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Can't Get There From Here

Juneau is the capital of Alaska, but did you know that you cannot drive there from anywhere?

You can fly into Juneau or you can take a ferry to Juneau, but you can't actually drive there.  There are no roads into Juneau.  Can you imagine not being able to drive to the State Capital in the state where you live? 

Normally, a lot of business and a lot of government takes place in a state's Capital.  Not having easy access to it would create lots of problems, wouldn't it?  Well, not in Alaska. 

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Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau

In fact, up until a few years ago Juneau was two time zones or more away from the rest of the state.  A few years ago Alaska had five time zones.  Now we have only two time zones and our Capital is now in the same time zone as most of the state.

Governor Frank Murkowski has a transportation plan that would include the building of a 65 mile road from Juneau to Skagway by the year 2010.  That would connect Juneau by road to Anchorage, Fairbanks, and much of Alaska.

Of course, you would have to drive through part of Canada to get to Skagway.  Not a big deal, since Canada still likes us.

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Tracey Arm fjord, near Juneau Alaska

However, many Alaskans are not too thrilled by the idea of building an expensive road to Juneau.  According to Skagway business owner, Jan Wrentmore, "It will be as stupid an idea in 2010 as it is now."

Part of the issue is that Skagway and Haines depend on the marine ferry system for business, since Skagway and Haines are the northernmost terminus for tourists who want to disembark the ferry and drive.  The fear is that Juneau would become the northernmost stopping point for the ferry if a road is built from Juneau to Skagway.

"We lose our status of what we've had for 100 years," said Jan Wrentmore.  "It creates a competing port."

Of course, the rest of Alaska doesn't really care about the competing port issue.  The point is that the rest of Alaska doesn't really care about the whole issue.  Our legislators at the State Capital seem to get along just fine the way things are currently. 

Change comes slowly in Alaska and I would guess that this issue will be talked about for a good many more years to come. 

If we talk about it long enough, eventually it will become a mute issue.  We won't need a road.  Eventually we'll be able to teleport ourselves to the Capital if we wish.

Beam me up Governor.


Garry Gamber is a public school teacher and entrepreneur. He writes articles about real estate, health and nutrition, and internet dating services. He is the owner of and

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Rain forest deap trees and green vegetation in Glacier Gardens, Juneau, Alaska

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