Welcome to Love Around the World with Evernight Authors! Today's featured author is Kerri M. Patterson. Take us away, Kerri...
Alaska: The last frontier...
And the "sometimes" home of Kerri M. Patterson
Alaska is such a beautiful place and I am so happy to have called it home for almost four years. One day it will be my home again when my husband retires. Alaska is where I shared my first home with my husband and where my daughter spent the first few years of her life. I wrote The Pursuit for Love and Bound to a Highlander while I lived there. A drastic change from Texas, I'll admit, but it was home.
My husband and I were married two weeks before we left for Alaska; we drove all the way from Texas, through Canada, and into Anchorage. Quite the drive! However, I've never seen so many beautiful sights.
As the 49th state Alaska offers a surprisingly diverse culture. Unlike the "lower 48" (this phrase excludes Hawaii) the people of Alaska blend effortlessly with no thoughts towards ethnicity, or so it seemed to me. Before I arrived in Anchorage I was expecting Eskimos and igloos and never gave it another thought . . . Quite the contrary. Anchorage is actually a bit "warmer," as it sits in the "Anchorage bowl" which keeps it from some of the harsher weather. The lowest temperature I experienced was -35f and the highest was 80f. In Fairbanks the temperatures dip lower but the summers are hotter. Snow starts earlier but stops by October because it becomes so cold. In Anchorage you will have snow from October-March. Driving on ice and snow isn't as hard as I thought it would be, but there are always many accidents every winter. There are also, sadly, a lot of moose killed by vehicles every year. There are signs along the highway warning drivers to use caution and lists how many moose have been killed that winter on that road. Moose are actually pretty dangerous and will attack if provoked.
While I was in Alaska I visited Denali. The only thing I climbed was a set of steps to an overlook though : ) The scenery was breathtaking, even the harsher scenery is beautiful because it is so untouched. We went whitewater rafting during our visit. That’s me on the right, in the middle.
We also went on a day cruise to Prince William Sound located south of Alaska where we saw glaciers and sea life. On another cruise out of Seward we saw bunkers on an island left over from WWII.
My most favorite Alaskan adventure was to Eklutna Lake. We rented bicycles and traveled around 20 miles to the other side of the lake to a place called Angel Falls. Eklutna valley was carved by a glacier, when the glacier receded it left the valley in its wake. From the bank you can see the glacier in the background between mountains. I visited the lake again in the winter and the lake had frozen and there were people snowshoeing across.
Lakes in Alaska are different from those in a warmer clime. Even in the heart of summer you can get hypothermia from a glacier-fed lake if you fell in. When enjoying the outdoors in Alaska you have to be prepared and need proper gear to stay alive.
My time in Alaska included the eruption of Mount Redoubt, something I'd never considered when we made the decision to PCS to Fort Richardson. We also had earthquakes quite often. Did you know that everyday somewhere in Alaska there is an earthquake? Tsunamis were another worry, but we were so far inland the chances were slim. In 1964 the "Good Friday earthquake" occurred. It is considered the second most powerful in world history and the most powerful in U.S. history. The earthquake ripped Anchorage apart. There are what they call "dead forests" between Anchorage and Wasilla and around that area. They are trees left over from that time, preserved by the saltwater that flooded into the area.
Alaska is also the home to a few military bases; Fort Richardson & Elmendorf Air Force Base (or JBER, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson), Fort Greeley, & Fort Wainwright. Here is a picture of Airborne soldiers dropping over Malamute drop-zone. My husband is somewhere in that picture.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my "sometimes" home of Alaska as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.
Kerri M. Patterson is a multi-published author of romance. Her titles include Perfect Stranger, the first book in her Bound by Honor series.
Bound by Honor, 1
Chloe Burgesse is crushed after being left at the altar. She thought her life was complicated before embarking on her should-have-been honeymoon—alone. She had no idea how much worse it could get when a Special Forces soldier takes a leap onto her car. She didn’t see the Pandora's box she'd opened for herself by offering aid. She didn’t see the attraction to Jericho coming, nor did she intend to fall in love with a perfect stranger.
Master Sergeant Jericho Eden is in Brazil doing reconnaissance work on a suspected terrorist compound when his team becomes scattered. On his way to his execution, a woman unwittingly offers aid. Together they are thrust into a world of duplicity and danger. Nothing new for Jericho, but Chloe's only chance of survival relies on his instincts, skill, and discipline—something he is having a hard time getting a grip on with his new distraction.