Toshua Parker via CNN

Alaskan Man Feeds His Small Town By Making 14-Hour Boat Trip To Costco Every Week

Caitlyn Clancey 17 May 2020

An Alaskan grocer is personally keeping the residents of his small town fed by taking 14-hour boat rides to Costco every single week during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, CNN reported.

Toshua Parker lives in Gustavus, a remote Alaskan region that is only accessible by boat or plane. Unfortunately, the pandemic has effectively shut down the state's ferry system, thus preventing essential supply shipments from reaching the small town.

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Parker, owner of Icy Strait Wholesale (known locally as "Toshco"), knew it was his responsibility to keep the town's 450 residents fed and properly supplied.

Facebook | Toshua Parker

His store, which usually receives shipments from Costco, was quickly running low on food and essential items when he decided to take matters into his own hands.

"It's funny because for us, this doesn't seem like a big deal," he told CNN. "Alaskans are fiercely independent and resourceful; you really have to be to survive here. So when a problem arises, we don't typically look to someone else for help, we just find a way to do it."

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Parker enlisted the help of his employees and local fishermen to make his weekly treks to the closest Costco possible.

Facebook | Toshco - Icy Strait Wholesale

Once a week, he and his staff climb inside a 96 foot-long converted military landing craft and drive to Juneau, the state's capital, which is 50 miles away. That makes for approximately a 14 hour trip.

After docking in Juneau, they buy what they need from Costco, load up the boat, and then head on home again.

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Of course, sometimes the weather isn't exactly favorable for a boat ride, particularly not one that's 14 hours long.

Facebook | Toshco - Icy Strait Wholesale

While Parker and his crew usually try to schedule their trips around the tides and weather as best he can, sometimes they still end up on the water heading home when a storm hits.

In those instances, they usually go back towards Juneau and unload the supplies into coolers while they wait for the weather to break before trying again.

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The residents of Gustavus are incredibly grateful for Parker's passionate efforts, but he says all the praise belongs to his dutiful staff.

Toshua Parker via CNN

Those are the people who are "going to work every day during this pandemic to make sure our town stays supplied," he explained.

"The town needed to be supplied with groceries so we just did whatever it took to make that happen," he continued. "Just another day in our world. Next year it will be another obstacle to overcome and we'll buck up and deal with it."

h/t: CNN, Photos: Facebook | Toshco - Icy Strait Wholesale

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