About Me

img_0343I’m The Social Media Mama living in Alaska.

You can find out more about me:

She Knows Social




I tell people that Tok, Alaska is the Social Media Capital of the World because I live here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And YES, Tok businesses can be found on Foursquare and GoWalla so make sure you Check In!

I blog, podcast and vlog from Tok when I’m not traveling for my work to other parts of the country and world.

Join me on my adventures in Tok, Alaska!

You can find Tok on Facebook and Twitter.

When the weather warms up (May through September), I hope you’ll stop by when you’re driving along the Alaska Highway!

(BTW, no, we cannot see Russia from our back yard).

Leave a comment


  1. I stumbled across your Tok blog when reading the ADN today and there was a link. We are fellow Tokites and have been here for about 2 years (minus a few months in Valdez). Thought we would say hello since Tok can be rather lonely in the winter when everyone hunkers down.

    I (Travis) work over at the State Forestry office and Teniah works over at the Tok Clinic and also does EMS.

    I am guessing from your blog that your husband is the new Tetlin refuge manager? I work with a lot of the people over at the refuge with my job and they mentioned that the new manager was coming from Anchorage.

    My wife blogs in case you want to check out our Tok adventures:


    Take care.

    Travis Howell

  2. Maggie (Moran) Hayden

     /  January 10, 2009

    Hey Aliza, heard your bit on NPR this morning … I knew I recognized the name — it’s been awhile since we worked together and I’m no longer in the ad biz myself. But Tok? I hope you’re enjoying the experience. Sounds crazy!! Stay warm.

    (former copy director, Walsh Sheppard Flynn)

    • So far, I really am liking it. My husband was so worried about me being a “city girl” and all. He doesn’t realize that I thrive in small spaces – http://www.rvgirl.com (I used to live in an RV). Small communities are like those small spaces – cozy most of the time but occasionally you do bump your head on things!

  3. G Mah

     /  January 10, 2009

    FYI: The Drudge Report has a link to NPR and your Life at -78

  4. Aliens In Tok

     /  January 10, 2009

    Hello, Media Mama, welcome to Tok. Your first impressions of our little community are entertaining, for sure. You know, I have always referred to our little Alaskan hamlet as “The Cultural Center of The Universe”, and lately , with the extraterrestrials visiting and all, maybe we have reached critical mass. Go with it; here’s your 15 minutes of fame- you go, Girl !!!

  5. Thanks, Alien!

    Yes, wouldn’t you know the week after I arrive, so do the aliens. At first, I thought it might be the pumpkin our friends were trying to blow up on New Years. Happy to be here and settle in. It’s going to be a long, cold winter but it sure is warm inside.

  6. We’ve got you covered in Spanish ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Los OVNI's en Tok

     /  January 11, 2009

    Feliz Ano Nuevo de Los OVNI’s en Tok….
    Nuesrta nave espacial se ha quebrado en Tok, y vamos a estar aqui un buen tiempo. Ni modo….

  8. Thoughts from Bellville, OH

    Hi! I found your blog while exploring a PBS news piece on your recent -80F experience. My thoughts will be on a brief blog piece Tuesday, 1/13.

    We have about 6″ of snow on the ground and temps mostly in the mid 20s these days.

    I hope to stay in touch. I am fascinated by the far north, but, at my 68 years, I am glad I am sharing your experiences from afar.

  9. Hello There!

    I came across your page looking for info on Bunny Boots, which I now have on order. I live in the Eastern US where it does not generally get as cold as where you are. Although, next time you are on Wunderground check out the zip code 01089 – it will be colder by us friday than by you
    Isn’t it interesting how small the world has become with the internet?

  10. Found your page today from the Drudge Report article about life at -78 degrees.

    Just visited my daughter living in Humboldt, Saskatchewan over the Christmas holidays. Was only -30 there, and that was overnight. I thoroughly love cold weather, Minnesota taught me that, and I’m eager to keep reading about your adventures up there in Tok!

