Sunday, September 21, 2008

Getting to the "Hinter" of "Hinterlands"

This past weekend, I made arrangements with my friend Kale, to visit him and some other friends at their current residence in Mekoryuk on Nunuvak Island. Then came the unpredictable adventure of making reservations to fly there. It isn’t far, just a short 20 min. hop across the Etolin strait. There are only approximately 170 people that live on the island, so there isn’t a high priority to fly there during all the scheduled flight times, morning, noonish, and evening. I made reservations to fly there on the Friday evening flight and return on the Saturday evening flight with one of the aviation companies, however on Friday evening when I went to confirm my flight, the plane was full. Aaaarrrrrrrrgh! Now my understanding of the concept of “reservation” was that my name was to be on one of those seats on the plane for that flight. After contacting the headquarters in Bethel, I dropped it and quickly checked another aviation company that was flying out to Mekoryuk as well to see if they had room for me. They did and I made it out to see Kale. Unfortunately I had to go through a similar scenario for my flight back to Toksook. I ended up making all my flights as I had originally planned, but I was never quite sure I would be flying until I was sitting on that plane. I should be used to this by now, because I have been jumping flights to and fro for almost 2 ½ years now, but I’m still surprised and frustrated when I’m really wanting or needing to make a flight and the plane just might be full or not come at all. To make a long story longer, there is always a certain amount of finger crossing that has to be done in order to get some places in the Alaskan Bush.

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