WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Alaska is welcoming, but not always convenient

Posted March 26, 2015
Updated March 31, 2015

So, let's get way from climate change for a minute.

What's it like to be in Barrow, AK? Well, the hotel is great! They have a restaurant that has not disappointed us at all. The hotel room is nice and clean, and has most of the amenities that a standard hotel room would have back in the contiguous 48. However, there are some uniquenesses that aren't always positive.

We have become spoiled in that instant communication with anyone though various means is a given. Not up here. Once I leave the hotel, forget it. Text messages, email, instant messaging – all fail the vast majority of the time. And Internet speeds? A max of 2mb/sec. It's all based on satellite, which typically is much slower.

Gas is more than $7/gallon, and I don't even want to tell you what the rental car cost. Food and supplies are so expensive up here that many people have it shipped in here because it's cheaper to do this than go to the grocery store. It is so cold that periodically my cell phone just shuts down, even if the battery allegedly has juice left in it.

Last but not least, the people are great! A real sense of community up here – they really support each other. And why not, it can be harsh up here, and everyone needs to stick together! Hey, we're up to -4 degrees!

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