The Tok Report – Car in Cold Weather

I’m playing around with Seesmic and seeing if my DSL connection will handle it. Here’s a little clip I just made about cold weather and vehicles. (I wish I could embed the video but doesn’t seem to allow it.)

Click for Video


What are YOUR cold weather vehicle stories?

Leave a comment


  1. Great video. Thanks for sharing.

    You said in your video that electricity is expensive. Do you know how much it is a kilowatt hour?

    Recently here in Juneau, we lost a tower that connects the city of Juneau to the Snettisham hydroelectric damn. The entire city is currently running on diesel generators. We went from paying around 11 cents a kilowatt hour to around 55 cents a kilowatt hour. I just wondered how that compares to Tok?

  2. Hi Youseph – glad the video came through! I wasn’t able to tell on my DSL.

    I’ll check around about the electricity. I know we were told NOT to plug our vehicles in overnight and to definitely use the timer or we’d be shocked by our electric bill at the end of the month. Will try to get some numbers.

  3. ED

     /  January 15, 2009

    I want to know if there are people with active edible vegetable gardens in Tok. Anyone with a greenhouse or something?

    • Great question! I’ll ask around. I’ve seen a greenhouse for plants – a business nearby. And I’m told that there is a greenhouse in our back yard, too, and that the former residents had a thriving veggie garden. But too much snow to really check it out at the moment. I am SURE people have greenhouses.

  4. I am totally digging your blog! Still, I can’t imagine enduring those kinds of temperatures. Here in Tupelo, Mississippi we are looking at unseasonably cold weather. Tonight is supposed to drop down to 7 degrees and my neighbors are already trying to decide which family members to eat should it get even colder.

  5. You need to fix the link to the video….

    Great Blog.

  6. I use WordPress and here’s how I get videos to embed in posts. (Youtube works as well!)

    Go to your Dashboard the, click on Users. Find your name, click on it. Then uncheck Visual Editor (use the visual editor when writing). Then you can just paste the embed code into your p0st and it should show up.

  7. Jan Persson

     /  January 16, 2009

    Hello from MN.
    I’m a 20 year ex-resident of Tok and it is fun to see how you- a new comer- looks at the town.
    Have fun! Jan

  8. Alaskan

     /  January 16, 2009

    lol…….tires don’t turn square as you are driving. They are going clunk, clunk because due to the weight that they support during the period the car is sitting allows for the rubber to freeze flat like the ground. Once you start moving, the friction of the road and the rubber moving again allows for the flat spot to eventually work out and the tire turn pliable again. As for what your car should have…… missed another important point. You should have a Block, oil, trans, and battery heater….as you covered. You should also run synthetic oils in your front and rear differentials, especially if you have older autos. Once should also leave their heater controls in the position they want them in when they go out to start their car…otherwise some controls become unusable and you won’t be able to turn the heater, defrost etc on. Last but not least sometimes to battle this, you also add an internal heater to the cab of the car so that when you plug in it keeps the cars control functioning properly to begin with.

  9. Of COURSE those tires are not really square. It is just the way people here refer to it! Thanks for the other tips.

  10. Yes, vegetable gardens are extremely popular in the Tok area. There a tons of folks who garden throughout the spring/summer/fall. Most have heat lamps and you would not believe how huge their plants grow!! We have a wonderful garden center here too that supplies dirt, flowers etc.

    Our first summer here I tried my hand at gardening for the first time and was very successful with cucumbers and tomatoes. With the large amount of sunlight during the summer months our veggies grow SOOO fast!!!

    Unfortunately for all gardeners this past summer was incredibly wet and cloudy.

    Many folks will grow vegetables and fruit (Rhubarb is also very popular!) and set up a small booth on the road and sell them in town.

    As for Aliza, well, she will really have her work cut out for her come summer! – Kellie, the previous resident of Aliza’s home, was an avid gardener and had some amazing greenhouses and raised bed gardens! It was phenomenal! (Most everyone uses raised bed gardens here in Tok due to the frozen ground in spring.)

    The Lee family also used to have a garden that was like an acre wide and several huge green houses. They own the Tok General Store and do a lot of all natural and organic type things. They have cut back to a smaller garden now, I believe, but are still wonderfully knowledgable in that department!!

    So, the answer is, YES, edible vegetable gardens are quiet popular in Tok!!

  11. Zed

     /  January 16, 2009

    When I was living in Alaska I used to say “I want to drive south until people ask me why there is a cord sticking out of my hood.”

  12. This is a compliment and has nothing to do with cars. I killed a car battery in the cold last week. That’s nothing for you guys.

    You have a great site to satisfy my ongoing Alaska fixation.

    My fiance and I drove from Chicago to Alaska a couple of years ago and spent a night camping in Tok. I don’t remember much about the place, other than the gift shop with the sled dog puppies and a book store which apparently was run out of someone’s house but was closed at the time. It seemed like a wonderful little place.

    I’m so jealous, even if it is 80 below zero. We saw 17 below this morning, so we’re not that far behind. 🙂

  13. Jennifer

     /  January 17, 2009

    Here in MN we are just coming off a stretch of below zero temps and my husband has been plugging in the truck’s engine block heater overnight and driving halfway to work on “square ” tires. Your temperature reports make our -28 seem like a piece of cake.
    BTW our son just got back from working as a student for 6 months at Izenbek NWR in Cold Bay. Loved it up there!

  14. Gretta

     /  January 17, 2009

    Great job on your blog Aliza, will never complain about PA weather again. A neighbor who orig came from Minnesota always plugged an old electric blanket over his engine when he came home for lunch. Rather amusing to see that old car of his sitting with a blanket sticking out under it’s hood.

    I was wondering how you keep any moisture in your home and what about static electricity?

    • Good question about static electricity! I’m wondering the same thing. We are shocking ourselves and one another throughout the house. A humidifier came with the house but we haven’t tried it yet. I always worry about the mold that can form and the hassle of keeping it clean. If we had the wood stove burning, I’d put a big bowl of water on it to keep the air moist but might try that anyway. Can’t hurt. Any other ideas?

  15. Gretta

     /  January 17, 2009

    I’ve used one of those humidifers with the rotating belt, my method was to never filled it full so not to allow water to sit for long periods, trying to keep the water fresh. Occasionally I added a cap full of bleach if you don’t mind that indoor pool smell. Never had any problem with mold that I was aware of. You could also set bowls of water near your warm air registers that is if you can keep your dogs from drinking them up.

  16. I like your blog, and though it’s only 12 degrees here unlike Gretta I will incessantly complain about Pa. weather.
    And yeah, the easiest way to embed here is upping to You Tube then entering the URL. Trying to do it with the visual editor works too, but it can be persnickity sometimes.

  17. Hello Aliza, welcome to Tok.! I am a 28-year resident and business entrepeneur from Tok. It is quite enjoyable to see my other hometown getting Internet attention, after all it is a sleepy, remote place in the middle of nowhere. I like it that way and have many stories to tell!
    Hello Jan Persson, are you singing alto in a new choir? (Yes, we have a choir in Tok, it is awesome.)
    Aliza, your friend Jennifer Mc Carty told me about your arrival in Tok and all the “social uncovery” you are causing. Welcome to 85%Republican voters.

    • Hello Helga! I can’t wait to meet you. I’ve heard great things from Jennifer – she’s a wonderful person. I look forward to meeting you in person and seeing some of your stained glass work.


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