Starting Over in AK

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by glassdildo, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. glassdildo

    glassdildo Member

    Hi All,

    I'm a person who really likes the backwoods lifestyle. I grew up in Northern Michigan on a small non-sustaining farm where we had a couple pigs, cows, a horse and a yard of chickens. Not to mention the dogs, of course. Spent my summers humpin' firewood to the 4-wheeler trailer and then stacking it back in the barn to season and then into the house when it would start to get cold. Was raised to do things for myself and if I had to pay someone to do something, it better well mean that either I had no idea how to, could have killed someone by not knowing how or didn't have the tools to do it. So in other words I've learned to build my own home, grow my own food, keep my own ass warm and provide a living to my family. Hunting and fishing was a way of life up until about 8 years ago when my wife and I moved to Detroit in search of "The Good Life". He he he... How naive we were. I was laid off back in 2004 and then transfered to Lansing, Michigan where we live now. I work for an IT company that supports the automotive manufacturing world. How'd I end up here??? YUCK!!!

    I'm a profficient carpenter, I did it for 7 years as a living and plenty before that just growing up in life dealing with projects and watching the old man. I've been able to pick up some electrical, plumbing and mechanical experience along the way, too, of course. From computers to fixing your house to making your car go on down the road, I can probably help you out.

    Basically, I'm a jack of all trades, master of one - Windows/siding, who loves nothing more than a secluded homestead with plenty of firewood around to be cut, animals to be eaten and fish to be fished! And I'm learning to blow glass. I'm a head too...

    However - The past few years have brought some nasty little habbits to my family. Basically, my 4 year old will tell you that WalMart is his favorite store and my wife likes being 10 minutes from a SuperCenter - You know, just in case. ERRRR....

    This leads up to a problem. I want seclusion and the backwoods thing, but she wants to be within 1/2 hour of WallyWorld (or something like it). She seems open to the idea of moving to Alaska (I've been pounding her over the head with it for a few years now) but she's apprehensive about the living conditions and not being too "Backwoods". In other words, I have to make sure that she'll be happy or I'll be getting served if I take her up there and she's 3 hours from town. (Perfect for me by the way)

    What is the likelihood of someone with my "jack of all, master of none" backround being able to find work in a place that she would be ok living in that isn't obscenely priced? I've looked around at real estate prices near anchorage and Juneau, but it doesn't seem like you get a whole heck of a lot for under $200,000.00. Trailers in parks were what I found to be more reasonably priced, and no offense, but I don't want to trade a concrete jungle for a rusty steal one.

    Any thoughts, ideas, etc???

    My main concern is finding work up there. Some have said to sell off everything except the 4x4, guns and fishin' poles and go up there with enough cash to last a few months until I could find work/permanent home. That, to me, sounds a little crazy. 9 years ago w/o kids would have been easy to do that. But I've got too much to take care of now. Relocating half way around the globe is risque enough for her. And we all know that we need to keep the wife happy. So making the transition as smooth as possible with all bases covered is going to be the only way I can pull it off.

    We've also got two boys. One is 4 and the other is 6 weeks. They are half the reason I want to get up there and away from the craziness of the lower 48. It's gone downhill around here so much that I just want to put myself in a place that doesn't really need a whole lot from the outside world.

    Also, I'm looking more for an 'Alternative lifestyle' friendly place. I am attracted to Alaska's tollerant attitude towards personal cannabis consumption. I use it for anxiety, social anxiety and depression. All of which this shithole city has left instilled in me. I want to be able to heal myself in a place where I don't have to worry about going to jail for a year while my family starves because some hyprocrit politician thinks what I'm doing is somehow killing kids. lol, stupid fuckers. Any how...

    Other than the pot, I'm pretty clean cut. I very rarely drink as I don't like the attitude I put on when I do. I show up every day for work because it's just how I am and I keep myself looking pretty straight - don't look like your typical pot head. Most people just about fall over in shock when they find out that I do burn. he he he... People will believe whatever big brother tells them to. So weak minded... It's worked well to my advantage though as I can avoid profiling while driving, hide it well at work and not raise an eyebrow for the neighbors. Basically, I keep it in my house and VERY rarely does it ever leave my front door. Got good grades in HS, good grades in tech training and have a regular old git er done attitude. Without the stupidity, of course. I suprise myself sometimes! I was looking at the State Trooper/Fish Cop jobs up there but it obviously wouldn't suit my lifestyle.

