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Old 01-31-2012, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Valdez, Alaska
2,762 posts, read 4,196,334 times
Reputation: 2778

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I really disagree with the absolute need to visit a place before taking a job there. If you and your family are reasonably flexible and have a good sense of humor, moving to a totally new place might be a really fun adventure. My brother and his wife moved to Japan for two years completely sight-unseen (and that's a much bigger change than what you're looking at, which is still significant). The adjustment has been difficult at times, but they've had a lot of fun and are glad they took the chance. Personally, I'd visited Alaska twice before moving, but had only spent a total of 20 minutes in the town I moved to, just long enough to get gas and turn back around. I didn't ever make a special trip up to check out this particular town - didn't even know I was moving here until six weeks before I did. And again, the adjustment has been a bit trying at times, but I'm glad I did it, just like the other times I've moved across the country to a place I'd never been. On the other hand, my mom did make a specific trip to visit the town in South America she was wanting to retire to, and a year later she hates it there and wants to move to another town.

I personally don't think visiting anywhere for a day or a week will tell you whether you'd be happy living there long-term. It may be better than not visiting at all, but you probably won't get much of a handle on local issues/personalities. And the things that may wear on you here, like weather and transportation issues, probably won't bother you much on a short visit. Be honest with yourself about how well your family deals with change, how self-motivated you are to make your own entertainment, and take a hard look at the differences in terms of amenities, climate, and so on. And since you have kids, what kind of impact will it have on them if you wind up only living here for a year or two? Will you all be happy for the experience or will it disrupt their lives too much?

Last edited by tigre79; 01-31-2012 at 09:51 PM..
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,904 posts, read 11,690,350 times
Reputation: 5559
We moved to Barrow without ever having visited first. Shell shocked, culture shock, the whole thing. I wouldn't have done it any other way. The adventure was worth it!! It seems now days people are too weak. They never want to take any type of risk.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,352 posts, read 15,849,431 times
Reputation: 3995
One key point in living in most of SE Alaska is that you can't drive for very long before you get to the end of the road. The flip side is that, once you get to a port where you can drive for a long time, you have to drive for a long time to get to where you might want to go. For most here, it's not that big of a deal, but someone new will realize how isolated it is. Every trip need to be planned out to some extent and we're talking several days of travel each way. That's why a lot of travel is by air. Also, travel by car will require a passport, as most trips will require travel through Canada.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Kitschk-hin
162 posts, read 277,520 times
Reputation: 157
I heard somewhere that Petersburg has a higher per capita income than most other SE towns. I guess the fishing is especially lucrative.

I also heard (more heresay) that there's talk of closing the airport at either Wrangell or Petersburg and setting up a little ferry between them so they share an airport. Right now, the AK Air flights that serve the two towns go Ketchikan-Wrangell-Petersburg-Juneau. The flight time between Wrangell and Petersburg is something like 11 minutes, but it makes the whole thing much longer because there's all the waiting in both towns, take off and landing time, etc. It makes sense to me, but I'm not the one getting my airport taken away. Heck, it might not even be true, but it is something to be aware of because if it is true and they close the Petersburg airport, you're that much more isolated. But don't feel bad, I have to take a ferry to get to my airport too.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Puna, Hawaii
1,475 posts, read 1,865,479 times
Reputation: 1647
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyAuke View Post
I heard somewhere that Petersburg has a higher per capita income than most other SE towns. I guess the fishing is especially lucrative.

I also heard (more heresay) that there's talk of closing the airport at either Wrangell or Petersburg and setting up a little ferry between them so they share an airport. Right now, the AK Air flights that serve the two towns go Ketchikan-Wrangell-Petersburg-Juneau. The flight time between Wrangell and Petersburg is something like 11 minutes, but it makes the whole thing much longer because there's all the waiting in both towns, take off and landing time, etc. It makes sense to me, but I'm not the one getting my airport taken away. Heck, it might not even be true, but it is something to be aware of because if it is true and they close the Petersburg airport, you're that much more isolated. But don't feel bad, I have to take a ferry to get to my airport too.
I think the figure you are looking for is that Petersburg has more millionaires per capita than anywhere in Alaska. I think most of that is older family money when fishing was more lucrative. I don't know if the statement is actually true, but I hear it all the time.

