We’ve been here for a week now. Glad we came early as it allows us to unpack, sort, play our daily game of cribbage, visit with people and walk the riverbank at a leisurely pace.
The “Anna Plant” boards Alaska Airlines for its third trip to Alaska. (This plant was bought on the day Anna was born in Fairbanks twenty-seven years ago.)
We landed in Kotzebue and had time to walk around and visit old friends who made a delicious moose soup lunch.
Front Street in Kotzebue has had a facelift in the past few years and paved streets make for much more pleasant, dust-free walking. Kotzebue Sound of the Chukchi Sea in the background.
Small world: from St. Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville, Iowa (Hans’ hometown) to St. Francis Xavier in Kotzebue.
Alaska Airlines allows Club 49 members three free checked bags. The smaller planes that fly out to the villages ask your weight at check-in and allow 100 pounds of free baggage per person. Oh yeah!
A beautiful, clear day allowed us spectacular views of the Kobuk Valley National Park and the Kobuk Sand Dunes.
Kevin met us at the airport with a four wheeler and trailer, gave us the keys to Unit A (our new home) and gave us a guided tour of the school.
The biggest building is the school. The two blue buildings in the lower left were portable classrooms converted/remodeled into teacher housing units (ours is the one on the right).
It’s a short 52 step commute from home to school!
Looking the opposite way from the shared deck between the two teacher housing units. (The tarp covers a snowmachine sled on pallets.)
The view from the deck looking north: the airport apron with the foothills of the Brooks Range in the background.
We couldn’t find our fat bikes for the first four days, which may have been a good thing because we wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much unpacking done. The bikes were mostly assembled and arrived in amazingly good shape. It didn’t take much to get them ride ready.
Sheldon Brown would be proud.
A gorgeous day for a bike ride–out past Dahl Creek and back. Bonus: a good breeze that kept the mosquitoes and bugs at bay.
The road wasn’t this smooth throughout, but the fat tires really absorb the unevenness, make for a smooth ride, and provide a feeling of stability. (In case you’re wondering, tires run about 10 psi.)
Fireweed and Fat Bikes
Great way to end the ride. Every direction you looked was another National Geographic view.
After putting our bikes away…
…we enjoyed our sheefish, roasted potatoes and salad dinner. (Fresh local sheefish provided by former students, salad from Full Circle Farms, potatoes and apples from the local store.)
Hans flies in for administrative in-service in two weeks, flies back for a day, then we both fly in for a week of new teacher orientation and teacher in-service. The first kid day is exactly one month from today. We’re glad we came early because things are about to get busy!