  11. Erik

     /  January 13, 2009

    I have been reading your site for a few days now and I just made the connection..
    You are also RV Girl!
    I loved that site and am happy to see you online again.
    I have passed through Tok many times, including once at -45.

  12. susan

     /  January 13, 2009

    really enjoying your blog! Found it on Drudge Report

  13. Hey, I found my Spot promo codes info if you’d like it. I tried to input it on the Spot page, but it is not going. Please email me directly if you’d like it: hillfamily55@earthlink.net
    Take care,
    Tessa in TX

  14. Tanacross – it’s labor day weekend and memorial day weekend; us car people go up to tok for those weekends to auto cross and do some wheel to wheel racing. i can send you more info as we get closer and heck feel free to come watch! it’s fun stuff for sure. tok is awesome in summer

  15. I saw your blog on our local news in ks. Good luck and stay warm. I would love your location (during the warm months only!)

  16. Hello Aliza.

    Carrie Beeman gave me your site today and I like it.

    In a few weeks my friend who is blind, his guide dog and I will Cycle from Anchorage to Cancun Mexico. Once we reach Cancun, I am going to swim across the Gulf of Mexico to Key West FL.
    We are doing this to raise awareness about climate change, collecting funds for UNICEF and to prove to people that IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING…. Ill keep reading your blog for interesting news about Tok…
    Thank you.
    Diego Gonzalez Joven

  17. Billy

     /  February 11, 2009

    Tok Lodge Saturday Feb. 14
    Karoke Contest
    Money prizes 1st 2nd 3rd
    starting at 9pm
    welcome to Tok,alaska

  18. Sheri Williams

     /  February 24, 2009

    My husband and I took our Greek friend to Tok in July 2008. John has sent your link to her, so maybe you’ll hear from Greece. We visited the outdoor museum where they have the Santa Bus, giant moskito, etc. It’s a toasty 25 degrees here in Juneau. Stay warm.

  19. erly

     /  March 10, 2009

    Oh my goodness… I just found your site somehow, and I was surprised to find something interesting about Tok. I passed through about 12 years ago (I was 10) on a road trip to visit family in Seward. We stayed at the RV park. All I can remember from it is a bakery, grocery store, a salon, and planting boxes with GIANT cabbages.

    I’ll driving up again this summer in my newly acquired 1975 Toyota Chinook (cheaper than rent!) for the first time since.

    Keep up the blog – I wish there were similar blogs for small towns here in Washington that I love… to help me feel a little more connected.

  20. Eric

     /  April 28, 2009

    Aliza: Nice job. Haveing lived in Tok from 1960 to present and southeast Alaska (1953-59) before that, a “noobs”, impressions are very interesting. Keep up the reporting.

  21. just found your blog tonight. love it. i was in the air force, stationed in tok, in the mid 60’s. loved it. it sounds like things have changed hugely since then. there was gilliam’s store, tok lodge, the place on the corner (i can’t think of the name) and little else. us customs was there. i was one of 15 to 17 military guys at the alaska communications system/rca building behind the customs office. from google map pictures it looks like the microwave tower is still there. .. anyway, it’s good to find your blog..hope you enjoy tok for years as much as i did for 15 months.

  22. alaskabound

     /  July 31, 2009

    Hi Aliza, my name is Esther Sutherland, and my husband and I and our 4 small children will be moving to Fairbanks in October. I was born, raised, married and everything since then in Eastern North Carolina, and have NO idea what we are getting into. Since you have been in the interior for a little while, I thought you might have tips for helping some southern folk survive in the area. For instance, there are differing schools of thought on whether we should buy clothing, boots, etc here in the lower 48, or whether we should wait, b/c we dont know what we are doing and are liable to buy the wrong thing. Any thoughts? Thanks….

    • I used to live in Charlotte and also lived in Virginia and Florida so am familiar with the weather in the SE.