They aren't going to close either the PSG or WRG airports. PSG was closed for awhile for runway work and they ran the ferry like you explained. Both towns ship in/out enough air cargo alone to keep the route lucrative, and the limited seating in the combi planes means they are usually full of passengers too. Sometimes in the summer you cant even get a seat and need to plan appropriately. Both airports are running on an "essential air service" contract meaning that Alaska Airlines gets a federal subsidy to provide service to the towns. Every time the subsidy is up for renewal rumors start that they are going to reduce service but I don't see that happening.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Puna, Hawaii
1,475 posts, read 1,865,479 times
Reputation: 1647
Quote:
Originally Posted by stiffnecked View Post
We moved to Barrow without ever having visited first. Shell shocked, culture shock, the whole thing. I wouldn't have done it any other way. The adventure was worth it!! It seems now days people are too weak. They never want to take any type of risk.
I also moved to Alaska sight and site unseen, and have zero regrets. Unfortunately I have met many people who barely got off the ferry or plane before they decided that they hated it and moved back with nothing but their memories and a big gaping hole in their bank account to show for it. Now I'm in the process of moving to Hawaii and I'm taking a different approach, four visits etc to decide if and where I wanted to go. And I'm SO happy I'm doing it more cautiously. If I had made this move like I made the Alaska move, Hawaii would have chewed me up and spit me out. I don't think its limited to the "type of person" or "adventurous spirit". Alaska is a big place. One town might be a love connection, and the next might be a big mistake. Yes, sometimes leaping without looking works out great. I'm proof of that 14 years later. But unfortunately, I would pin the odds at less than 50/50 that it works out for everybody. If you can fix those odds by taking a trip first, by all means do it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Kitschk-hin
162 posts, read 277,520 times
Reputation: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by terracore View Post
I think the figure you are looking for is that Petersburg has more millionaires per capita than anywhere in Alaska. I think most of that is older family money when fishing was more lucrative. I don't know if the statement is actually true, but I hear it all the time.

They aren't going to close either the PSG or WRG airports. PSG was closed for awhile for runway work and they ran the ferry like you explained. Both towns ship in/out enough air cargo alone to keep the route lucrative, and the limited seating in the combi planes means they are usually full of passengers too. Sometimes in the summer you cant even get a seat and need to plan appropriately. Both airports are running on an "essential air service" contract meaning that Alaska Airlines gets a federal subsidy to provide service to the towns. Every time the subsidy is up for renewal rumors start that they are going to reduce service but I don't see that happening.
Millionaires in Petersburg... from what I've seen of the town it's an odd thought. But, that sounds right to me.

I'm glad to hear they're keeping both airports open. I bet at least part of the reason that those flights are so crowded is that they only run like one non-stop flight from Ketchikan to Juneau (and on to Anchorage) every day and it fills up fast. Everyone else who wants to go north has to pile on the combis and bring some reading material.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Puna, Hawaii
1,475 posts, read 1,865,479 times
Reputation: 1647
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyAuke View Post
Millionaires in Petersburg... from what I've seen of the town it's an odd thought. But, that sounds right to me.

I'm glad to hear they're keeping both airports open. I bet at least part of the reason that those flights are so crowded is that they only run like one non-stop flight from Ketchikan to Juneau (and on to Anchorage) every day and it fills up fast. Everyone else who wants to go north has to pile on the combis and bring some reading material.
Yeah and if there is a flight delay and the plane has to spend any time on the runway in the sun during the summer with the engines off... my gawd the fish smell!
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:38 PM
 
Location: out in the woods
1 posts, read 3,357 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrammasCabin View Post
It is cold and wet up here most all the time, you're planning a move to a northern temperate rain forest. Your sun bonnets and sandals will be traded in for rubber X-tra tuffs and rain gear, except when you need longjohns and fur mittens. We get a couple good months, May & June lately with sun & temps in the 70's, pushing 80's once in a while.
I think that climate is about as close to perfect as it gets! But, then again, I AM crazy, so they tell me. I'm not happy unless the temp is below 70! Which is one of several reasons why I feel Alaska is a good place for me to move to. The more I learn, the more I feel like Petersburg would be a wonderful place to live!
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:08 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,691,220 times
Reputation: 2153
Another thread of 'moving for a job' and we don't get to know whether the person made the move or not. Or likes it there or not...
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