Car Buying in Southeast Alaska

I saw a car on Craigslist yesterday. A newer Nissan Leaf than we had, and at a good price. The car was in Skagway. I sent an email to the Craigslister, but no response. I figured at the price they were asking, it would be gone right away. Then I thought- maybe Skagway has a buy sell trade facebook page.

Boom. There it is.

And there is the car listed there, too. Several people had inquired about this and that. But no one said I’ll take it. So I said I’ll take it. I said I can be up there tomorrow on the plane, and bring it back on the ferry. But no!  My message was not sent as I needed to be screened by the facebook page administrators!  Oh well. Easy come. Easy go.

I almost forgot about it til I got a phone message as the phone didn’t ring somehow  I was first on the list for buying the car from responses from Craigslist!  I called back and I was in!  This was at 5:15 pm. But how to pay?  They only had Wells Fargo Bank in Skagway, and I had dropped my WF account!  I’ll call you right back, I said!  I called my bank and they were open for 15 more minutes!  I called back the seller and said I’ll be there tomorrow with cash!  I hung up and off I went to the bank for cash just before closing.

Sara got me to the airport at 7 am this morning for the 8 am flight. The ferry was to depart Skagway at 1145, and the ferry website said I should be there at 945 am, but most of the time, it’s just be there an hour ahead at the small ports, so I hoped it would work out.

We were half an hour late leaving Juneau, and had a stop in Haines. We got to Skagway at 930. I called the ferry terminal, and when they said I needed to be there by 1045 (and not 945), I knew all would be well. When I walked into the airport, there was the car seller waiting for me.

I drove the car from the airport to the ferry terminal, took a quick look underneath, and we walked into a stiff wind into the ferry terminal  to do the paperwork. Then I took the seller to his home on the road to Dyea. Turns out he works at the border, and so I got a few stories out of him about illegal this and that episodes coming through the border.

I had time on my way back to the ferry to get some coffee. And that took some doing. Skagway is largely a ghost town in the winter. 90 percent of the store fronts are closed. So I just looked for some parked cars on the deserted streets. Finally, I turned down a block and there were several cars parked. And a cafe with an “open sign”. Here we are.

I went in looking for just coffee, but couldn’t resist a veggie breakfast burrito. It would sit with me all day until I got a salad on the ferry at 6 pm near Juneau. Really nice people there.

I boarded the ferry about 11 am, and settled in. We left at 1145, and arrived in Haines at 1245. Left again 2 hours later, and were on our way to Juneau.

Lynn Canal is stunning stretch of ocean with snow capped mountains on either side. I’ll never tire of this scenery, I thought. Some ladies nearby from Haines talked of one of them having newly bought land in the Arizona desert as we headed south with the mountains on either side, and I thought: I’ll never leave this place.

Subscribe to Mark's blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.