Expensive road won't make travel cheap

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2004

In reply to Charley Larson's question from Sunday's letters (Oct. 10), "How to you respond to people that would like to have access out of Juneau, but simply cannot afford to fly or take the ferry?" Here is the answer. Save a bit more money before leaving town.

I rarely left Juneau for my first 25 years here, because I could neither afford to nor think of a better place to go. Then in 1995 I bought a cargo van and discovered the Skagway-Atlin-Whitehorse triangle. That became my summer trip, every other year, until they stopped renting houseboats in Atlin; now I just fly to Whitehorse to play golf periodically.

The point is, like any vacation, the real expense is once you get there. If one cannot afford the air or ferry fare to leave, as was my case for 25 years, then you really can't afford to visit a destination, even Seattle or Anchorage, unless visiting family. That's the reality of traveling from Juneau. Providing an expensive road north doesn't solve the need for personal funds once you get somewhere else. If the logic for the road becomes an opportunity for the poor to drive to Whitehorse to "save money shopping," then it is a short-sighted flight of fantasy that will never transpire.

Chip Thoma


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