Peace And Quiet of the Wilderness

Community

Some people think of the old gold mining towns of Alaska as a Hollywood Wild West scene, but the citizens of Butte, Alaska, find it to be the opposite. Instead of violence and noise, they love the peace and quiet. Yes, they can have fun together, but the great expanse of nature they are surrounded by, and the quite it instils, has drawn many to live there.

Alaska has always attracted hunters, oil drillers, and gold miners, and men outnumber women by a margin of 7 to 6. More than 60% of Alaskans were born elsewhere; in other words, most of them choseto live in the vast, beautiful and empty expanse they call home.

What kind of people make this choice?

  • People who like space: Alaska is more than half the size of the continental United States. It covers 656,424 square miles and has only 683,000 inhabitants.
  • Wildlife enthusiasts: Alaska lets you get close to all kinds of wildlife.
  • Low-maintenance personalities: Alaska is rugged, and its way of life tends to be more on the rustic and side. 
  • Adventurers: Alaskans consider themselves to be rugged individualists, going out in the wild and testing their endurance and strength.

A love of the quiet of nature

According to my neighbour Dan, who own plasterer Darwin and he’s been in Alaska before, the most outstanding feature of Butte itself is that the residents describe it as peaceful and quiet. These are people who avoid city life. The crowding, the impersonality of a big city dweller, the distance from nature. They tend to be people who love to feel the wind in their hair, to experience the elements, to experience wildlife for real, rather than via films. 

Being with the wilderness

Be it by horse, by husky drawn sledge, by kayake or by foot, and no one can deny the beauty, the quiet and the peace of Butte. Riding through the open woods with giant cottonwood trees, there is a wide variety of native plants. Porcupines, birds, moose, and many little critters will be around for the watchful eye. After meandering through the woods perhaps you arrive at the beach of the river with a panoramic view of snow-capped mountains stretching out before you. The unspoiled wilderness, the entirely of the swamps, the simple lifestyle, all-cause a stillness inside to match that outside. 

Towering mountains, huge glacier valleys, fish-filled rivers and lakes, abundant Alaska wildlife, glorious hiking country, scenic camping and quaint frontier communities – the Mat-Su is what visitors dream about. That is what residence experience daily.

Always something to do

When it’s freezing, one can take a dog sledge over the silent snow, with only the noise of the sledge and the dogs. You can sit on The Butte during the warm season, or by the river and watch the wildlife pass by. The area is famous for salmon, moose, caribou, bears and bison. You can sit in awe of the famous glaciers and fjords and mountains, and more lakes, rivers, and waterways than one could imagine.

Quite can always be found in Butte

If you are still looking for peace and quiet after all this, you might want to enquire into the yoga class that takes place regularly at the top of the Butte. Once you have been quietened down inside, you can’t fail to feel the quiet and the peace the residents speak of. 

Although the title of John Green’s book Looking for Alaska is not about the state, he does describe a state of mind that could well be describing a resident of Butte: “I’ve always liked quiet people: You never know if they’re dancing in a daydream or if they’re carrying the weight of the world.”

Siberian Husky Dogs a Musher’s Best Friend

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Dogs are the best friend of you and your child. They can protect you, save you, keep you company and become someone who you can love. In Butte, Alaska, they also take you sledging or mushing. “Mushing?” you may ask. Read on.

First of all, thanks Clare for your impute regarding the bread. Thanks to my friend from Cleaners Newcastle, I’m able to share this knowledge with you guys.

Husky origins

As their name suggests, the Siberian husky dog breed originates in Siberia. They were imported into Alaska in 1908 from the Anadyr River and surrounding area. William Goosak, a Russian fur trader, introduced them to Nome, Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush, initially as sledge dogs

Their nature

Siberian huskies are classic northern dogs; active, energetic and resilient, their ancestors lived in a freezing environment of the Siberian Arctic. They are intellectual but tend to be independent and stubborn. They thrive on the human company but need firm, gentle training right from puppyhood.

As born pack dogs, Siberians enjoy family life and get on well with other dogs; their innate friendliness renders them indifferent watchdogs. It is simple to understand why several people are drawn to the Siberian’s wolf-like looks. They are described as affectionate and good-natured. Generally, they also get along with people, including children, and do well in homes with multiple dogs. 

But this athletic, intelligent dog can act independently and be a challenge for its human companions. They are bred to run, and this vitality may overcome their love for their guardians at times. They need a lot of exercises and are wont to escape even over the most carefully erected fence. 

They were developed to work in packs, pulling light loads at moderate speeds over vast frozen expanses. They were bred to need very little food to survive. Quick and nimble-footed, they are known for their powerful but seemingly effortless gait. They are naturally clean, with little doggy odour. 

What is mushing?

Are you still wondering what ‘Mushing’ means? If you are then you have never experienced the Iditarod; the most famous dog sledge race in the world. Mushing is the sport of driving a team of dogs. The person who participates is called a musher. The terms derive from the command “Mush!” that mushers have traditionally called to urge the sledge dogs forward. This term comes from French “marche” (walk) as the French Mushers command to get the dogs to start moving. The British evolved the word into something they were more comfortable with pronouncing. 

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race 

Run annually in March the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race crosses from one side of Alaska to the other. Mushers, with a team of 14 dogs, five of which must still be towing when they reach the finish line, cover the distance in 8–15 days or more.

The Iditarod trail is through a harsh landscape of tundra and spruce forests, over hills and mountain passes, and across rivers. The teams mostly race through blizzards causing whiteout conditions, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds.

