Safely back from Bethel

Riding the snowmobile to Bethel might be a damn sight cheaper than flying ($180 round-trip to fly compared to about $35 on gas for the snowmobile), but it sure as hell isn’t as comfy! I realised that when people in the village have said it’s an hour or so ride to Bethel, that’s ‘village’ time where a plane arriving in 10 minutes still hasn’t arrived the following Tuesday – it was around 2 hours riding to cover the 50 mile or so trail, but that was at a steady pace since Frank had his back sled hooked up the haul all the groceries back. This was a few miles out the village fixing up his tail flap to stop it flapping…

Frank fixing tail flap

Was weird coming into Bethel across the river by the docks (I’d never even seen the docks!), and a few miles out of Bethel we started passing the markers for nets and black fish traps that have been laid, along with 4×4 trucks driving out to them! When we got to Bethel, the lady at Corina’s Case Lot said it was around -21F and can’t have been nice conditions to travel in. I smiled politely as I peeled a frozen ski-mask and neck warmer off my face 🙂 But, we got a bunch of groceries and I got to Wells Fargo to open a checking account (with a really nice manager who waived the $15 on a box of checks as he’d never spoken to anyone from England and enjoyed it!), then we headed home.

My snowmobile worked perfectly, it just really doesn’t like moving until it’s nice + warm as pulling in Bethel is coughed out a couple of times. Other than that it ran like a champ and has given me a bunch more confidence in knowing how stable it is over long distances and under continued use. The thumb warmer was great too, though only seems to have two settings – burning hot and off! It wasn’t so bad, and I’d rather be sat like this with my thumb sore from it getting hot than it being numb from being frozen! Still, today was certainly an adventure – riding out on the tundra we saw nothing for miles and miles of continuous riding and whenever we stopped and turned off the engines, we had complete silence. I can imagine it being very lonely out there on your own and easy to get lost with everything looking the same, but the trail is so well marked it wasn’t a problem. And Kat was happy since I brought back a load of fresh fruit + vegetables along with strawberry ice cream 😉


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

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