Here are some things to know about Fairbanks (not in order of relevance)

1. First, it’s here:

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The town in winter looks like this:

December morning

and the environment looks like this:

Ester Dome AK January 2010 View North East


2. We don’t say 20 BELOW, we just say 20. No need to be more specific, that’s pretty obvious.

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3. Lots of people live in dry cabins (no indoor plumbing) outside of town (because pipes freeze, there is permafrost and water is pretty expensive). That’s why you’ll see people carrying around their shampoo at work, and why you see water tanks at the back of the (big) trucks


4. One thing you become very good at: chop wood and use a woodstove


5. Another thing: you can jump start a car one handed and eyes closed

6. 4 wheel drive is mandatory. Most streets here are unplowed snowy paths in the woods. Lots, lots of hills and steep driveways.

7. Outhouse = bathroom for dry cabins. Even in houses with indoor plumbing, we ask for the outhouse.


8. Because of the thermal inversion (the cold air is heavier), it is way warmer at the top of the hills in winter. The colder it is, the lower the steam is.

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9. Dog team crossings and skier crossings are frequent

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10. You start recognizing people by their hat and gloves

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11. Coffee huts all over town


12. Cars are winterized and have to be plugged-in when not in use.

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13. THE music here is bluegrass

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14. UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks) is the center of the town (but shhh)

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15. Roller Derby is popular here. Go Fairbanks Roller Girls!


16. The light is awesome


17. You bring your trash directly to the transfer station


18. Alaska Airlines is THE airline


19.  The car to have: Subaru

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20. Fairbanks is dog-friendly


21. Cross-country skiing is the national sport



More to come…