Okay, here come the details.
We woke up at 5:15am in Seattle, and got our luggage together. Another Sikh driver pulled up in the shuttle, and we got our luggage loaded up. A short drive got us to the airport at the Alaskan Airlines unloading area. We went inside, waded through the check-in (the TSA is actually really good about flying with firearms in Seattle–I guess lots of folks take hunting rifles to Alaska), and then got to our gate.
There we got to see a lot of Alaskan Airlines planes. There’s a face painted on the tail, and in fact, it’s some random Eskimo named Oliver, not Abraham Lincoln, as someone told me.
The first flight went fine–we flew out of Seattle to Anchorage on a 737. Samara felt sick, but that was helped by some crackers on the plane. They also served Jones Sodas. I paid $5 for a digital entertainment portable device, and we watched the movie Juno on it. We also took some pictures out of the window of the plane as we came in for a landing.
Anchorage is really beautiful. We got off the plane, and picked up a sandwich in the concourse. We sat down and ate it, but I was nervous that we wouldn’t make the next flight, as we hadn’t found our next gate yet. In fact, we had followed some signs towards it already, and ended up outside the TSA security checkpoint. I thought we’d have to spend some time going through security again.
Nope. We got downstairs, and there’s no security for Penair flights. Very weird. Also, there were about 20 people waiting there for four upcoming flights. The lady at the counter called our names, and when we went up there, she wanted to know what we weighed. Not really a good sign.
The plane itself was a Saab turboprop. We boarded by heading out onto the tarmac in the spitting rain and climbing the plane’s stairs. We were seating in the second row, in the two right-hand seats. There was only one seat to the left, so it’s not a large plane. We were given earplugs by the single flight attendant as we boarded, since the turboprop engines are a bit loud.
Samara promptly fell asleep. I read my book a bit, and watched the clouds out the window. It was an hour and fifteen minutes, and then we touched down in Dillingham. Now THIS is a small airport. We pulled up the the Penair hanger, hopped down and walked into the door off the runway. We were in the small lobby, where they do both baggage claim and security.
Samara met our landlord’s wife, who was there to pick up guests for her bed and breakfast. I went upstairs to the giftshop to get our rental car. After paying and getting the keys to our tan Kia, I went back downstairs and helped Samara load the luggage into the car in the gravel parking lot just outside. Our landlord pulled up in his beat-up pickup truck. We made some room for him in the backseat so he could direct us to the apartment.
It was a left onto the paved road, and pretty soon we were on the main road. We went over windmill hill and across the flats and into the town proper. There’s not much to see. We passed the firehouse, with the single gas station behind it. Then came the two markets, the AC Value and the N&N Market. Up past the Nushagak Cooperative (electric, cable, phone and internet) and we got to C Street on the right. We take the turn and go past the Moravian Church and GCI satellite dishes. Down on the right is Beluga Bluffs, our apartment building.
We went inside, and it’s pretty nice! The kitchen isn’t nearly as large as the one in Lexington, but it’ll work. The living room/dining room is plenty big, and has a large window that looks out over the bay.
There are two bedrooms, both with beds. The bathroom is pretty nice as well. I like the plastic tub surround. There’s a stacked washer and dryer in there between the toilet and sink. The furniture provided by the landlord works for me. There’s a brown leather couch and a green recliner. The television is huge.
We filled out a bit of lease paperwork with our landlord, and then took him back through town to his shop outside of town. He showed us the local schools, the court building, and the post office. After dropping him off, we made a trip to the post office. We got a PO Box, but our packages sent to general delivery had not arrived yet. Our new address is: Aaron & Samara Baker, PO Box 1248, Dillingham, AK 99576. So start sending presents, letters and postcards!
After that, we stopped by the Nushagak Cooperative and got our digital tv box and our cable modem. The folks there are real nice–but I already knew that from talking to them on the phone. At home, Samara went straight for the bed and a nap. I hooked up the tv, and we’ve got lots of movie channels since we get satellite tv over the local cable network. I watched a bit of the movie Rounders then took a bit of a walk around the building and checked out the area. We’re at the end of a gravel road, and there aren’t a lot of houses. We can see the bay on two sides. I doubt there’s going to be a lot of noise from the neighbors.
Pretty soon, I realized it was quarter to five, and I didn’t know what time anything closed. We didn’t have any food. So I left Samara sleeping and went to the N&N Market. I spent nearly $90, and didn’t get much. I got some pizza rolls, soft pretzels, hot pockets, sandwich fixin’s, soda, chips, Oreos, a bag of apples, and a cable splitter and cable cord. Stuff is expensive.
Back home, I tried to the hook the internet, but the modem wouldn’t connect. It was after five, and there was no one at the Nushagak offices. I left a message.
Samara woke up, we had some dinner, and then we watched some TV. We went to bed by 8pm.
This morning, we got up around 7am. That bodes well for me, since I’ll have to get up early for work starting next week. We had apples for breakfast, and watched some more television. Nushagak called back, and now the internet is working.
Hopefully we’ll have some more exciting news after another day in Dillingham.