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Thread: Chance to move to Delta Junction what should I expect?

  1. #1
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    Default Chance to move to Delta Junction what should I expect?

    New poster here in need of information on Delta Junction.
    A job just opened there and I am seriously considdering it but have never been to the Delta area. This may be our chance to move up there! I have spent a summer in Nondalton a few years ago and my wife and I drove around the south central part of the state last summer for a week. I fell in love with the state on my first visit and my wife fell in love with it last summer. One of our favorite places was Healey and the other was Homer. I think if this job was in Homer my mind would be made up, but with never seing Delta Junction I'm not sure what to think.

    We (me, wife, son 11, and daughter 6) are outdoors people and thats a lot of the appeal. We all hunt and fish and hike and explore as much as we can here in northern NM. We live in a rural area and drive 17 and 10 miles to work in towns with less than 300 people so the low population is what we like. The nearest Wally world is 1.5 hours away, but we generally drive 3hrs to a bigger town when we need many supplies or health care. I guess I'm saying i think we can handle most of the issues that come along with being "in the boonies".

    The main thing we are worried about is the winter. We get cold (for us anyway),below 0, here but usually its only a few days a year and stay under freezing a couple weeks at a time during Jan and Feb. We also have had snow on the ground for months and sometimes it gets deep enough to touch the mirrors on the pickup. What worries me is that it might be below freezing for 3 months and dark most of that period. What do you do then? I guess the darkness and temps below 0 are the biggest concern.

    Could someone please tell me about the area, community and winters? I have read through this forum where it is recommended to stay active and you dont dread the winters as much. This makes sense but man how do you stay active a -30? Mostly indoors activities maybe? Whats available?

    All info and help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Last winter was bad but the temperature moves around a fair bit, so getting outside in the winter is pretty much of a snap. I think winter is when Alaska really turns into Alaska. I have a dog team and that's a lot of fun, plus there's snow machining, ice fishing, backcountry skiing, and so on. A lot of the interior is really boggy during the summer and when things freeze up you're actually able to get to a lot more places in the bush. I find the dark a little wearing but otherwise winter here is pretty fantastic. And March, when the days starting getting long and bright but you've still got lots of snow and good ice.

    I've found that the only time of year that I really can't get out and about in the outdoors is breakup, and fortunately that's over pretty fast. I know people who enjoy mud bogging so they even like that. There's something for everybody.

  3. #3
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Based on your post, Delta would probably work for you. It is 1.5 hours from Fairbanks and all the big box stores. There is good outdoor recreation right around Delta, and near bye. The Delta Clearwater offers great fishing into October if you want to. Quartz lake is only a few minutes away.

    The big negative is that the wind is always blowing there in the winter making it feel even colder. Utilities will be sky high, .23 kWh electric and $4 a gallon for heating oil. On the plus side there is no local government so no property taxes.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I live in Delta and most of the info is true- excellent outdoor rec, high utilities and no taxes. Very cold winters.

    Winter is darn cold but drier than you're probably used to. Makes a big difference. It can get to -50 or -60F but it usually doesn't last long. I'd say average winter temp is -20F. I cross country ski until -30F without issue. Getting outside is paramount to surviving the winter time- trapping, skiing, snow machining, skating, hockey, ice fishing are all popular winter activities.

    I feel like I get more daylight here than when I lived in Anchorage since we usually have clear weather in winter as opposed to the cloudier coastal areas, even though we have less hours of it. Population is pretty low and spread out somewhat, most necessities are available in town but sanity runs to Fairbanks are pretty common. Depending on what job you have and prior military service- Ft. Greely has a small PX. Post also has a bowling alley and movie theater.

    PM me your number if you need some more info.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    The wind in winter and the sunlight in the summer. Both take time to get used to.

    Winter activities: x- country skiing, snowmachining, ice fishing, cards, good books, Netflix, reindeer games....

    The only thing that bothers me about delta are the guys that hunt ducks on the ice free spring fed river sections. I hate those guys in december.

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    Wow, Thanks for the posts. I appreciate your input.
    So the winters might not drive us insane, but maybe close! I think we would be able to adapt.

    The next big worry is cost of living. What level of comfort would a $70k salary provide? We arent used to having a big house and fancy things, but we do like to play. Now, playing (outdoor rec) is our biggest expense as we have to travel to do it. I would imagine the same up there, but how far would we need to travel is hard to figure out.
    We are used to getting taters and eggs and essentials locally then stocking up on everything else when we go to town. The heating costs i imagine are high. What would it cost to heat a 1800 sf normal house for a month in the winter? it looks like the base price of a 3bed 2 bath newer home is about 200k. Is that what we should expect to pay? i figured we could find something for 150, but only see a couple of those.

    Oh, does anyone happen to have any pictures of the area? Id really like to see some pictures of the town and surroundings.

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Depending on the construction you would probably be looking at 800-1200 gallons of heating oil per year without a wood stove. Keep in mind that most of it will be used Nov-Feb. Price has been over $4/g. for a while now. Expect $200-300 a month for electric as well.

    You can significantly reduce your heating costs with a good wood stove and a little work cutting firewood.

    Goodpasture04.jpg
    The Tanana River bridge

    Goodpasture01.jpg
    Highway lookout North of Delta looking south

    You can use Google Maps streetview to do a virtual drive through of Delta if you want to get a feel for the town.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Well it looks like the job did not turn out to be what I was expecting, so for now moving to AK will be put on hold. I appreciate the help provided here and if anyone needs help relocating to NM I'd be glad to assist. It looks like for the time being we will just save some money up and try to make it to Alaska as tourists every few years.

    Thanks Again!

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    You spend $700 per month on heat? Based on 1200 gallons of fuel at $4 and 300 per month for power? Ouch! We had free power and natural gas when I lived in Barrow, I had forgot what the rest of Alaska was paying to keep warm.

  10. #10
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Chance to move to Delta Junction what should I expect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waidmannsheil View Post
    You spend $700 per month on heat? Based on 1200 gallons of fuel at $4 and 300 per month for power? Ouch! We had free power and natural gas when I lived in Barrow, I had forgot what the rest of Alaska was paying to keep warm.
    I think you meant to say "subsidized" power and natural gas. Nothing is "free" if you aren't paying for it then someone else is.

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    It's been abou 13 years. The Village paid for power and gas for everyone in the Apartments. Not that there is much living for North Slope Borough Employees outside of those apartments.

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