Driving Through Tok in the Minus 60s (or Colder)

Yesterday, I did a quick little video as I was driving to the Tok General Store. By the way, yesterday morning was minus 71 (at least), and we had 4 hours and 27 minutes of daylight. Don’t even want to do the math on how much dark we had.

NOTE TO SELF: It will only get lighter and lighter each day. Lighter and lighter. Lighter and lighter.



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  1. I finally had to break down and find Tok on a Google map. I thought it would be further north considering how incredibly cold it is there. How are you managing?

  2. This morning I heard the tail end of your interview on NPR while I was driving to my job in Juneau Alaska. So I hit up the NPR website and found your blog. Very interesting read. Look forward reading more.

  3. Thanks Youseph – I actually missed it as I was on a conference call but found a link to it (audio not up until later in afternoon):


  4. Great! Now I can listen to it. Thank you.

  5. G Mah

     /  January 10, 2009

    Interesting that you drive a Toyota in Alaska. I see in an earlier post that they have a dealership in Anchorage. Is the 4Runner a popular vehicle there? Thx.

    • The Toyota 4Runner in particular is quite popular in Anchorage. I had dreamed for years that someday I would get a Subaru, but when I went to the dealer in Cheyenne, WY to test drive one, it was so tiny, I felt claustrophobic. I find the 4Runner to be big enough to feel safe but not too obscenely large and gas guzzling. And the 4WD works really well.

  6. Aliens In Tok

     /  January 10, 2009

    Speaking of rigs that don’t work well in the cold stuff: our local ambulances have been struggling along (diesels), and I think we’re down to one functional med rig these days. We went down towards the Alcan boundary last week to borrow their ambulance till we could get ours back in shape , and it, too, crapped out on the way back. We had it towed back, put in a warm garage, added some magic stuff to the fuel, and now she’s the only running rig we have. When we did the handoff down in Northway, I coulda sworn I heard one of the Customs Agents mutter under his breath, “Good luck, suckers…”; He was right

  7. G Mah

     /  January 11, 2009

    Top Gear, a popular British TV car show drove the European equivalent of the Toyota Tacoma to the magnetic North Pole 2 years ago. It’s colder in Tok.

    For an indoor antenna, try this one (Radio Shack 15-1862 ). It pulls in OTA signals pretty good.

  8. Rodney

     /  January 13, 2009

    I would like to know how one copes with extremely long nights during the winter months and extremely long days during the summer. It’s sounds very freakish to me and something I can’t imagine.

  9. Freakish In Tok

     /  January 15, 2009

    Rod, it’s not that bad, as long as you don’t have high expectations. Winters are more laid back, and summer’s are the time to get all those building projects done. I like the seasonality; it’s not samesville year ’round. If you have difficulty adjusting, just drink more. This is winter #28 for me, and I came from a SoCal beachtown…now THAT”S freakish!


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