      I think definitely wait until you get to Fairbanks to buy clothes. October might be chilly and might even snow but you’ll be fine. Waiting until you get here guarantees getting the right stuff. Otherwise, if you get a good sale, sporting goods stores that sell nice down coats, down vests, insulated gloves, a good hat that covers your ears will do. I wear snow boots I got at Target for milder cold and snow. I wear the coat and down vest I bought at Sierra Trading Post.

      I don’t yet own bunny boots although they are all the rage in Tok.

      I’m sure some of my Fairbanks readers will give you more lowdown on what to expect! Fairbanks is a great town from what I’ve seen so far. Good luck with your move!

  23. Billy Givens Jr

     /  October 21, 2009

    the wife and I are getting settle in on stardust way here in Tok been here in Tok for 3 yrs love it in winter real quite, live long and prosper

  24. Aliens In Tok

     /  October 22, 2009

    What, Billy, got a new trailer? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Agnes and Darren are your new neighbors down at the Red Fox end of the street.

  25. Mrs. Bennett

     /  April 21, 2010

    Hi there! My husband has recently applied for a job in Mentasta, so we might be moving your way before long. I have so many questions about living in Tok! What is life like there? Do the children get much opportunity to play outdoors, or does the cold weather drive them indoors? Where do you get your groceries? Do you garden? Is it hard to find a nice house? Do you move all your belongings there, or come with little and acquire more while there? So many more questions, too. If you were willing to answer some for me, I would greatly appreciate it. I’ll be following your blog now for a taste of Tok. Thanks.

    • 1. Tok and Mentasta are very different, about 45 min drive I think. Tok life is classic rural Alaska life and all that entails. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. Children are outside in summer all the time, very safe, long long days/nights in the sun. Makes up for the coldest days but even the preschoolers in Head Start play outside a good deal in winter all bundled up. My little one also has lots of fun indoor play things like forts and art table.

      3. Groceries = Three Bears for basics; Tok General Store for healthy alternatives. Then people go to town (Fairbanks) 2.5 hour drive from Tok to do “Bush Shopping” and stock up. I also take advantage of business trips to Anchorage (7 hour drives) to stock up.

      4. I am learning to garden. Everyone gardens, both flowers and food. I am doing only food. Check past posts on this blog for many posts about my foray into gardening.

      5. Some nice houses keep popping up on market. If you were moving to Tok proper, I know someone with a very nice house that they have just started showing.

      6. We moved everything when we moved to Anchorage – in a 6 horse trailer (no, we didn’t have horses – hahaha). Then from Anchorage to Tok brought everything. That is more of a personal preference.

      • Tara

         /  January 30, 2012

        Hi Aliza,

        My Fiance and I are thinking about moving to Tok as he may get a job offer. It sounds very interesting and we’re hoping he receives the offer. However, I was wondering what jobs are available there and how would I got about finding one for myself?

      • A lot of jobs here. Depending on what areas of work and what parts of Alaska, of course. Check the websites of the local papers and job boards. If you are looking in a particular industry – such as hotels/hospitality – you can do searches for specific businesses and check their websites and career opportunities. Google it!

  26. Ketera Buckley

     /  June 14, 2010

    Hello, I was researching the TOK area when I came across your blog. My family left AK 3 years ago thinking we were done, we changed our minds the people are much nicer in AK so we are moving back. My mom still lives in AK in Anchorage, but wants out of the city so we were thinking of buying land in the TOK area, I cant seem to find any place to rent on a monthly basis while we look at property in that area would you or anyone you know be able to help us out? BTW love your blog.

  27. Hi Aliza: just ran across your blog and wanted to stop and say “Hi”. I’m from the south, FL, GA & NC, too. I have only been living in AK for just under a year and have fallen in love with it, too. I spend every other weekend in Tok and will try to look you up next time I am there. If you’d like I can let you know when I am on my way and bring you anything from Fairbanks on my round trips. Cheers, Conni

  28. sherry in Anchorage

     /  August 6, 2010

    Was that first photo of you taken at Fast Eddys? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    We lived in Tok from 1988 to 1994 and live in Anchorage now.

