inuit, Inupiaq and other American Indians. In fact, this was probably the way most ancient settlers to America came through. Over the years, Alaska grew to be a part of Russia. In 1867, it was bought by the US for 7 million dollars.

Like Hawaii, Alaska does not have any other US state along its borders. In fact, it is around 500 miles away from the country which it belongs to. What is it like? For one, it is a state that has a lot of water. It has many islands and around 3.5 million lakes and that's just counting the ones that measure over 20 acres in area! It also has a lot of wetlands and marshlands and, of course, a lot of its land is made up of glaciers or frozen rivers. Most of Alaska is still very much a winter wonderland. Vast stretches of white snow interspersed with beautiful hills that are picturesque with tall trees and sparking waterfalls.

Thanks to its abundance of water, it abounds in fish as well. Little wonder it is the favored destination for so many seasoned anglers. There are any number of fishing tours one could take and experienced guides take you to the best spots. With so much fish around, Alaska's main export just has to be seafood! However, as agriculture isn't much of an industry, and transport infrastructure within the state is not too good, food prices tend to be high.

Despite all its natural beauty, many Alaskans tend to suffer from depression. Is it the isolation or the cold? Whatever the reason, there is domestic abuse and a high crime rate and also instances of suicide. A lot of it can probably be blamed on the high incidence of alcoholism here. Yet another problem seems to be the fact that youngsters tend to leave Alaska as soon as they finish school or college. Their destination? The exciting world that is the rest of the US. This happens especially with the best students. So the ones left behind are the ones who do not perform as well, which means a slow winding down of talent within the state. Is there a solution? The schools and universities are trying to tackle the problem by offering the best 10% of students a 4-year scholarship.
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Alaska ice paradise

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