    Thanks for any input and I'd really like to get to know some folks up there. I'd like to get her up there for a visit next summer and would like to introduce her to some possibilities.

    Thanks all.

    GD, GP, SC, PHI - whatever you may know me by...
  2. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Hey there glassdildo. You may want to check out the Fairbanks area. It's a city with about 60k people and plenty of reasonably priced, homestead quality land within 30 to 60 minutes drive to town and the dreaded wallyworld.

    Plenty of alternative lifestyle types and cannabis use and tolerance is the norm, particularly among the more homesteading types.

    We have 10 acres just north of town and a house that I am still working on. I paid $28k for my place a while ago, but decent land prices are still around. You can find something within an hour to town or closer, in the range of 3 to 6 acres for around 20 to 30k. Do a little searching. Some properties are way higher in price due to views and elevation above the ice fog.

    Between your IT and carpentry skills work shouldn't be a problem.

    You sound like someone made for Alaska, but be aware the interior is cold, really cold at times, so your family has to be prepared for a long, dark, cold winter.
  3. glassdildo

    glassdildo Member

    Hi FIA, I was hoping you might chime in.

    Yeah, me and big brother don't care for eachother much and it seems that Alaska is about as far away from him as I can get. I love the outdoors and would really like to be able to find a happy medium for me and my wife. The kids, well, I'm sure they'll come to appreciate it one day.

    How are the existing home prices up there? I probably wouldn't be able to build for a while as I just lost the house I built here in Michigan. Doucebag boss fired me and hired a friend instead. I was left pissing in the wind staring down the barrel of a $2000 a month mortgage note. EEK... Doable at the time but had to take a lower paying job. EEKIER...

    Hopefully in the next 5 years or so we'll be able to make the move.

    How have you seen others come up there? I've been told that most places won't hire you unless you're already living there. Not wiling to hire the hopefulls in other words.
  4. glassdildo

    glassdildo Member

    Ice fog... Sounds kinda, well, cool... I'm off to wiki...
  5. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    GD, home prices are also reasonable compared to the lower 48. Having looked at the classifieds regularly, I would say the average home cost would be around $180k. I know that it is possible to land a decent house with a few acres for $120k to $130K and I've seen some that were small or needed some fixin up or finish work in the $90k range.

    Alaska is really no different than any other place when it comes to hiring people from outside the area. Why hire someone from somewhere else when you can fill your worker needs locally? I don't think there is any bias when it comes to hiring a new arrival over a lifer, it's just you really don't want someone to pack and move only to find out they don't work out. I would still look. You may just find something from down there. Check out

    The site I just posted above seems to be having troubles with their search features this morning, but is has always worked in the past.

    Ice fog is just what it says, frozen fog. In town it is often a result of the moisture in vehicle exhaust freezing as soon as it hits the air. One oddity about interior Alaska is the lower in elevation the colder it is and that is where you get the ice fog. My place, at 300 feet ASL can be 20 to 30 degrees colder than someone even 800 feet higher.
  6. glassdildo

    glassdildo Member

    Thanks again Free for the info. Much appreciated.

    Looks like fairbanks goes from one extreme to the other throughout the year. How long are the summers up there?
  7. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Summer is three months- June July and August. You can see lows in the 30's at any time during those months, or highs in the 80s. The rule is don't put out plants until June 1 or they will freeze, but a couple of years ago we had a hard freeze on the 6th. In September it's getting cold and the leaves turn and drop in a weeks period, the snow comes in October, and November's first week may well be 40 below, but probably more like 20 below.
  8. glassdildo

    glassdildo Member

    Hey Free - thanks for your input.

    Quick question - Seems like pot is on a yo-yo up there. One minute, fairly legal, next minute people are getting arrested. How exactly do the pot laws work up there? It's my understanding that you can have upto 25 plants and 4 oz's in your HOME and that up to 1oz is decrimmed if found with it in public. What's the scoop from an insider's point of view?