    I still know quite a bit of people in Tok, Tanacross & Northway. I have heard things have really changed in Tok over the years..

    For one… the Tok Bakery shut down a few years ago. What a bummer! :o( Roger Skarry ran the best little bakery ever! And I know that the Tok Lodge burned down, but did anyone ever rebuild there?

    Do George & Beth still publish the Mukluk News? ๐Ÿ˜€

    One of these days, I’m make it up there again.

  29. sherry in Anchorage

     /  August 18, 2010

    Hello? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • Richard Dyer

       /  February 19, 2014

      Hi I was wondering if you ever heard of a Karen Millett formerly of Maine but moved to Chicken a long time ago? Thanks, Richard

  30. Colette T

     /  August 20, 2010

    I am so glad I found your blog! My SIL/BIL live in Tok, and I love getting a glimpse of the place from far away Florida

  31. GAR

     /  October 2, 2010

    Now I thought this was the best growing season ever. We even grew corn this year. My family lives 90 miles from TOK going toward Fairbanks.
    Excellant blog. Gar

  32. Kelliann Amico

     /  October 14, 2010

    Hi Aliza –

    Being in Alaska and all, where I understand people go through a lot of firewood, I figured you might be interested in learning about PowerSharp. It’s a chainsaw sharpening system that sharpens chain on the saw, on the job, in seconds. If you’ve ever used a chainsaw, you know how long it takes to typically sharpen the chain when it gets dull, which can easily happen just by accidentally hitting the dirt, or worse, a rock. Please check it out at http://www.powersharp.com. Perhaps consider it as a gift for the man in your life?
    Enjoy your winter. I thoroughly enjoyed your slice of life blog about Tow-K, which up until now, I had never heard of… way to go City Girl!

  33. HeyTok, we in Minn. usually have that type of weather around this time of year. We have had huge amounts of snow, today tho- we have 54 degrees, sunny and I have my doors open. What a treat! fresh air!

  34. mom

     /  March 3, 2011

    Hi- After 13 years in western Alaska, we’re moving to Tok this spring! Since I stay home with 2 small children, what I’m most curious about is social opportunities for my 3 1/2 year old. It sounds like HeadStart is the only preschool opportunity in town? What do parents generally think of your HS program there? Are there many preschoolers who stay home, or do most go to HS? Are there any other regularly organized activities for kids of this age- story time, play groups, open gym, etc? Looks like you have a little one so I thought you might have the scoop. Thanks for your help!

    • Head Start is the only formal preschool option in Tok, and our program is excellent. There is a lot of home schooling here, but this wasn’t an option for me. I’ve been very pleased with the quality of the Head Start program here. There are very few organized preschool activities other than what Head Start offers. Organized play dates with other families saves the day! There are some occasional community events for the whole family as well. Summertimes are great because there are more outdoor options. The Tok School playground is renovated and a great play option open to the community.

  35. Helen Huynh

     /  May 3, 2011

    Hello Aliza.. I am a student in Vietnam, and I will move to Tok in order to work in Westmark Inn Tok Hotel for this summer. I just found your blog when searching information about Tok. Because this is the first time I came to Alaska, so I have a lot of questions in my mind. Is it cold in the summer? and how many degree it will be in the summer? Is it easy to buy grocery and food in Tok? Is Westmark hotel near your house?

    • Tok in the summers are beautiful. Between 60s and 70s Farenheit or 15-21 Celcius. Sunny and blue skies. Three Bears is our grocery store and they carry products from Costco including produce, canned and bottled goods, meats, frozen foods. The Tok General Store has an array of healthy food options, vitamins, gifts, and other items not carried anywhere else in town. If you’re in Tok, you’re within about a 5 minute drive from everywhere in “town.” Very convenient.

