A walk around the village

With the weather staying around 40F (6C) or so, I decided it was a pretty good time to get out and go for a decent walk around the village. Weird I’ve been up here almost 6 weeks but haven’t really gone for a walk, though with the kinda temperatures and blizzards that we’ve had, even the locals don’t head outside much! Good chance to take some photos so people can see what the rest of the village is like too. Frank, the school principal, paced out over 6 miles of boardwalks when he first moved out here – I was out for good hour and a half and can believe that kinda distance, as although there’s only around 400 people in the village, it’s all pretty spread out.

Broken boardwalks

With all the strong winds, some damage has been caused to the wooden boardwalks + bridges. Given the way a lot of snow on the frozen lakes has been cleared away with the wind + rain, I don’t think any land (or water!) speed records are going to broken anytime soon mind:

Speed limits

That said, around some of the boardwalks themselves there is still a good build up of snow that’s been cleared away. There’s a little bobcat that drives round clearing the boardwalks (which is pretty funny to watch – you don’t expect something like that up here), so you can get a good 4 foot or more of snow piled up that’s been cleared away:

Cleared snow

Looking across to our house and school, the locals are still plowing their snowmobiles across the lakes and standing water. Me, the idea of all that melted snow and standing water makes it look too much like the lake had melted, so I stuck to the boardwalks.

Looking towards home

Ladies and gentlemen, please have your passports ready for inspection. Welcome to Tuntutuliak Intertational, home of the Bluejays. Enjoy your visit.

Cessna 172

There’s a couple of Cessna 172’s that seem permanently tied-down – FAA website shows the registered owner being people from the village, but not sure whether they’re actually air-worthy. Guess they are, just not used much:

Cessna 172

Another shot looking across to the ‘terminal’ area. When the other planes come in, they just pick somewhere around here to park, unload, then fly back out. Can get quite busy at times if they’ve been on weather hold in Bethel or other villages – when we were heading out to Anchorage after Christmas there were 2 other planes alongside ours, with another coming in to land as we ready to take off. Gets quite crowded with 6 planes down here, but there were no planes in the area this afternoon.

Terminal area

One man and his dog (kidnapped from Marie at lunchtime…):

Rocky + I casting shadows

A big perk of working at school (or having Kat working there :)) is that you get to use the two large washing machines + dryers once a week. You have 3 hours, so easily enough time to run through all your laundry. The locals either wash by hand, or head to the washeteria which charges $7 per load to either wash or dry, so you’d be looking at $28 for two loads of laundry (quickly adds up!):


Around by the river, there’s a lot of abandoned buildings and feels pretty run down. The area is also littered with little fishing boats like these, used during the summer to catch as many fish as possible so they can be smoked or dried to get them through the winter.

Fishing boats

The old school building is also over by the river, though was abandoned long ago. The current school was built around 20 years, and it’s a shame such a large building like this is going to waste. It’s meant to be loaded with asbestos, and would cost too much to bring in engineers to thoroughly clean it and then fix any structural problems.

Old school building

But, there is a fairly modern community center just across one of the lakes from our house and the current school, so it’s not like there’s a demand for a large, multi-purpose building like this in the village. Haven’t been in to the community center yet, but this was around 2p.m and seemed fairly busy, with all sorts of events going on such as dancing, weaving, etc. scheduled throughout the week:

Community center

Coming back into the housing area, Rocky ran off to play with his brother Koda, Nick + Dana’s dog. Koda has a darker, sleeker coat and isn’t as well-fed (polite way of saying fat!) as Rocky since he doesn’t steal sandwiches or get fed all scraps of food like popcorn 😉 He also goes out running alongside Nick on the snowmobile twice a week so is in better shape than Rocky – Nick took Rocky out last weekend with him and poor Rocky just wasn’t used to it so was a bit slower than Koda!

Rocky and Koda playing

So, that’s pretty much Tunt! Really is a mix of old, abandoned and run-down buildings alongside a modern school, community center and church. Even though I’ve seen so many of the locals going across the lakes on snowmobiles + 4-wheelers, I’ll stick to the boardwalks until the standing water freezes again and is snowed over!

We’ve also got some more of our big food order through – we received pasta sauce, salsa sauce and some dried foods a few days ago, and a stack of butter, cheese, trail mix bars, oats, powdered juice, etc. got delivered today. A bit concerned the meat products haven’t arrived as although I wouldn’t mind the meat sitting in an aircraft hangar when it’s -20C, I don’t particularly want 20lbs of ground beef, 14lbs of bacon and 12lbs of sausage sitting around when it’s 7/8C 🙁 Hopefully it just hasn’t been despatched yet, or will arrive tomorrow.


Senior Content Development for Microsoft writing about Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Model train nerd. Occasionally I play video games.

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