This is a portion of the poem "The Spell of the Yukon" by Robert Service. It's too long a poem to type the whole thing out, but here are a few verses that epitomize why Alaska makes you sit, and sit, and gaze with your eyes open and your mouth shut. This poem is meant to be lingered over...
"I've stood in some mighty-mouthed hollow
That's plumb full of hush to the brim;
I've watched the big, husky sun wallow
In crimson and gold and grow dim,
Till the moon set the pearly peaks gleaming,
And the stars tumbled out, neck and crop;
And I've thought that I surely was dreaming,
With the peace o' the world piled on top."
"The winter! the brightness that blinds you,
The white land locked tight as a drum,
The cold fear that follows and finds you,
The silence that bludgeons you dumb.
The snows that are older than history,
The woods where the weird shadows slant;
The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery,
I've bade them good-by - but I can't."
Every time I leave I say I won't go back, but darned if I haven't just made reservations to go to Rachel's wedding in Anchorage in May. And I'm looking forward to it. Weird.