Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shipping Lanes and Aeroplanes

Many people have asked us how we will get our new dog, Jasper, up to live with us in Alaska. A good question, which then leads to the bigger question of how to get anything up to live in Alaska.
Due to its remoteness, and "one road in, one road out" geographic layout (the Alcan, or Alaska-Canada Highway was only completely paved in 1992) of Alaska makes shipping goods (or dogs) either direction a tricky proposition.
When we moved from South Carolina to Alaska, our adventure began a full month before we ever left. Goods may be shipped one or more of three ways, barge, the most common and most affordable method; air, by far the most expensive; or truck. Shipping via road or water takes days, weeks, or even months, depending upon the weather and road/water conditions.
One of our vehicles, shipped early to be awaiting us when we arrived took six weeks, and our shipping container of household goods, a month. Our friend, M.D. advised us to send a few boxes of winter clothing and toys for the boys so that we would have at least a few things to call our own upon our arrival, and that proved to be one of the wisest move decisions we ever made. Four boxes, traveling Parcel Post, made it to her house in a little over a month.
But on to the shipping of a dog. Fortunately, Yukon will be in Portland for a business trip and can make a short detour with his sister to pick up Jasper in Tillamook, Oregon mid-March. We will send an empty dog crate down with him (I would love to see the faces of the airport personnel when they look and see no dog in the dog crate, and the ensuing chaos). Dogs are constantly transported via air in and around Alaska, and many are shipped via Alaska Cargo, which we don't use because the cost is twice as much.
A trip up to Anchorage from Portland for Jasper will run about $100, attached to Yukon's ticket. They will arrive home just before Easter, and we'll affix bunny ears to the greatest Easter present we have ever received.
A good time for new starts all around.

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