Gravel on the Alaskan winter roads
Just a quick note: As I just heard a bunch of noise in the parking lot while working, I looked outside, and was reminded that they don't put salt on the roads here in Alaska; they put down gravel instead.
Somehow I managed to forget this, but when I first drove through Canada and into Alaska last March, all the snowy roads were covered in this black gravel, and the roads with no snow on them also had a thin layer of black gravel. As you can imagine, everything looked pretty dirty at that time, and I have to wonder if that dirtiness didn't play into my decision not to move to the first towns I looked at: Soldotna, Kenai, Homer, and Seward.
One nice thing about the gravel: They also sweep it back up off the roads in April or May. I'm told that they recycle it and use it again the next winter.