Although PIP doesn’t have roads that go to any other towns, it does have roads…not a ton…and they’re all dirt and gravel…and they don’t go very far, but they’re there!
The main road is a loop that goes around town and hits up pretty much all the spots you’d want to stop. It’s about 2 miles long.
I figured I’d give you guys a tour of PIP’s loop!
After leaving our house that is next to school, our first main stop is the gas station! I’m not 100% sure of the hours but it is open something like 1-4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Also, when we filled the school truck up the other day, gas was 5 dollars a gallon. So all you in the lower 48 can quit your complaining ;).
As we turn the corner, we get “into town,” because would you look at all the houses!
And the village may be small-there’s only about 50 residents-but they do have a VSPO, which stands for Village Safety Patrol Officer. But this is the only place where they have a designated speed limit. The roads are super gravelly, so the bumpiness makes it not very fun to speed anyway. Also, most of the locals do their catting around on Honda four wheelers…and I don’t know what those top out at as far as speed is concerned, but I don’t think it’s anything to be super worried about.
After passing through town, the road turns to the right and goes into a steep incline. Once you’ve made the turn though, you can see out to the airport on your left side. The little blue building is the airport with the parking lot surrounding it, and you can just barely make out the airstrip (it’s behind that white square that’s towards the middle of the picture).
Home sweet home! In the above picture, you can see 3 buildings. The big one is the school, although the entrance is on the opposite side (but you can make out the playground and swing set!). The building directly in front of the school is the other teacher’s apartment, plus the apartment Ben lived in when he was flying solo. The building to the right is our house!
This building is the store. Yes, PIP has a store! It’s a little expensive (as would be expected), but it really does have a pretty good variety of food. They’ve even got a freezer section.
And this is our favorite building! The post office! We love getting mail! And getting the food that we ordered! Obviously, a lot of the mail that comes in is big packages, so the white garage door is the loading dock for those packages. No, they don’t deliver 🙂
And this is my favorite view from the loop. You can see 2 of the lakes (the area is scattered with lakes), and the gray strip before you meet the sky is the Bering Sea which goes out to the ocean.
But that completes the tour! I know, I know…it’s practically over before it started! The village is simple but it has what a person needs! And it’s not the classic Alaska that most people imagine, but I think it’s totally gorgeous here (even if the weather insists on being cloudy every time I plan on taking pictures…).