Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Literary License

My grandmother came to me today and she said, "Kristin, I see you have a blog.  I think you need to use literary license." I replied, "you mean change the the "C" in Caper to a "K." She said, "yes."  Since this was something I had been contemplating for a while now, I decided to do it.  Thus, the blog title has changed yet again (albeit only slightly).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

8 days and counting

I can't believe there are only 8 days until I leave for Kobuk.  Last Wednesday my uncle and I shipped a number of totes and according to the online information all the food I have ordered on Amazon has arrived in Kobuk.  My bedding has shipped from Amazon, but it hasn't arrived yet.  I don't know about the rest of the stuff that I have shipped.  I guess I'll see what's waiting for me when I get there.

Buying my plane ticket

Wow did I have trouble buying my plane ticket.  A friend of mine had offered me his frequent flyer miles and I knew from someone I had already met in Kobuk that I could use Alaska miles to fly on Era.  However, I could not do this online.  The Alaska website said to call the reservations number for mileage flights on Era, so I did.  The woman who answered the phone had no idea how to book the ticket.  She said she would transfer me to the partner desk.  I got a busy signal and then the system disconnected me.  I then called the number again and got another guy.  He was able to book the ticket for me, but it was still quite a challenge.  After apparently looking for a minute or two he said, "I can't find it on a map.  How do you spell it?"  I said "K-O-B-U-K and the airport code is OBU"  Then it turned out for the Era flight I could only book a round trip ticket.  After much checking and a long time I booked it round trip to Anchorage with my returning to Anchorage for Thanksgiving.  However, I still need to check with my friend to make sure he's okay with it using so many miles (because he has gold miles I can cancel the return to Anchorage portion of the ticket and get his miles back, but I would still have to have a round trip ticket to Kotzebue).  So then I thought I was done.  I was wrong! We hung up the phone and I waited for the e-mail confirmation.  I waited and waited and waited.  I had just about given up with finally my phone dinged and the e-mail was here.  Well, it turns out that the legs between Anchorage and Kotzebue and the legs between Kotzebue and Kobuk Kobuk were under separate reservations.  More importantly my name was wrong.  I called Alaska again and got a third person.  She was able to easily correct my name on the Alaska portion of my trip, but she couldn't change the Era part.  She put me on hold and spent a LONG time on the phone with an Era representative.  When she came back on she told me that they had discussed many options including canceling my reservation and re-issuing it, but because there is only one super-saver seat per flight to Kobuk she was afraid to release the seat.  Additionally, she said they don't immediately appear as available after canceling the reservation.  They tried some other things, but in the end Era had made a notation in their system, but she was pretty certain it would still print on my boarding pass wrong.  Hopefully, since this is a Bush plane flight out of Kotzebue TSA won't be a problem.  I guess I'll have to wait and see if I end up with trouble or not!

My first trip to the Bush

I went to Nome the other week and while it will seem very metropolitan in comparison to Nome, I think it was good preparation for going to Kobuk.  Since many of the people who will be reading my blog, have never even been to Alaska, I thought I would include a little bit about that trip and some pictures.
I flew up on Saturday the 9th of July with a group from my church and we spent a week working on the church building in Nome and we had a beach party for the kids in Nome and also had some time to do some sight-seeing.  I really enjoyed it and the day after we returned to Anchorage we were having a team debriefing and I mentioned that I had really liked Nome and felt like I could live there.  One of the others in the group was shocked and said that she couldn't imagine living there! I guess it is a good thing that I feel I could totally live in Nome since it is so much bigger and has so much more than Kobuk!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Packing and Shipping Part I

The last two days have been crazy.  I am leaving to go to Nome for a week and I wanted to get all of my stuff (or at least the vast majority) shipped to Kobuk before I left.  I thought I would do my shopping during my 6-week Alaska Transition to Teaching Summer Field Experience, but I ended up being crazy busy and couldn't get it done.  Then I went camping for a week immediately (and I do mean immediately, we left within a few hours) of finishing.  So on Thursday and Friday I shopped.  First, I made a list of everything I thought I would need.  Then I went on Amazon and found all the things that I could in reasonable sizes with free shipping.  Next, I went to Fred Meyer's and bought a bunch of stuff.  Then on Friday morning Grandma and I went to Costco and then Sam's for me to buy the food for the Nome trip (I'm in charge of meals).  I spent the early afternoon at the church organizing all that to take with us as checked baggage to Nome today.  Then I resumed my Kobuk shopping.  My uncle and I went to Costco where I bought the stuff for me.  Then we went to Sam's because Costco doesn't have paper towels in the select-a-size sheets.  Then to Walmart to buy the things I didn't want in a Costco size.  I did forget a few things on my list, plus I wasn't looking for everything on my list quite yet.
I got home and we filled the kitchen.  I got out my plastic totes and started packing them.  I wish I had taken a picture.  It was quite a sight.  I have a good start on the foodstuffs and will try to ship these boxes (along with my bread maker) just about as soon as I get back from Nome.  Then I'll need to shop for gear...