Monday, October 10, 2011

Getting Back to Hibbing

Getting back to Hibbing.  It seems like a relatively simple endeavor, whether one is talking about getting back on track with a certain Hibbing-focused blog or returning to one’s hometown after being gone for a couple of months.  In theory, it’s easy; in practice, not so much. 

Multiple attempts to get back to this blog have been thwarted by the usual suspects: work deadlines, personal obligations, laziness and honest exhaustion.  Once an activity has been moved to the sidelines, it is difficult to return it to a place occupying front and center in one’s life.  For example, tonight after getting home from working the evening shift at the reference desk, the idea of crawling into bed was decidedly more appealing than sitting at my laptop and trying to come up with something coherent to say.  And yet, this blog is something important to me, something I’ve decided is worth getting back to. 

Getting back to Hibbing itself should also not be that difficult for me, particularly as I now live much closer than I have in the previous two years or so.  It is only a 7 hour drive from my current location, as opposed to a 7 hour plane ride from my previous home of Tallahassee, Florida.  However, a few weeks back when I returned home for the {moxie} fall style show, I was particularly frustrated by a string of road construction sites and detours (the one outside of Cloquet that routed me through West Duluth was particularly irritating). 
Either way you look at it, getting back to Hibbing takes a certain amount of resolve.  In the future, it may take even more resolve and varied transportation choices for those of us who live far from the town.  

I say this, of course, in response to the recent New York Times article about Delta Airlines looking at reducing or suspending air service to Hibbing through the Range Regional Airport.  This news is particularly sad to me, as I have flown out of and into what used to be called the Hibbing-Chisholm International Airport many times in my life.  I always appreciated how quick and easy it was to board in Hibbing versus the long lines of larger airports like Minneapolis-St. Paul.  After a long day of traveling it was also nice to not have to drive a long way (or have others drive a long way) to get to my final destination.  I think of how much harder it would have been for me to get home when I lived in Florida if I would not have been able to fly into Hibbing, how my family or friends would have needed to drive to Duluth or Minneapolis to fetch me.  Or I would have had to rent a car.  Of course either of the previous options would have been doable, and I know that many people take this approach, but the thought of losing the option of flying into and out of Hibbing makes me sad. 

So, the question is what to do about it.  Complain to Delta?  Complain to the government?  Complain to the public at large?  Eh, I have mixed feelings about what that would achieve.  My answer?  Fly HIB.  Seriously, book tickets to fly out of/into Hibbing.  Increase demand.  Show that this could be a more profitable venture for the company.  That type of collective action stands a chance of making a difference. 

The question is--citizens and ex-pats of Hibbing, business persons and tourists with an interest in visiting—is air service to Hibbing important to you?  If so, show it by how you purchase airline tickets.  I know plenty of people who prefer to drive to Duluth or the Twin Cities to fly to other locations across the U.S., largely because the cost of the ticket itself is cheaper.  That’s fine, do what you want to do; however, realize if you are consistently choosing to fly via airports outside of the region, our HIB has less and less of a reason to exist. 

So, the question comes back to: what kind of community are we trying to create?  What services are important to that community?  Are we willing to do something about maintaining something like air service, or will we simply lament its passing? 

Personally, I’m up for doing something.  What about you?  

No comments:

Post a Comment