Alaska took my breath away. No, really. I stepped out of Fairbanks airport on a star-spangled winter evening and gasped on air so cold — the temperature was somewhere around minus 30C — it almost made me choke.
I love winter, but British ones are too often grey, wet and frankly depressing. Alaska, on the other hand, does winter properly, and with locally rented kit and some common sense you can face pretty much anything Mother Nature throws at you. Which is why I left the terminal building looking like the Michelin man, swaddled in a hooded parka, insulated salopettes, thermal gloves and heavy snow-proof boots.
If all this sounds a bit extreme — and the lowest temperature recorded here was minus 62C — winter