People from all over the world enjoy spending their time traveling to different remote spots, and while most people head to private islands or hidden cave systems, others head to an entirely different type of atmosphere. Despite the fact that Alaska is the biggest state, there are very few people who live there compared to the amount of space available. In fact, one town only has 200 people in, and you’ll never guess how they choose to live!As most of you already know, Alaska is known as the last unexplored American frontier. Considering that most of the state’s population lives along the southeastern coast, many people are curious as to what lies outside of its boundaries. It’s in our nature to be curious, after all.
Thanks to people’s innate curiosity, the remote communities of Alaska have been getting quite a bit attention in recent years. Many people have even taken an interest in trying to survive the extreme Alaskan Bush. Luckily, as long as they’re prepared for the journey, adventurers only need to look just a few miles south of Anchorage for a unique experience.
Once you’ve driven about 60 miles south of Anchorage, you’ll come up to a string of flashing yellow lights. The road that you’ll be taking from there only allows one-way traffic through, so there’s an extremely good chance that you could wait up to an hour to be let through. It may be a long wait, but it’s definitely worth it!
As soon as you’re allowed through the light, you’ll continue to follow the road until you come upon a dark tunnel. Keep in mind, the tunnel may look a little scary, especially with the train tracks going through it, but this is literally the only way into the town. Unless you want to hike through the frigid temperatures, of course.
Reddit user HyruleanHero1988 was one of those people who couldn’t control his curiosity. In fact, he was curious enough to actually pay a visit to the small community, so he took a vacation there with his girlfriend and they documented their entire journey. “The 2.5-mile tunnel that you have to pass through to enter the town is one lane only — they switch the direction of travel every 30 minutes. You have to wait at these lights until they let you go,” said Reddit user HyruleanHero1988.
Once you’ve made it to the end of the tunnel, you’ll find yourself entering the Alaskan town of Whittier. Whittier, Alaska, which is a very small port town on the shore of Prince William Sound, has very few residents. But that’s not necessarily what makes the town so unique.
The moment you step foot in Whittier you’ll most certainly take notice of the very large condo building in the center of it all. The building, which was once used for military officers during the U.S. Army’s occupation of Whittier, houses the residents currently living in Whittier. And we’re not just talking about a few of the residents. No, we’re talking about most of the town’s 200 residents lives in the structure.
So why have all of the residents decided to live in one building, when there’s clearly enough space for them to spread out? Well, there’s a very simple answer to that: Alaska is really cold. Considering that there are sub-zero temperatures and ridiculously strong winds, the residents of Whittier decided that it would be safer for the community if everyone lived under the same roof.
In fact, the residents of Whittier decided that they didn’t need to go outside at all during the frigid winter months. So, they built everything they needed right inside the Begich Towers. They have a laundromat, medical center, church, a convenience store, along with many other services.
Luckily, Reddit user HyruleanHero1988 was able to stay in the condo building right along with the residents of Whittier. It’s obvious from his photos that he enjoyed his stay in the small town of Whitter. “It feels cozier than you would imagine,” he said.
It’s kind of hard to believe that all of the townspeople stay in one building, but do you think they’re comfortable doing so? Each condo comes with one or two bedrooms and all of the other accommodations needed to live comfortably. All you really need to worry about is picking out one of the apartments!
HyruleanHero1988 was also able to get pictures of the living room in the condo. It really seems like each resident has just enough room. You really don’t need much more space, do you? Well, I guess that depends on whether or not you live with your entire town.
Luckily, the residents are able to visit the community store if they get too bored. There, they can purchase snacks while they rent a movie! Do you think they get new releases? Or what about Wi-Fi? Can’t they just watch Netflix?
The residents of Whittier are all given a storage unit in the condo, as well. This way, if their belongings don’t fit into the space that they’re given, they don’t have to get rid of their things. After all, a small condo is great if you’re a frugal person, but not so much if you enjoy shopping. Fortunately, Whittier doesn’t have enough stores to make that an issue.
They even have a school for the children right behind their condo. Erika Thompson, the school’s teacher, is accustomed to living in close proximity to all of her students. “For me, it’s just home. For the most part, you know everybody. It’s a community under one roof,” said Erika.
The human residents in the town aren’t the only ones given a safe space to get out of the cold. In fact, there’s a pen for the town’s reindeer to live right outside of the condo. Surprisingly, many of the townspeople actually have their own pet reindeer!
While the Reddit user was taking pictures of Whittier, he was able to get a great photograph of the reindeer pen from above. It’s crazy to believe that the reindeer have more space than the humans in the condo! Obviously, it’s because they need more space to practice their flying skills before Santa starts recruiting!
Even though most of the residents of Whittier choose to avoid the cold, there are some who brave the frigid temperatures and make their lives outside of the condo building. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that those people are busiest during the summer months when Whittier is booming with tourists. Every single year, Whittier receives over 700,000 tourists trying to get a taste of the Alaskan lifestyle.
For those that do want to stay in Whittier, June Miller is the person to talk to. June has a bed & breakfast at the very top of Begich Tower, and she loves receiving company! Just don’t be surprised if she hands you a pair of binoculars while you visit.
Photographer Reed Young has stayed in June’s B&B when she was giving out binoculars. “A lot of people keep them there to watch whales breaching and mountain goats grazing and things like that. But June always told us that these are basically for finding out if your husband’s at the bar,” explained Reed.
Erika Thompson loves living in Whittier, but why does she think that so many people are drawn there? “Some people love it because it can be really social. And some people love it because it can be reclusive,” explained Erika. Well, we already know that Reddit user HyruleanHero1998 braved the cold to see what all the fuss was about!
Thanks to our Reddit user, we all got to get a quick peek into the lives of the people of Whittier, Alaska. So what do you think? Are you planning a trip to the Alaskan frontier? Or are you looking forward to spending your vacation in a warmer climate, like Florida?