Friday, April 25, 2008

Gambling in Alaska

Are you a gambler? Do you enjoy playing the odds? Is gambling legal where you live?

Anyone can gamble in Alaska. With his life.

Have you seen the many shows on The Discovery Channel about Alaska?? I think this was Alaska Week or something, but I am still amazed at the things people do for "fun"... or whatever you'd call it.

Not being a gambler at all myself, the idea of putting my life in the ante is a tad radical. Somehow, various people find value in discovering if they can survive in the Alaskan wilderness - whether their danger comes from a "mock" accident or a hypothetical scenario. Avid explorers drop into near-freezing water to see how their bodies react to the cold (umm, the body gets really cold, really fast), fling themselves down snowy hills from the back of snowmobiles to determine how to find shelter in the dark, dark, dark Alaskan night (by building an igloo - okay, that was cool info), and cause an avalanche to bury one of their team - on purpose - to demonstrate how someone buried in an avalanche is rescued (this one set my claustrophobia on high-alert!). These fiascoes were only the tip of the iceberg, pardon my pun.

"Powerfully beautiful" and "cold, wet wind" are descriptions given by these brave daredevils. The scenery may have been awe-inspiring, but none of the many feet of snow, vast wilderness, or cracked glaciers that look like mountains in the videos increased my yearning to travel to Alaska. Not even in a planned vacation. Can you say, "brr!"?

Hmm.... I wonder if all transplanted Alaskans are born gamblers...?
Predictably at home, safe and warm,

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