On January 3, 1959, Alaska was admitted to the United States as the 49th state. The population of the state is 626,932, as of 2000. The name "Alaska" is most likely derived from the Aleut word for "great country" or "mainland."
the Alaskan Bush is the remote, uncrowded part of the state.
Alaska, with its numerous islands, has nearly 34,000 miles (54,700 km) of coastline. The island chain extending west from the southern tip of Alaska is called the Aleutian Islands. Unimak Island in the Aleutians is home to Mt. Shishaldin, a moderately active volcano that rises to 9,980 ft (3,042 m) above sea level.
Much of Alaska is managed by the federal government as national forests, national parks, and national wildlife refuges. There are places in Alaska that are general public lands (BLM land) but they are arguably more spectacular than many national parks in the Lower 48. Many of Alaska's state parks would be national parks if they were in other states.
Much of Alaska is managed by corporations called ANCSA corporations, of which there are thirteen regional ones and dozens of local ones.
Alaska has various transportation options. Some of Alaska is connected by roads (and sometimes a tunnel) to the highways of Canada and the rest of the United States. These places are "on the road system". Along the Pacific Ocean, many places have freight and passenger service from ocean-going ships. Most places have air service, ranging from jets on tarmac to floatplanes on lakes.
The T. Coraghessan Boyle novel Drop City (2003, ISBN 0670031720) tells the story of a group of Hippies who relocate to Alaska.
Marcia Simpson (d. 2003) has written three books which describe what it's like to live in a small coastal community in Alaska: Rogue's Yarn (2003, ISBN 0425191982), Crow in Stolen Colors (2000, ISBN 1890208361) and Sound Tracks (2001, ISBN 1890208728).
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is the true story of Christopher McCandless, a college graduate and top student, who donated his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and moved into the Alaskan wilderness. 1997, ISBN 0385486804