Four-Wheelers & Snowmobiles!!

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Four-Wheelers & Snowmobiles!!

Postby jamieburgess » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:48 am

So living in the bush, I know if you don't have a four wheeler or snowmobile you're pretty much restricted to walking or flying. Is it worth it to invest in a four-wheeler or snowmobile? Do folks departing the state often try to sell theirs? Buying new is very expensive, and I don't want to be stuck with payments if I decide I will not stay long in the state. If I go used, where do I look? How much does it cost to get a machine shipped out to a village?

Thoughts?
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Re: Four-Wheelers & Snowmobiles!!

Postby Johncn » Fri May 01, 2015 5:29 pm

Hi,

I usually advise new staff to wait until their second year to get an ATV or snowmachine (snowmobile in Lower 48). Yes, departing staff often sell them, but usually those leaving sell them prior to your arrival.

The key is that in your village, you are not going to need wheels to get around. You will walk on the boardwalk to work and back, and the store and Post Office will not be far away. Your mail will probably be moved by the school district maintenance prior to your arrival (if mailed to yourself care of the district), and other staff with transport will help you out. Folks you meet and befriend with boats will take your fishing, and probably out for rides to see the tundra and on the ice road (Kuskokwim River) in the winter. It is possible to get to Bethel by snowmachine (or truck for that matter) in the winter, but you will not be skilled enough in that sort of travel your first year...overflow (fluid water on top of the ice), changing ice conditions and so on take a while to learn to read. I'd take it slow. Same with boating. It's a big body of moving water, frequently drifting logs and other obstacles. Unless you have a history with that sort of boating, best leave it to those who do for now.

You may enjoy this:

On the Ice Road - Bethel to Akiak
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vSQMtM6-Rg

Once you are there a while and see what you prefer, you can ask around about options for new and/or used rigs for whatever mode of transport you prefer. I'd definitely wait, but that's just my two cents.

Regards,

John
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Re: Four-Wheelers & Snowmobiles!!

Postby Bushteachers » Fri May 08, 2015 12:46 pm

jamieburgess wrote:So living in the bush, I know if you don't have a four wheeler or snowmobile you're pretty much restricted to walking or flying. Is it worth it to invest in a four-wheeler or snowmobile? Do folks departing the state often try to sell theirs? Buying new is very expensive, and I don't want to be stuck with payments if I decide I will not stay long in the state. If I go used, where do I look? How much does it cost to get a machine shipped out to a village?

Thoughts?


Wait until you arrive. Make sure that the bush is for you, however if you can afford it, get something. Getting out of the village is way better than staying in your living quarters all winter.
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