Alaska’s been on my lifelong must-see list since long before the state took center stage in the current Presidential election.

Here are just a few reasons why:

5. Jaw-dropping, snow-capped scenery.

Photo by Unhindered by Talent (Creative Commons)

4. Haunting coastline.

Photo by Steve Deger (Creative Commons)

3. Cedar-planked wild salmon. ‘Nuff said.

Photo by woodleywonderworks (Creative Commons)

2. Killer wildlife.

Photo by Paul Resh (Creative Commons)

1. The Northern Lights, of course!

Photo by zhengxu (Creative Commons)

Clearly, the state packs a powerful punch in terms of travel appeal.

So what could possibly throw me off?

Just one crazy lady: Sarah Palin.

As far as I can tell, the new Vice-Presidential candidate stands for guns, abstinence-only education (how’s that goin’ for ya?), overturning Roe v. Wade, hockey (okay, I’m with her on that one), drilling for oil in Alaska’s wilderness refuges – and, of course, being pretty.

Give that ex-beauty queen a new tiara and a sash: she takes the prize for Scariest Up-and-Coming Politician on the scene in ’08.

Note: The above pic is photoshopped and is not legit.

But I’d bet it’s how “2nd Amendment Barbie” pictures herself in her dreams…