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Travel: Governor Bone Still Right

In his book,

Bone, Scott C. 1925. Alaska, its past, present, future. [Juneau, Alaska?]: Issued by the Governor’s Office.

Territorial Governor Bone makes a number of observations about Alaska, Alaskans and attitudes toward Alaska that could come from Alaskan politicians today.

On page 4, he utters one such eternal truth:

“Alaskans themselves, in major number, have seen little of Alaska. Eight out of ten of them have only glimpsed small sections of the Territory.”

That’s likely still true for most Alaskans. I know it’s true for me. I have lived in Alaska since 1998 and I can still count the number of towns I’ve visited on both hands:

Juneau (Where I live)

Haines

Skagway

Sitka

Tenakee Springs

Gustavus

Anchorage

Fairbanks

Barrow

Kodiak

The closest I’ve ever been to Denali (Mt McKinley) has been seeing it from either Anchorage or Fairbanks. I haven’t even been to all the communities within Southeast Alaska, much less the interior or the Aleutians.

Since I know by now I have *some* Alaskan readers, what has your experience been? How long have you lived here and how many places have you been?

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4 Responses

  1. I’ve seen a bit more, but I’ve been here longer. I think the cost of traveling in Alaska is a major factor. When you have a choice between an off road Alaska trip and London, Hawaii, or Mexico for the same price or less, warmer climes (in the winter) or interesting cities win out.

    I think the people who have seen the most of Alaska are people whose travel gets paid by their employers and sports enthusiasts who are willing to pay a lot to go hunting, fishing, or kayaking in remote areas.

    And smaller communities can be daunting – you usually can’t book a hotel room. In some ways it’s like walking into a stranger’s house It feels like you should have an invite, not just drop in.

  2. Hi Steve, Thanks for stopping by. I think you make several good points. Most, but not all of the places I listed were a result of travel paid by my employer.

  3. I came to Alaska in 1995 and lived in Fairbanks, College, and Bethel (and now Anchorage). Fortunately, I have actually been to the following (wow, that’s a longer list than I thought) —

    Atmautluak
    Akiachak
    Ambler
    Anchorage
    Anderson
    Arctic Village
    Bethel
    Big Delta
    Cantwell
    Central
    Chevak
    Circle
    Clear
    Coldfoot
    College
    Delta Junction
    Deltana
    Dillingham
    Dot Lake
    Dot Lake Village
    Dry Creek
    Eklutna
    Ester
    Fairbanks
    Fox
    Ft Greely
    Ft Yukon
    Galena
    Girdwood
    Goodnews Bay
    Haines
    Healy Lake
    Homer
    Houston
    Juneau
    Kaltag
    Kasigluk
    Ketchikan
    Kipnuk
    Kobuk
    Kongiganak
    Kotlik
    Kwethluk
    Kwigillingok
    LIvengood
    Manley Hot Springs
    Mekoyruk
    Mentasta Lake
    Minto
    Moose Creek
    Napakiak
    Napaskiak
    Nenana
    Nome
    North Pole
    Northway Junction
    Northway Village
    Nunapitchuk
    Palmer
    Paxson
    Petersburg
    Salcha
    Scammon Bay
    Shungak
    Sitka
    Slana
    Tanacross
    Tanana
    Tetlin
    Tok
    Toksook Bay
    Toolik Lake
    Two Rivers
    Venetie
    Wasilla
    Whitestone
    Whittier
    Willow
    Wiseman

    Never been to Kenai, Denali, Barrow, Kodiak, Attu, Kotzebue, Unalaska, Nuiqsut, St Lawrence, or Diomede

  4. PS– from the road system, it isn’t that difficult to see a lot of places. Without driving, though, it is mostly a work trip.

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