The -71 Degrees Temp Reading in Tok Alaska

I had mentioned previously that I had a photo on my phone that my hubby texted me from his phone that I couldn’t figure out how to get off the phone and onto the Web but FINALLY figured it out.

Of course, the solution involves AT&T and their viewing web site for multimedia files and the pic is tiny, but hopefully it will show up well enough to make out that it does indeed say -71. This is the day before the -80 registered, I believe.

There are interested parties who will be looking at the Davis weather station data soon. Hopefully, I’ll have those updates.


Davis won’t vouch for these kind of readings, of course. What do YOU think? Malfunction? Or just pretty darn cold?

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  1. Peg Denten

     /  January 14, 2009

    Just wanted to say I very much enjoy reading your blog, its very interesting to learn about your way of life up there. I’m in Chicago and last night on the Channel 5 (
    news they played the clip from your drive to the Tok General store! It was really cool! Your weather makes our chilly 6 degrees seem like a day at the beach.

    I do have a question…do the people of Tok like all this attention? Do they have any idea how far your blog has reached?

    • I’m still new to this community. So far, the people I’ve met and who know I’m blogging are a combination of interested, skeptical and cautious. I don’t blame them. They don’t really know me or my intentions right now. One of my goals for this blog – something I thought of before moving here – was to make Tok a “must see” place this summer. People naturally stop in Tok once they cross into Alaska along the Alaska Highway, but I wanted it to be more intentional with genuine interest in the Tok businesses. Of course, I didn’t consult anyone here to see if that was a worthy – and wanted – goal! We’ll find out.

      Like in any small community, I’m sure some people will be happy about it and others will not. Pros and cons to everything.

  2. It is 14 here in the mountains of North Carolina, and everyone is in a panic. They need to visit you for ten minutes.

    I am enjoying your blog and wondering how you do stay warm. I bet it is actually healthier being that cold…it freezes all the germs!

    Keep warm!

    • It is easy to stay warm – just stay inside! We are lucky to have 12 inch thick walls and good heating. We have a thermostat in every room to individually adjust the temperature throughout the house. Going outside, I have my car in the heated garage so easy to get from house to car. Then the only time outside is car to store or car to post office – 20 seconds at most. I usually hold my breath instead of breathing in the cold! Maybe that is silly but it seems instinctual to do that.

  3. Mike

     /  January 14, 2009

    wow that’s insane -71

    Aliza, at what point does it become dangerous to go outside -80, -90? Theres one clip you have of you driving in -50. I mean that has got to be cold.

    P.S I heard about your blog from NPR, its awesome that we get to hear about Tok (I never heard of the place before)

    Stay warm!

    • I’ve been trying to find an expert to tell me about those kinds of temps as I have no experience in them. Common sense dictates to stay indoors and if you do go out, cover all parts and don’t touch anything without gloves! Also, be careful about breathing in that kind of cold air. I have a message into a woman who wrote about her time in Antarctica to see if she’ll provide some tips.

      Minus 50 does wreak some havoc on your car – square tires, thick as sludge oil and other auto fluids. You are best off switching to synthetic fluids.

  4. Dean

     /  January 14, 2009

    Thank you for your site. I found it a few days ago while researching Tok. My family and I and planning the move up in 2010 and will be making a visit in May of this year to look around.

    I would like to make a request if I could for things to put on this blog page. #1 When it warms just a bit so that you can get around better could you take more pictures of town? Also is it possible to do interviews with people in town about town life? Maybe do some spot lights on some of the older residents of Tok and the business’ in town as well.
    Thanks, Dean

  5. Dean – absolutely! My plan is to video and audiotape Tokites who are willing to be interviewed for this blog. My first approach will be business owners who can benefit from the publicity. I will video their businesses as well. All with permission of course, and all at no cost to them.

    As a business owner, I know the value of free publicity. As a marketer, I would love to share my skills to help local businesses here.

    And yes, you’ll see sunny Tok as well!

  6. Roger Dunn

     /  January 14, 2009

    It sounds like your home has good insulation, but I’m still very curious as to what a monthly heating bill comes to. Care to shed some light? It has got to be expensive!

    • Good question about the heating bill! We pay for electric. But natural gas is included in our rent. Will know after we’re here a month!

  7. Roger Dunn –
    Your heating bill in Tok really depends on how you heat. The primary methods are heating oil and wood. Most people have a combo of the two. I really don’t know of anyone who uses propane or natural gas in the area, but there may be some. Propane is probably not that best option for this area as the vapor point of propane is -44F. Basically, when the temp gets below this point the propane in your tank stays in a liquid form and no longer functions in any appliance.

    We pretty much heat our cabin entirely with a wood stove. I typically burn about 10 cords per year. We also have a backup fuel oil furnace that only gets used when we leave town for a day or more or for 30 minutes in the morning take the winter chill off the house and some in the spring and fall. I use about 100 gallons for the entire year.

    Wood costs about $135-150 per cord delivered by some of the local businesses that do that. Or you can go out and cut it yourself (this is what I do). Firewood is easy to get and plentiful. Last year I kept track of my expenses to cut my own wood for this winter and it came to about $15-20 per cord (vehicle gas, chainsaw oil, etc.).

    So I spent about $550-600 ($3.50/gallon heating oil, $20/cord wood) for the entire year to heat our house.

  8. 911S In Tok

     /  January 15, 2009

    All these car makers come up to Alaska to do winter testing every year. One winter, 3 really nice Porsches pull into the local gas station to fill up. I walked up to one of the German engineers and said, “Hey, I’d be glad to be your Alaska test representative; I live here year ’round, can drive all these highways in my sleep, (and frequently do), collect whatever kind of tech data they wanted, and I would even do all of this for FREE if they’d leave one of the test cars in my care. Apparently, this guy didn’t sprechten much Enlish; he just laughed and said “YA, Ya, veddy nice, veddy nice. I still haven’t been contacted by the PorscheWerks yet, but please let them know that I’m still available.

  9. Jemelle Holopirek

     /  January 16, 2009

    I’m a News Anchor in Wichita Kansas, I would like to do a story on you for my Mommy Monday segment. Please get back to me. Jemelle


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