Spread the word

Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Tourist season is officially open again, amidst hail, snow, rain, wind and daytime highs in the 40s.

We are Alaska. Situated in a northern rain forest, gaining daylight hours, by the minute. It will get warmer. What if it didn't? What if it was wet, cold and windy all summer? It could happen. Global warming affects the weather.

Back when I was more directly in touch with the tourists, I would hear complaints like: "When does the sun shine here?" And: "Does it always rain here?" Or "How can you stand to be so isolated?" Negative stuff? Maybe, but I can recall back then that I was moved to feel a little bit apologetic about our beautiful weather and our isolation.

Now, I have a rather different take on it all.

But first consider this: Fairly recently we have had various task forces and special committees looking into ways to protect our precious, short, and once relatively private, summer from the many hundreds of thousands of curiosity seekers, but I have seen few tangible results. Unless one were to count less, but bigger ships with even more tourists aboard, who stay longer. Or the encouragement of unlimited entry of tourist-caterers, who are asked to self-regulate their own topsy-turvy industry. Or a hastily constructed traffic divider for tour-buses to U-turn on South Franklin Street. Now, if you count those, and a giant-ship's electrical plug-in system, tapping into our local-watts, then I think things are getting accomplished.

But alas, our truly beautiful, rugged, Alaska weather would seem to be our very best tourist-action committee yet. For as these multi-thousands get home again they should quickly spread their words of adventure:

Like, "I was never so damned cold and wet in my entire life, and the wind blew all the time."

Alan R. Munro


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