Even though Spanish is widely spoken in Alaska, coming from a Spanish-speaking country is not as easy as it seems. At least it wasn’t for Kimberly Mejía Gúzman and her family, who moved from Guatemala, in Central America, to Anchorage, about one year ago. Driven by the hope for new and better opportunities, Kimberly’s family soon discovered how difficult it is to adapt to a new lifestyle so far away from home.
“Bird,” “star” and “mermaid” are some of the AcroYoga positions that can be seen around Anchorage at least twice a week, when a group of friends meets to practice this combination of acrobatics and yoga.
Quidditch, the official sport of Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, has found a new home in Anchorage, Alaska. The magical game played in the Harry Potter books involves wearing capes and flying on enchanted brooms while trying to score a ball into the hoops.
Dall Sheep played and important role in the creation of Denali National Park. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re always easy to find. Each year, the National Park Service conducts ground-based and aerial surveys to identify sheep population trends in an effort to ensure effective management within the national park.
George Peck began riding unicycles around Seward, Alaska in the eighties. Eventually moving on to riding the ultimate wheel – a unicycle with no seat – on mountains and beaches, George pioneered the sport of “rough terrain unicycling” and began a family tradition carried on by his children, Kris and Katie Peck.
In Alaska where birch trees are plentiful, locals are finding unique ways to use birch sap. Julie Cascio and Valerie Barber are two Alaskans who are exploring creative ways to utilize birch sap, whether it’s making syrup or their most recent endeavor, birch soda. They’re teaching residents of the Matanuska-Susitna region new tricks to live off their land and the value in doing so.
Through inclimate weather, injuries, and even hallucinations, David Johnston just keeps running. As of 2015, Johnston is the Iditarod Trail Invitational record holder for the 350-mile run from Willow to McGrath. He completed the trek in just four days, one hour, and 36 minutes.
Terri Anne Kilborn recreates Alaska’s sweeping scenery one shard of tile at a time in her mosaic studio, Arctic Mermaid. Kilborn has made it her goal to unlock the creativity in others through the medium of mosaics.
In this episode of Indie Alaska, we meet Anchorage’s own saxophone sensation and the local musical legends who have helped guide him through Alaska’s music scene.
Thursday’s Outdoor Explorer introduces listeners to water taxis, those important links to some of the best thresholds to Alaska wilderness areas. We thought you might like to see this Indie Alaska episode profiling Mako Haggerty of Homer who is also featured in today’s Outdoor Explorer.
Iñupiaq artist Ross Schaeffer spent most of his life hunting, trapping, and fishing around Kotzebue, Alaska. Only in recent years has he transformed his lifestyle into creating artwork and carvings that blend traditional and modern techniques. Using age old materials such as woolly mammoth bone, Ross works on carvings inspired by his culture and natural environment, and encourages young folks to try artwork themselves.
Natasha Price is a crafty person. From knit hats to family dinners, homemade is kind of her thing. One reason for the DIY attitude according to Price is because living in Alaska is expensive enough without going out to eat every night. So after realizing that her family’s monthly grocery bill was topping $600, she went on a quest to feed her family on $75 a week. Not an easy task in a state where nearly all food is shipped thousands of miles before reaching consumers.
Hitting a moose while driving is an unfortunate part of living in Alaska. Oscar and Laura Avellaneda Cruz are making the best of it. The couple utilizes locally harvested meat to make the traditional Colombian soup, sancocho.
Fifteen minutes outside of Wasilla, the Little Su River calmly rushes by the small, off-the-grid cabin of Ben Schleifman and Meda DeWitt-Schleifman. The Schleifman family has lived in the cabin for two years and despite the endless list of chores (splitting firewood, hauling fuel, etc.), they have become adept at preparing feasts for friends and family who make the short trek out to their land.
Growing up in Washington DC, Stephanie Cromarty felt completely removed from her Alaska Native heritage. A series of life changes prompted her to pack up her life and move her family to Alaska in order to be more in touch with herself and to reconnect with the culture she missed growing up.
Elmer Brown knows that it takes patience, and a willingness to weather the cold, to catch sheefish on Kotzebue Sound.
Winter weather doesn’t stop Ellie Mitchell from hitting the road (or the trail) on her fat bike. She picked up cycling from her dad, and now she regularly competes against him and other cyclists in the Anchorage winter racing circuit.
Long-time Iditarod racer DeeDee Jonrowe shares her experience of life on the Iditarod Trail, her connection with her dogs, and perseverance through health struggles.
For Virgil and Dawn Campbell, making and selling knives is a way of life. The I.R.B.I. (“I’d Rather Be Independent”) knife shop on the Seward highway has been in the family for three generations and serves as workshop and a landmark for passerbys from near and far.