First of all, there's the light.
I was just in Alaska for a work trip. This is the middle of the northern winter, of course, and that's a great time of year to go back. In January the sun just hangs low over the southern horizon for the few hours it's up, and the light is always a rich amber color as a result, as if it were ten minutes until sunset for the whole day long.
I got lucky with the weather. It was cold as hell and I loved it. I rented cross-country skis when I was in Anchorage and went skiing on the trails near my hotel after the conference I was attending was over each day. It was my first time on skis in the four and a half years since we left Alaska.
There is absolutely NOTHING so invigorating after a day of listening to scientific talks as going skiing in -25° C weather:
And then of course there's the grandeur. This is the view of the Chugach Range as you fly out of Anchorage:
But more than anything, there are the people. Alisa had me take pictures of all of our mutual friends that I ran into on the visit. The results make a great cross-section of our social universe in Alaska. Right now, home is wherever Galactic is. But this visit was a great reminder that when our sailing years are over, we'll have another home waiting for us up north.