Thursday, May 10, 2012

Alaska, Where Old Trucks Go to Die

On a per capita basis I believe Alaska has more dead and dying trucks than any state in the union. Don't misunderstand me. They have a lot of macho, mondo, tricked out trucks as well. In fact, it appears Alaskans love their trucks, the bigger and bolder the better. But, as you leave the bigger towns and look down the driveways and side roads in the open country you will see faithful pickups in their death throes.
When you think about it, it makes sense. They use their trucks for hunting, camping, hauling fish, pulling trailers—all the stuff trucks are designed to do but never do in big cities in the lower 48. As they age they gather dents and rust spots and, eventually, are passed on to a new owner who can’t afford the big new bruisers.
In Seattle old trucks may lead a similar lifestyle, with a few mall trips thrown in. But in the end they drift off to a salvage yard, are gently crushed into a pancake form and shipped to a nearby steel mill. From the mill they will reincarnate as steel beams and rebar for new buildings in the area.
Not so in Alaska. First, they have lots of places to park them to rust away up here. It’s a big place. Second, every truck in Alaska has been driven 2200 miles up the Alcan or shipped there. No one is going to spend good money to drive or ship them back so they can die near a steel mill. So they are parked and slowly return to the soil as an oxide of iron.
To paraphrase a scripture, for rust thou art and unto rust shall thou return.
Rust is a beautiful thing.

The End of the Road

No comments:

Post a Comment