I have now made several trips to Kobuk. More recently I have made several as the only driver although I had a passenger. I am becoming more familiar with the trail and the conditions and am keen to explore beyond to the nearby Bornite Mine (not sure I spelled it right).
The last trip I and my compatriot stayed over Friday night at the teacher housing in Kobuk with some friends. I must say I love Kobuk. The entry way to the school looks a little like you are entering a hotel. There is a rack for the shoes and much of the flooring is tile as compared to our carpeting.
As you go up to the teacher housing there is a beautiful newish deck complete with a beautiful gate and swing made of wood poles done by one of the teachers. Their housing is right next to the airport giving them an unobstructed view of the airstrip and mountains in the background not to mention a short commute when traveling.
When houses were first in villages they took out the sod houses which were in a disorganized pattern and put in houses in rows and streets. Western engineers did not take into account the way in which snow drifts in the winter. Each of the sod houses was placed in a particular place with the door on a particular side to avoid or alter the drift patterns. When the new houses and streets went in there were issues with snow drifts in the middle of streets and against the front of houses, a problem that continues today.
Below is a picture of the Kobuk playground . Notice the swing sets. Had they been installed on the other side of the playground they would have been usable all year. I’m thinking that if someone could study drift patterns and advise building projects there could be a career there.