On my travels through Alaska I have begun to get an appreciation on just how big this state is. When visiting with the local Alaskans the one thing that struck me is how often I saw the state map hanging up in restaurants, homes and businesses. The only other time I have experienced this type of state pride is when I visited Texas and witnessed the all Lone Star state flags on display.
In Alaska, land is divided up into boroughs and not counties, but don't be fooled. According to the locals I met in Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough where the Horseshoe Lake Firewise Communities/USA® is located, the Mat-Su borough is bigger than the state of West Virginia. At 591,000 square miles, Alaska is as wide as the lower 48 states and bigger than Texas, California and Montana combined, hence the local native peoples (Aleut) word for Alaska is Alyeska meaning 'the Great Land' and justifiably so.