Anyone who has been to Alaska knows how it gets into your soul ... the independence of the people ... the vast spread of land ... wilderness, wild animals, frontier ... majestic Denali ... glaciers ... silt-filled rivers.
My sister lived in Alaska for a few years reporting for the Anchorage Daily News. I had the opportunity to visit and fall in love with a land that is very different from the Lower 48.
First and foremost, Alaskans are independent. Period. They personify the spirit of the Wild, Wild West ... they are self-reliant in a land where they do not depend on the government to care for them, where a false step could cause death in a heartbeat, where cabins are scattered miles apart in the vast wilderness ... where the Alaska Railroad still picks up and drops off folks who live so far out there are no roads, and they have no cars.
It is a rugged land with wide open skies, mountains, and run-ins with moose are common ... and dangerous. Almost every vehicle has gravel-pocks and cracks in their windshields because of the back roads. People pack an extra tire and gas on top of the car.
They are survivors ... and I see that independent spirit in Sarah Palin ... and it makes me proud. Her husband works the oil fields. They are hunters. They are involved in the community and with their kids.
Someone at Barticles made fun of her children's names. Hey -- it's Alaska! Folks there are free spirits. Besides, are we electing someone based on the name of their children?
The spirit of Alaska can be found in Sarah Palin ... and America, especially the Lower 48, can learn a thing or two from her.