It is regarded as a link to the history of the state as humans occupied it, and it involves many traditions commemorating the legacy of dog mushing. It is a significant and popular sporting event in Alaska, and the top mushers and their teams of dogs are local celebrities. Today the competition has around fifty mushers and about a thousand dogs who are mostly Alaskan. But competitors from fourteen countries have completed and sometimes won the event, stealing the trophy from under the Alaskan Mushers noses.

Well-conditioned athletes

Siberian huskies crave exercise – and lots of it. If they don’t get it, they are likely to dig, howl or chew anything they can find. That love of exercise and cold climates makes them the perfect dog for pulling a sledge across sub-zero temperatures and proves that they are perfectly suited to the harsh environment of Alaska. 

Fantastic Family Friendly Hike

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Bodenburg Butte, is a well-known landmark in the Mat-Su Valley near Palmer in Alaska, is a popular hiking destination for families. It has a length of just 1.5 miles and a summit of only 874 feet, and the Butte is perfect for a family outing. Rising out of the surrounding Matanuska Valley like a giant pile of sand, The Butte is a beauty to look at and provides stunning views from the top as well.

A Butte to wander up

The Butte is what is known as a glacial erratic, which means that it is formed of glacially-deposited rock differing from the size and type of rock native to the area around it. The term glacial erratic comes from the Latin word ‘Errare’, which means to wander, and a good wander is just what The Butte invites.

What to expect

The approaching walk allows you to gently warm-up before beginning your ascent. It has more trailheads, one is the more moderate and well-defined path on the north side, where the climb is steep, but regularly assisted by a pulse-quickening 0.25 miles of steps. Many different trails wind their way up to the top. Some choose the more difficult ones or use the climb as a training ground for jogging up and down. Others trek up with the whole family, small children running around with delight as the adults take a more sedate pace taking their time to enjoy a chat and the view as they wander up – and perhaps using the view as an excuse to catch their breath! Because, whilst you don’t have to be an expert hiker to wander up the Butte, you’ll want to be prepared for an aerobic workout, as the steep stairs defiantly get your blood flowing.

Spectacular views

But it’s worth the effort for more than a physical workout. You are rewarded with spectacular 360-degree views of the Matanuska Valley farmlands, Talkeetna and Chugach Mountains, Knik Glacier, and Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge as well as the Knik River Valley and the richly coloured farmlands below.

It’s is a great way to get outdoors, be active, catch up with family and friends and see amazing views. Depending on your pace, it is good to plan on 1-2 hours to reach the top and get back down. Do ensure you give yourself enough time at the top. The chances are you will want to stay for a while to soak in the vista laid out before you. Don’t forget, therefore, to pack your camera as the view is worth taking home with you.

A community gift

The local community wanted to ensure that the much-loved Butte remained accessible for all people forever. In summer of 2015, a local nonprofit Great Land Trust raised over $200,000 to buy the Butte’s privately owned 40-acre summit. The bucks for the purchase came from donations from over 350 individual donors, private foundations and businesses. A community effort thus protected this natural recreational spot of beauty.

Practical information

Parking: The Butte is located off Bodenburg Butte Road, on the Old Glenn Highway just outside of Palmer. With a fee, you are allowed to park at a Mat-Su Borough lot off Mothershead Lane.

Carries with you: Make sure to bring a picnic lunch for the top, as well as plenty of water.

Please note: The area surrounding the Butte is private, so please respect the property owners.

Community Life in Butte, Alaska

Alaska

With residents of a little over 3,000 people living in Butte, Alaska, many people familiar to each other and rally together in times of need. It’s an old farming community from the Colony days of the 1930s, and today the economic backbone of is still a substantial agricultural network of farms supplying produce to the local farmer’s markets of the surrounding areas. 

Employment in the area

Whilst the majority of the working residents commute to the Mat-Su valley or Anchorage, there are a few other small businesses in the area. Many rely on tourism: rental accommodation, a reindeer farm, equestrian centres, coffee shops and restaurants. The Knik River Public Use Area (KRPUA) is located in the town, which provides a kalidascope of recreational opportunities for the outdoor lover and is open to motorize and non-motorized recreational pursuits. You ride off-highway vehicles, go hunting, fishing, trapping, target shooting, boating, flying planes, horseback riding, biking, hiking, camping or wildlife viewing. 

Butte is also home to a boat builder and the Alaska Raceway Park, which has been operating for more than 50 years. 

Local city access

Commuters and citizens can access the local town of Palmer via the highway or via a bike path worked. The track is completely separated from the highway from the Butte to downtown Palmer, some seven miles long. On any given day on the way, you can find walkers, cyclists, and children on tricycles, moms with strollers and joggers.

Cost of living

Using a cost of living index based on a US average of 100 then Butte, with a value of living of 122.7 is more expensive than many other places in America but cheaper than other parts of Alaska.

Characteristics of residents

There are a lot of volunteer activities in Butte. Nearly 21% of the population volunteer for a charitable organisation and over 7% served on a local committee. There is a growing consciousness of healthy living. Obviously, outdoor sports are a must for any local, but an increasing number of people jog or cycle for health, and almost a quarter of the households use organic food.

Butte residents have a feeling of living rurally, and most residents own their homes. Many families and young professionals live there – a large percentage have gone through higher education – and public schools in Butte are above average. Violent and property crimes are both under the national average, and tourist reviews are nearly always positive, with excellent receiving the highest score. 

Friendly people

It’s said that Alaskans are the friendliest of people, and the people of Butte are that, which makes a living in the town a pleasure. It’s got a tight-knit, and in the summer, there are many activities and socialising. For obvious reasons, winter is not as busy, but there are still local events, and people meet on their snow machines. Not for nothing that the locals joke that they owe more money on their snow machine than on their car.