    Thanks again.
  9. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Weed in Alaska-

    In 1975 during Ravin vs Alaska the judge ruled that, based on our state constitution's personal rights to privacy, it was legal to posses up to four ounces (or 25 plants??) in the privacy of our own home.

    1990 a voter inistiative re-criminalized marijuana.

    In 2003/4? Judge Rabinowitz(?) ruled in a case that the rights put forth in the state constitution couldn't be changed by a vote and once again 4 ounces was legal.

    Last year our gov Murkowski added to a Meth bill, kinda hidden amongst the anti-meth agenda, words to recriminalize weed. And once again a judge said you can't do that, but dropped the amount in the home to one ounce.

    The whole thing has been running around Juneau in the last few weeks again and I don't know where it will go.

    My take is they aren't going to look for it in your home and probably wouldn't do anything if they saw a half ounce on the table if they were knocking at the door for an unrelated issue, but the bottom line is "they" just don't want people to smoke pot and some politician will always try and raise the point.

    Of course federal laws of prohibition are there and that question is always at hand as well.

    I know that the state and local cops have kept a policy of not even messing small weed infractions in general.

    So as it stands now you can legally possess one ounce at home.
  10. glassdildo

    glassdildo Member

    What about the cultivation? Does the plant rule still stand? I've read about some recent busts (that old lady in FB, lol, I bet she was quite the kingpin in her walker) and it's got me wondering.

    Either way, I'd rather be up there anyhow. Not like they're hunting you down for it if you don't give them a reason.

    LOL, the Ravin decision was a little funny in a way seeing as you could have 25 plants and only 4 ozs. LOL - I'd be rippin' pissed to only get 4 zips from 25 plants.

    Yeah, I remember reading about Murkowski's fuck up. What a prick.

    It really seems like quite the "personal freedom" type of place. Wondering how they keep electing these doucebags up there.
  11. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    I don't really know where the plant quantities stand. The Rabinowitz thing had verbiage in it that stated that unless law enforcement had direct evidence that more that 4 ounces was being grown a warrent could be issued under state law. That basically comes down to an informant actually seeing the plants. I don't know really happened with the grandma grower, but her location was basically a crack shack neighborhood, so it wouldn't surprise me if some meth head turned her in after he got nabbed.
    Alaska is kind of politically confused if you will. We have alot of libertarianish sorts who believe in personel freedoms and one of the biggies is the right to bear arms. Combine this with not liking outsiders trying to decide Alaska's wildlife and resource management policies and you get a conservative voter.
  12. glassdildo

    glassdildo Member

    Well that makes sense to me now. They have to elect the republicans because the dems think that guns are the devil. But the reps aren't too big on freedom, just tyranny and guns.

    Gotcha! Thanks.
  13. Alaskan

    Alaskan Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Glassdildo : Hello from the other end of the State. A friend of mine is with the Anchorage P.D. their orders from the D.A.'s office , unless you find over 100 plants , excuse yourself and leave.
    Hope this helps...............Alaskan
    Didn't see if FIA mentioned our gun laws, any adult who isnt a felon, can carry concealed without a permit.
  14. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Now that's what I like to hear!!!!
  15. Alaskan

    Alaskan Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    FIA; don't get to excited, remember when I posted a photo of me shooting my bow.
    A lot of these city kids freaked out. Saying it was the most disturbing thing they'd ever seen , Yep, an old fart shooting arrows into a target, pretty shocking.
    Maybe we should post a picture of a moose quartered out getting loaded in the back of a pick-up.... Life in Alaska........Alaskan......Dennis...
  16. glassdildo

    glassdildo Member

    I am now in love with the Anchorage PD. Funny, I had looked into the fishcop jobs up there. You had to be clean for a year though and that ain't going to happen.

    Yeah, my generation seems to be pretty freaked out about firearms. Even something primitive like a bow. The hell with them. I grew up around guns, trained my horse to deal with the bang - I could shoot off her back with a 30-06.

