When you think of Alaska, what comes to mind? Remote cabins and subsistence living? Bears showing up in weird places? Near-death experiences in the backcountry? The fact that it's 2017 and we still don't have a Whole Foods and maybe we just never will?
Many aspects of life define this place of unique extremes to different people. We wanted to look back on some of this year's stories that show what life is like in the Last Frontier.
Here's a subjective list of what we thought were some of our "most Alaska" stories of 2017:
An 11-year-old Anchorage boy was in his room when a bear crashed in through the window. "He was so close, I could reach out and touch him."
An ADN reporter and multimedia journalist spent a week on Alaska's St. Lawrence Island and came back with striking stories about subsistence meals of whale and walrus, foraging from the Bering Sea shore, and disappearing ice.
One October day in Utqiagvik, America's northernmost city, a 450-pound bearded seal was just chillin' on the airport runway. The state's transportation department filed it under "#alaskaproblems."
Someone trolled Anchorage with a fake sign indicating the grocery chain was finally coming here. Hopes were dashed when the company said no, it has no plans right now for a store in Alaska.
Tourists and locals alike are drawn to an unregulated water pipe jutting from a rock wall at Mile 109 on the Seward Highway, often dashing across the busy road to fill up their jugs and bottles.
A moose was caught on video charging skiers and snowboarders who were waiting in line for a lift at Alyeska Resort. The next day, it was shot to death.
The story of how two brothers got to Fairbanks from the Lower 48 decades ago via plane, ferry, train, rubber raft and hitchhiking. One of them went on to work at Prudhoe Bay and also became a pilot. Peak Alaska.
A dead whale spent some time floating near the Port of Anchorage before washing up at Kincaid Beach and then rotting there. It smelled horrifying, but that didn't keep people and their smartphones away.
Alaska Airlines retired its Boeing 737-400 Combi planes this year. Those planes, which primarily operated in Alaska, had passenger seating in the back and all kinds of freight up front.
"Feral rabbits are as common in downtown Valdez as squirrels in other parts of the United States," according to this story. Pro-bunny and anti-bunny sentiments across town abound. Apparently some people think this is a "problem."
This writer tells the story of how frustrating it can be not to understand the language of her own family, and the painful historical reasons why.
An ADN hunting columnist explains how to go about hunting for shed moose antlers in the Alaska wilderness. Maybe the secret is not to look so hard.
Matanuska Thunder F— is a marijuana strain shrouded in myth, and the real thing is thought to be hard to come by. This story explains its history as "an Alaskan classic."
Some people in the Lower 48 might long for the years of spending Friday night at Blockbuster. But here, the brand lives on. This story explains just how video stores in Alaska manage to continue in the age of Netflix — and even attract people who just come in for the novelty.
Pods of killer whales chasing down halibut and black cod are becoming a real problem for fishermen, in some cases leaving just halibut "lips" still attached to hooks. "It's gotten completely out of control," one fisherman said.
A climber on Denali fell deep into a crevasse. After an extraordinary 14-hour rescue mission to free him from snow and ice, he survived.
This writer tells the story of an Indonesian exchange student who came to live with him and his wife, who are mushers, in Kasilof. Some catches, though: The student had never even known anyone who owned a dog, and it was against her religion for dog saliva to come into contact with her skin. Eye-opening adventures ensue.
This story is a look at the moose subsistence lifestyle in rural Alaska where, in hunting season, airports see meat-filled coolers as checked bags. "It's part of me," said one hunter. "I can't separate that from myself, really."
Did you know that part of the history of the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks involves the frigid Interior city embarrassing itself decades ago by importing ice from Seattle? This is the story of what happened.
In Sand Point, a fisherman was untangling a net off the back of a boat when a huge sea lion jumped onto the vessel, bit his calf and tried to drag him into the water.
A look at some Alaska women who are making animals come alive again. Fun fact: Sometimes they use flesh-eating beetles to do it.
In the annual Nenana Ice Classic contest, people guess the exact moment a tripod on the icy Tanana River will travel 100 feet downstream and stop a clock onshore, marking the time of spring breakup. This story looks at the mechanics behind how it all works.
Fourteen writers across Alaska weave beautiful vignettes of why they live where they live. Their stories include a log cabin post office in Slana, emerald tundra in Dutch Harbor, and "smelling north."
What were some of your favorite Alaska stories of the year? Share them with us in the comments section.