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[CDT-L] Re: Urgent Jim and Ginny

Maybe good news!!   This morning, the USPO delivery conformation website says
the packages were finally delivered to Lake City and has been forwarded, 
to Pagosa Springs as per instructions (make that desperate plea ).
If the above is true, it could be in Pagosa Springs on Monday!

Of course, that is best case scenario.  Yesterday, information provided
via an internal tracking phone call at the shipping post office, stated the
packages had been delivered on the fourth which was impossible since
they were mailed on the fourth.  So my faith in the system is a bit  shaky.

For future reference.  I have mailed a lot of packages (hundreds) to hikers.
I use the three day priority because unless it is a very heavy box (18-20lbs)
it is very cost competitive to regular first class and has never been more 
20% more.  Generally, I mail the packages a week prior to arrival date, but in
unusual conditions as in the Owen's weather problems, have often compressed 
it to
four or five days to allow for last minute rerouting.  This obviously 
failed in this case.

This screw up with the Ownes mail drop has brought the failure rate of the 
day system up to 1.5% approx in my experience.  This does not include a
blizzard delay of 24hrs or those post offices which are soooo remote that 
day service is not available.

In one case, the post office employee failed to notify me of this when I mailed
a package although I understand the information is clearly available to them.
I now pre-check 3-day availability via a phone call or two to double check.

The new system of delivery confirmation is an additional .30, and while it does
not give actual real time tracking, the system does, in theory, require the 
office employees to scan the package at each hub.  The problem lies
with the possibility that the package may not make a required air connection
and then sit unnoticed for several days.  But it is a help and offers the 
a web site to check when the package has arrived  http://www.usps.gov/cttgate/

For folks shipping to the AT, the 30 pennies for the green tracking tag is 
a must IMHO.
There are just sooooo many more possibilities for communication between hiker
and supporter,  that a hiker could call home and find out if his drop has 
hit the PO
yet and decide to push long miles to get to town on a Sat morning or chill 
in the
woods and save the money he'd spend, hanging around town till Monday.

Even in the current scenario, it is a lot easier for me to check the web 
site and
see if the boxes are there than to call Colorado every hour on the hour....

For the record, the folks at my PO, who know what I do and have been very 
in Jim and Ginny's progress were as helpful as possible and of course refunded
the shipping costs.

If any of my understanding of these systems are in error, I hope some of the PO
people on the lists can correct me.

Thanks for the offer of help ......stand by, it may not be 
needed.....fingers crossed!

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