    As for the moose - yeah fellas, get some of those pics! We had a friend up in Ontario who gave us a hind quarter of a moose. We drove it back to Northern Michigan in the trunk of my step mom's pontiac 6000. Those boarder pigs just about shit when we came driving up to the booth with a wheely-ing sedan. That was a heafty chunk of meat. Outlasted the 5 whitetails we shot that year.

    Thanks for sharing your info - keeps my dream alive.
  17. patches

    patches Member

    dude cordova. best town in alaska my dad used to live there. very smal town out in the middle of nowhere only way in is by boat or plain. o mal no walmart. and its gorgeous there. i woulda moved there if my mom didnt make him move back. or soldotna.
  18. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Cordova is a great town, i almost moved there to work for the telephone company. But in the sense of land prices and jobs the interior has it beat.
  19. cookiecache

    cookiecache Member

    I think you should consider the Wasilla area. There's affordable land, lots of wilderness, and a WalMart. The weather is not NEAR as cold as Fairbanks (I lived there 5 years, great people, but just **%&@&* COLD in winter). Also, building there requires dealing with perma-frost and most well water tastes really really bad. It sounds like your girlfriend would not like a remote area such as Cordova. Personally, I live out in the bush most of the time, and spend short spells in Wasilla. A really nice place is Talkeetna, but it might be hard to find work there as a new-comer.

    Pot. First, most good paying jobs here require a drug testing. Second, if you check the local news reports, there are plenty of people busted for growing 5 - 10 plants. There is no provision for legal growing even in small amounts. The cops might just take your plants and lights, but none that I have met will just look the other way. Law enforcement gets lots of funding based on "the war on drugs." More busts = more money because it show there is a higher level of activity to fight. Still, most of the people I know get high.

    After you have lived in Alaska for a year, there are some great programs that will help you get land - 5% down no credit check. Also you will get the PFD (Permenant Fund Dividend) check each fall. Great for a down payment on your dream.

    One other thing you might want to consider is not driving up. Before you bring a 4X4 up, check the local prices of a replacement rig, and add up the cost of gas, tires, and motels. For most people, it is cheaper to fly-up and replace everything else after they get here. It just depends on whether or not you can sell what you have now. If you do drive up, don't try to transport as much as a roach through US Customs. It would suck to have everything you own impounded. And getting caught transporting a hand-gun through Canada would ruin much more than you day.

    Okay, enough doom and gloom. Most Alaskans are very open minded about smoking weed. They will help you get started here and adjust to the new enviroment. There are great-paying jobs to be had, and plenty of room to live free.
  20. Just thought I'd through my two cents in on this;

    I've lived here over 27 years, have lived in the interior, Homer, Bethel and have traveled from one end of the state to the other. My thoughts are;

    The Interior is too cold - plan on 7 to 8 months of cold weather. But what most people fail to consider is the winter darkness. In mid winter the sun doesn't come up till about 10am and is gone by 3pm (the plus side though is that in the summer months it's light almost all day). In general, trying to farm/live off the land is too difficult to be realistic. Input costs far outweigh any savings for livestock and the growing season is very short which limits the variety of produce you can expect. In short, land is cheaper in the interior for a reason. (but, some people do love it and I won't take away from some of the nice things about it - the nicest thing is the wide open feel, but saddly that too has changed in the last decade or so).

    The "Bush" communities sound like a no-go for your wife, so I will not belabor those. But just one note, the price of life is currently driving even native folk out of many remote communities - gas can go for $10/gal, milk $6/gal, and the list goes on.

    "South Central" sounds like the best bet for you and your family at least to start. BUT, housing in the city of Anchorage is way expensive! Housing is cheaper in the Mat-Su valley, BUT work is harder to find. Many (if not most) people who live in the Mat-Su area commute into Anchorage for work - which is both expensive and IMO no way to live.

    Almost all of the smaller rural communities are nice places to raise a family, but as I think was mentioned above, finding work and getting settled in can be hard.

    I don't mean to be a downer to your idea, and if it was just you I would say go for it. But you are asking because you do have a family to consider and this is a very...very...very long way to come and find yourself busted flat in Baton Rouge! Have you though about maybe coming up and scoping things out first? Anyway, I do wish you the very best. But people can get some dreamy ideas about this place from all the tourist propaganda - but when you're out of work and money it can get rough.

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