To help solve the deicing problem, once we no longer have access to a hangar, I asked the boss to ship us some wing covers care of the hotel. (I've also asked him to check with the Dangerous Goods guy about special permission to carry deicing fluid). He e-mails me the tracking number for the shipment, and in it he notes that he's sent them care of the FBO instead of the hotel, because it will probably be easier to get the FBO to forward them when they are late. I'm just reading an e-mail with these details when the phone rings.
It's the front desk, and they say they have a package for me. I go down to collect it. It's not wing covers. It's a smaller package. I take it back up to the room to open it.
You might remember that back in June I was in this very town, in this very hotel, preparing to go to Alaska. And one of the preparations was ordering charts for the trip. There's no such thing as overnight delivery in the north, but I figured that ten days should be enough time to receive the package. It wasn't, and I never received the charts, but another pilot had ordered them because they thought they were going to be going in a different plane, so the expedition had charts and the ones I ordered just went into limbo. I left the hotel a forwarding address, should they arrive, but I didn't ever expect to see them.
And now they are here. I'm sure they weren't six months in transit. Maybe they got stuck at the border for a couple of weeks, and then took another week or so to make it here. My theory is that the package has been sitting on a table in the hotel office and every few weeks someone looks at it and checks to see if there's a guest by that name in the hotel. When they don't find a match they shrug and leave it for someone else to deal with. But today they found a match. The turnover in hotel staff is so rapid that no one who checks the package has ever checked it before, so no one realizes the thing has been here since July. The person who called me likely assumed that it had arrived today or yesterday. And now I have it. Anyone need a set of expired Alaska charts?
The tracking number for the wing covers tells me that they went overnight to Edmonton, and are still there. I'll give them a couple of weeks. In the north "overnight" means "in about two weeks."