I felt very at home in Alaska. The dramatic and ever-changing landscape of the South Eastern panhandle, where glaciers and summer flowers could share the same frame, immediately felt both familiar and exciting.

The legacy of the gold rush, logging, fishing and other ways of life that still exist to a lesser extent may now be battling against the rise of kitsch and commercialisation brought in by cruise-taking visitors, but underneath there was an underpinning history and philosophy.

The towns and people seemed to embody the spirit of the frontier - functional, honest and very much part of the land. However, the contradictions were still there, notably in the seemingly happy co-existance of the most traditional of conservative Republicanism alongside a more liberal mass who had come to the Last Frontier to either drop out, escape or find something in their lives.

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