Spoiler alert: it doesn’t include everything
My family’s history in Alaska goes back to just before statehood, when my parents, who hadn’t yet met, each moved here for work and adventure. To me, those origins—my origins—seem distant, but through other lenses, our time here is a mere blip on the screen of existence. History, this issue’s theme, is messy, multi-layered, and fascinating. And it’s always told from a certain perspective. This region’s past didn’t begin with statehood, of course, nor with overseas explorers, nor with Indigenous cultures. When did it start, then? With the dinosaurs roaming ancient lands? When plate tectonics and volcanism were building Alaska’s mountains?
When we decided on this theme, I thought, “How should we narrow it down? What to include? Leave out?” As happens with each issue, the process is part logical planning and part chance depending on what ideas writers pitch us and what photos we find. We can never cover everything, so we pick and choose and attempt to bring readers an interesting montage. And with limited space, we certainly couldn’t follow the James Michener model of starting with the dawn of time (you’re welcome). What we did attempt to do was bring you complexity, beauty, and mysterious tidbits to ponder.
Our feature on the oil and gas industry delves into the economic impact of fossil fuels on Alaska and how that’s changed since crude started flowing down the infamous pipeline in the late 1970s. Another feature, completely different, details the adventures of a woman living at a remote lodge in Southeast in the 1930s. Our image portfolio showcases key moments in Alaska’s timeline—from natural disasters to the gold rush to war.
Lighter topics explore the state’s oldest operating ski area, a special museum, high-tech gear past and present, and an interview with an author inspired by our great state.
There’s plenty more where this came from, so stay tuned.