Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wasilla, Alaska: Wasilla Lake

Funny how a small town can become nationally known in a short period of time.

Welcome to Wasilla, Alaska, which has been growing fast in recent years. Its population is under 8,000, but the number has jumped in relatively recent years. Many residents commute to work in Anchorage because of lower housing costs despite the 40-mile distance between the the cities. By the way, the average snowfall here is a little more than 50 inches a year.

Wasilla got its name from Chief Wasilla, a Dena'ina Indian. It was established in 1917. There was a statewide vote in 1994 to move the capital of Alaska from Juneau to Wasilla, but it was defeated.

It's tough to get a good picture of Wasilla from a moving train. Rather than display a shot of the back of strip malls here, a shot of Lake Wasilla seemed like a better idea. It's been popular with outdoor enthusiasts for years.

Now, about the nationally known part of the story. Wasilla became famous in 2008 when Governor Sarah Palin was plucked from obscurity to become John McCain's running mate on the Republican Presidential ticket. Palin had served in local government in Wasilla before winning the Governor's job. After losing the election and resigning the Governor's position, Palin moved to Arizona. We'll have to wait and see if she adds to a very odd American story in the years ahead.

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