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See Alaska now! (before Putin gets any more ideas)

March 19, 2014|By Christopher Reynolds
  • Iditarod musher John Baker of Kotzebue, Alaska, comes into the Unalakleet checkpoint at sunrise during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Iditarod musher John Baker of Kotzebue, Alaska, comes into the Unalakleet… (Bob Hallinen / Associated…)

Just a few weeks ago, I was raving about the wonders of Moscow amid the unpredictability of Russian history. Then came Ukraine and Crimea. Now I’m thinking some travelers might want to try Alaska first. Just in case, you know, the annexation continues.

I’d start with 10 spots:

-- Walk the streets of Anchorage before they hang out the "Welcome to Putingrad" signs.

-- Ride a ferry in Ketchikan, before the Bridge to Nowhere is revived and rerouted through the Sea of Okhotsk.

-- Enjoy the view from Wasilla while it still excludes Russian troops.

-- Savor the quiet on Kodiak Island. That's all bound to change when the Pussy Riot ladies show up with their amps.

-- Enter the Iditarod while the sled dogs still understand English.

-- Climb Mt. McKinley before somebody decides to spend $51 billion transforming it into a Summer Olympics venue.

-- Sink your teeth into a Homer halibut steak -- without the smetana, pampushky and shkvarkas on the side, thanks very much.

-- Stroll the meadows at the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve before that new Trans-Siberian Railway extension arrives.

-- Spy on grizzlies cavorting unmolested in Katmai National Park. Because you know eventually some shirtless James Bond wannabe is going to show up and demand to wrestle them.

-- Admire the state capitol in Juneau, so you can remember how it looked before Edward Snowden became governor.

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