January 11, 2015

Alaska: Jim Misko Says There’s So Much Good To Say

Everyone wants to come to Alaska. They’ve heard about it, talked about it, questioned if it’s always dark or always cold and do the bears really eat all of you? Then there are the moose and the giant King Salmon. And the scenery. And the whales jumping out of the water.

All true. At times. On a good summer day, a day when the sun comes up at 3:00 am and the moose are nibbling the blossom’s off my wife’s roses while we sleep and golden beams are lasering their way down the snow covered slopes of Mt. McKinley, it is a true day for living.

When you are looking at a grizzly bear face to face or a bull moose in mating season you can wish you were in Sacramento eating fresh pineapple on the capital steps.
There is so much to say about Alaska that to try and condense it is like trying to drink all the water out of your swimming pool with a milk shake straw in an hour.
Of all the people there, half of them are swimming around the outside edge of Alaska life, not really becoming Alaskans. The other half have feet planted solid on the soil. They live and breathe Alaska. It is not hard to tell them apart. There are the natives and the people who have been there since statehood (1959) and people who went to the one high school in Anchorage.

Then there are the people who come to Alaska and really live it. Some die doing it. Some live the life while young and talk about it when they’re old and the gleam is still in the eye. They may not run the dogs anymore, but the dogs are there and so is the old pickup and one day they’ll just put the dogs to harness and take a spin on the new snow. You never know. They point to the sled and harness hanging on the shed wall. It could be tomorrow or next week.

You can grow old in Alaska whether you try or not. You can buckle your belt below your belly, wear insulated Carhartts in winter, and leave your earflaps down. In the summer your skin can tan and thicken enough to blunt a mosquito’s stiletto. You can sill claim a gold mine, run a wild river, live in a small community, collect your permanent fund dividend and leave when the termination dust hits the high country. You can also get an MFA degree from the University of Alaska, drive a Porsche, wear a suit and tie, and work 9:00 to 5:00.

You can meet them all at the Alyeska Bake shop in Girdwood. Get there before the tour busses and you’ll get the best omelets, the best cinnamon rolls, the best sourdough pancakes and bacon you ever ate. You can walk around that mountain town and feel like an Alaskan.

One photo here is a young bull moose who didn’t think I mattered. He walked past me like I was a tree. 

Gifting a copy of For What He Could Become, to the first person who emails me the original name for the highest peak in North America. Contest ends 1/15/15. Email me at jim@jimmisko.com     May it go well with you. 
Visit me at www.jimmisko.com where you can read the first chapters of any of my novels free. All of my books are on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads, and sometimes on Books-a-million; you never know about them.


  1. Hi, Jim,

    I mostly know about Alaska from watching Northern Exposure some years ago. Of course, I doubt the accuracy, but it was a great show. I love the cover art of your novel. Best wishes for your continued success.

  2. I took the usual cruise to Alaska and loved the scenery. Didn't like the cruising part so much. I did find it hard to imagine living in those small towns with their limited choices. Perhaps when I was younger and more prepared to camp and hike.

  3. Jim, your covers are gorgeous.

    My grandmother and I always talked about going to Alaska together, but we never did. The fifth book in my series is going to take place there, so I'm going to need to learn a lot about it. That you for this glimpse at your beautiful state.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I've always wanted to visit, but I hate the cold, so I'm sure I will never live there.
    Enjoyed your post though. I will definitely have to visit in the summer.

  5. Definitely on my list of states we need to visit someday. I hope to camp there during the warmer weather, though these days, who can predict when that might be? Living in the Midwest all my life has taught me that I don't want to live where it's cold year-round. But I do love spring/summer/fall!

  6. This post is wonderful, and speaks to the writerly talents of my friend Alaska Jim. Very much enjoyed As All My Fathers Were. Thanks for this.


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