All photos: nineroots

Meet your guide to the largest, emptiest, least explored American state.

THOUGH NOT BORN or bred in Alaska, Matador member nineroots spent several years in this vast, unknown chunk of America, both on the “road system” and in “the bush.”

I moved up to Alaska on a whim that lasted six years. I quickly fell in love with the simple, back-to-the-land, lifestyle that is inherent in such an extreme climate.

For a few years, I lived…in the amazing community of Talkeetna, known for it’s river rafting, history, bluegrass festival and for being a jumping off point for climbers to Denali. In a struggle to stay employed year round, I moved out to…a fly-in Athabascan village on the Yukon River called Galena for a couple more years.

This is where I discovered the true Alaska.

A writer, teacher, mentor, and part-time ebayer, nineroots (and her husband and daughter) has cracked the code to flexible living, enjoying the freedom to travel when and how she likes. You could call it the Matador vision.

She’s also happy to share what she’s learned about the Last Frontier with anyone heading that way.

I can give info for almost all areas on the road system including the Alaska Marine Highway in Southeast Alaska and on some of the Interior such as Fairbanks and Yukon River villages.

Each bush village is unique and expensive and difficult to reach; I haven’t been to most of them, but I’ve known someone from most of them.

Connecting with nineroots — to pose a question or just say hey — is easy. Log in to your Matador profile (don’t have one yet? sign up), visit her profile page, and send a private message.

Community Connection

If you have a destination, chances are Matador has an expert. You can browse the full list, or see some of those who’ve been featured here at Trips.