10 Things Alaska and Alabama have in Common


They Lay Claim to Wacky Town Names

The Alsaka state bird, the ptarmigan.
The Alsaka state bird, the ptarmigan.

Whether you're in Alaska or Alabama, there's no shortage of towns with fun-loving names -- and most have a history as interesting as their wacky monikers. Take Slapout, Ala., for instance. Turns out, the town grocer spent most of the early 1900s telling patrons he was "slap out" of the many items they requested. Now just a church, bank and barbershop remain in Slapout, and the only thing the town runs short of these days are new residents.

Chicken, Alaska, is named for a bird. But, no, not that one. Turns out the ptarmigan, a mealtime staple of gold rush Alaskans, looked temptingly like a chicken -- and was the only such poultry available at the time. Rather than continually misspelling the head-scratcher "ptarmigan," they went with the easier version: chicken. Less points when playing Scrabble, but the ptarmigan got its due. It's now the state bird.

Incidentally, if you're looking for an intriguing stop on your Alaskan tour, check out Manley Hot Springs. We don't know if it's as scenic as it sounds, but it's worth a look-see.