Remote: Tenakee Springs Alaska

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I heard that the word in our ear this week is “remote” and that inspired me to post on Tenakee Springs in Southeast Alaska. This town of about 100 people is remote!

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It is on Chichagof Island, on the Tenakee Inlet. The only way to get here is by water or air.

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There are no roads coming in and it could be argued if the dirt road is maybe just a wide path. It is impossible to get lost because there aren’t any turns – only a bend in the path that follows the curve of the beach.

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Transportation is pretty simple. There are a couple of trucks in town, used for work. Getting a car into town would be expensive and then there isn’t anywhere to take it. Parking is also a problem.

I find the houses in places I visit interesting because they trigger my imagination about the people who live there and what their life is like. The inhabitants of Tenakee Springs are a mixture of full-time and summer inhabitants.

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It seems that this community was built around the hot springs that are in the middle of town. Men and women have different hours at the bath house, but we were asked not to go in to respect their privacy.

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We visited the community on a Sunday morning so it was very quiet, but I passed a couple of people who gave a warm hello. I could tell people are happy here because there were casual and whimsical decorations everywhere I looked.

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It seems that the people who call Tenakee Springs their home like it just the way it is. Some people in Hoonah, on the other side of the island, want to build a road to Tenakee Springs, but people here don’t want it. A car ferry also wants to stop here, but they are fighting that, too – because then they would have to build a parking lot down by the dock.

I fell in love with Tenakee Springs, but there is one last secret – and I am saving that for another post.

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20 Comments »

  1. It looks pretty darn perfect, and as someone living in an area that is being regenerated, I think your comment to Charlie is spot on. We are increasingly asking just who the regeneration is for, because it doesn’t seem to be for those already living here.

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    • It would be nice if someone put money into improving housing for those living there, or improving infrastructure in the way residents want it. I bet noone asked you what you needed or wanted.

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