Sports Outside the Beltway

Alaskan Adventure

This is not the typical sports story for all you fantasy loving baseball and football junkies. This is a little bit of a personal story of a recent trip my wife and I ventured on to the great Last Frontier, the 49th State, Alaska. 22 hours of light in the summer, about 600,000 folks in a state the size of almost 1/3 of the “lower 48″, as the Alaskans like to say, and wildlife like you couldn’t imagine, even in an Animal Planet special.

If you ever get the opportunity, please go and just take in the serenity of the place and realize why Teddy Roosevelt and former Secretary of State to Abraham Lincoln William Seward just fell in love with this place. Better to be a part of the USA, than a bridge to Siberia. At any rate, the sports angle.

If you love to fish, they have the best salmon, trout and halibut fishing in the world. Great guides, clean waters, a multitude of fish and just you and the streams they spawn on. If hiking or sightseeing is your bag, Denali National Forest with Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America, almost 4 miles high from it’s base, gives some breathtaking views. Always covered with snow, even in July.

Local sports are interesting in the great north as well. High School football season starts first week of August, ends in October because it gets too darn cold and dark. Summer baseball leagues are huge in Alaska, many major leaguers and wannabees play there, much like the Cape Cod leagues. Another big sport is the dogsled races or Iditarod, which takes place in January and goes over 2,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome. Not for the feint of heart. And of course, there is the Great Alaskan Shootout that takes place prior to the NCAA basketball season, with teams from the “lower 48″, taking on Alaskan colleges.

All in all, a pretty terrific place, they have ESPN on everywhere, love the Seattle teams and even have a daily newspaper that reports on all scores from around the country. 4 hour difference in time between the east and the north. So again, if you have the druthers, take a trip that you won’t regret and you’ll get your sports fix too!

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The Iditarod is terribly cruel to dogs. For the facts, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website,

Posted by Margery Glickman | August 21, 2007 | 08:16 pm | Permalink

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