  36. Connie in Mannheim, Germany

     /  July 21, 2011

    I’ve looked at homes on rural alaska real estate’s site for quite some time. One day, when retired I plan on moving to Alaska. Maybe it will be Tok. Your site has provided more information on actually living there than all the others I’ve seen. Thanks for the topics. I do notice that the quantity of topics has declined. Any reason in particular? I did enjoy the topic about small town living you did a while back. As a child we lived in Moab, UT. My mother, L.A. born and raised, hated the place. I loved it. I guess it depends upon what one is looking for. I’ve lived in Germany 39 years now and I really would like to get back to a small rural town. I’ll be coming back to your site periodically to see how things are in Tok. Maybe it will end up being Tok for me. Thanks for the site.

    • Thank you for your message! I’ve been traveling and juggling life. But I do plan to pick up on more posts soon. Appreciate you taking the time to get in touch.

  37. Aliza, Came across your blogs on Tok this evening. My late wife Karen and I had 11 children together, most of them born in our cabins on Old man Creek in Chicken and a few at our little homestead in Tok, Ak. I wrote a weekly column for several years for the news miner and many feature articles for ADN “We Alaskans” We came to Alaska in 1982 and walked up the mosquito fork with not much more then an axe and a swede saw. Left in 2003 on our schooner Arctic Ark, many adventures in Alaska and many good friends and memories. Thanks for your blogs and photos much appreciated, tom williams,

    • I’m so glad you found it! Amazing to hear your connection to the place, and that you’re a writer. Hope you check in from time to time.

  38. Hi Aliza,

    I’m a 25 year old cyclist from Toronto, Canada. Next summer I am cycling solo from Fairbanks to Miami in 30 days. It will be a record speed. I will be stopping in Tok on the night of June 21, making it the first stop of the trip.

    There is an important cause behind the ride but rather than tell you about it here, it would probably be easiest if you went to the website. As you will see, the trip involves me interacting with each of the communities I am staying in and I have just begun the phase of touching base with the various communities. I came across your blog and thought you would be a great person to start with.

    Please take a few moments to visit the website and if you are interested, please send me an email and I can answer any questions you have and tell you exactly what is involved.


  39. tonya reynolds

     /  January 30, 2012

    My brother and I r planning on moving to alaska. We would like some assistance in becoming familiar. With the state and surroundings. Looking for someone to assist us.

    • What part of Alaska? Before I moved to Alaska, I did a lot of searches on Google and read up about it, especially reading websites of local newspapers. When I moved to Tok, I did the same. There is a lot of information online and you can always check with local Chambers of Commerce for moving kits.

  40. Larry Willis

     /  June 19, 2012

    As a child, I lived on the Air Force site in Tok. (It was called Tok Junction back then 1963-65.) I know that at some point they closed it down, but wonder if any of the buildings are still there. I tried to use Google Earth to look for our house, but was unsuccessful. It is possible that my memory isn’t as good as I thought it was!

  41. john akins

     /  July 7, 2012

    I worked on the ballistic missile early warning system installation.spent four months living in tok. From Nov till march.this was about 1959-1960.low temp was-58..scenery was beautiful.glad to hear the city is growing.population was around 200 then.have a good summer. John

  42. ex-Tokite

     /  July 5, 2013

    Wondering if George & Beth are running the Mukluk News still?

    I asked about 3 years ago & am still curious. :O Unfortunately they don’t have a website so it’s tough knowing what the deal is now with them. I should send them a ‘general delivery’ letter to Tok P.O. I guess?

    I used the love that little paper. If you ran into Beth at the store or post office and she asked you “what’s new?” you could pretty much count on whatever you said being in the next newspaper, LOL! Great little paper, great little town, awesome memories! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Yes, Mukluk News is available 2x a month and sold all over Tok. They also still run Mukluk Land!

  43. Richard Dyer

     /  February 19, 2014

    I wonder if Karen Williams was the former Karen Millett of Maine. Robin the Postmaster at Chicken said there was a Karen who had lots of Children. Richard Dyer at: kidron@pioneercable.net


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