The Midnight Sun in Alaska

June 21, 2011

Alaska, Daily Post

Midnight at Forto’s Fort in Alaska

As a resident of the Great White North for almost a year I have lived through my first winter. I have survived run in’s with moose on the dog sledding trails and seen my share of bald eagles. I have braved the Parks Highway with tour buses filled to the brim with everyone dressed like they just shopped at the Bass Pro Shop. And I have paid 5 bucks for a gallon of gas.

But what I am not used to yet is the nearly 24 hours of daylight. When they say “the land of the midnight sun” they aren’t kidding.

Today, the summer solstice, is the longest day of the year. We will have exactly 22 hours and 55 minutes of daylight. But the sun really doesn’t set all the way over the horizon.

From now until the winter solstice on December 22 we will progressively lose daylight ending with about 4 or 5 hours of visible light sometime around the holidays.

I had no problem adjusting to the darkness or winter. I actually enjoyed it. I do know now why there are coffee huts on every street corner. People in Alaska need their Cup O’ Joe to get though the day in all that night-time.

But with enough sunlight to play a game of golf at midnight it’s a little hard to handle. I have on many occasions headed out well after 11 pm to dig in the garden or run around the yard with the dogs.

I am sure I will get accustomed to it. I know for sure I will buy some darker blinds for the bedroom next year and maybe even one of those cheesy sleep masks. But until then,

I guess I am still a Cheechako.

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

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3 Comments on “The Midnight Sun in Alaska”

  1. Michele Forto Says:

    Darker blinds are a must!


  2. SimpleP Says:

    I’m sad that the days will be getting shorter. The excessive daylight actually sounds good in theory – I’m not a fan of the winter darkness. But I suppose its something you’d have to experience to understand. Fun reading, thanks for the insight.


    • robertforto Says:

      Thank you for the comment!

      The 24 hour daylight messes with your body’s rhythms a bit at first. You feel like: “hey it’s still light out, I should go do something!”

      In the winter I have found the darkness more appealing because I run sled dogs.

      Both seasons have their advantages, that’s for sure!


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