Eric Hanson wrote:That’s kinda a bummer situation to be in. 30’ seems like an awfully short distance to travel. My driveway is a 450’ gravel driveway and the mail comes all the time.
I do have a turn around area, but not a circle or loop. I have what I call a “back around” area. By that I mean the driveway goes straight from the road to the garage, but I have a little perpendicular extension just a bit away from the garage so that I can back out, turn, then drive forward down driveway.
The little extension does not take up much space or expense and can double as an extra parking space in a pinch.
Rufus Laggren wrote:Will other services deliver to a PO box? It would seem to me that picking packages up at the post office would be preferable to gambling. As long as the post office was w/in about 15 minutes.
Beth Wilder wrote:We've been having these issues recently as well. A big part of our situation is that we have a new address created through rural addressing a few months ago, which only very recently showed up in USPS' system online such that other carriers can confirm it's real (they still insist it's "unverified" or some such, however).
Our mail box is maybe 2 miles from our house at the nearest such cluster, and USPS was quite clear that they would not allow us to install a locking mailbox. They did say, though, that we could put a large parcel delivery container there, with an open lock and a sign requesting that the carrier put larger parcels in there and close the lock when they finish. So we have a regular (very vintage, bullethole-riddled) regulation mailbox attached securely to the post in the usual way, and then we have an old 55-gallon steel barrel chained to the post, with a padlock and the address and instructions painted on the lid. We've observed tampering with this lock when it's open, which we assume is humans, so we keep a close eye on it as much as possible (a shameful waste of gas going back and forth, although I try to always combine it with things like trips to collect old yucca stalks for fencing or deadwood for our outdoor stove).
We've told UPS that they can also use this barrel rather than coming down all the rougher dirt roads to our front gate (where we put an old-school metal steamer trunk for parcels when we think one might be arriving, because they have braved the roads twice now). Messages (including maps and instructions) by phone and email to the local UPS headquarters an hour and a half way seemed like they would work, and they confirmed that although they could not use a USPS mailbox, their drivers could use such a barrel. But the first driver confirmed receiving the map without the directions/instructions and got lost out beyond our place and had to be led back to our gate (we spotted him from the roof as sunset was approaching), and then the second driver found our place only because I put a sign up with a red bandana attached to it like a flag, and he said he'd received neither map nor instructions and kept talking over my partner about how the virus is a hoax rather than answering questions or listening to anything.
We test FedEx today, as I placed a dry goods order with a company that looked like it would ship UPS or USPS that at the last minute switched to FedEx. We shall see if our buckwheat flour, etc. arrives or not! Do folks here have any experience with trying to communicate with local FedEx headquarters about special delivery instructions? I tried to "manage delivery" and add "delivery instructions" on the website, but they insisted I create an account like I have with UPS -- fine, no problem -- but then couldn't do it because they insist our address isn't "valid."
Compounding all this, here in the States, is the fact that our wonderful USPS is almost out of funds, and there may not be any help on the way; but I won't go into politics.
All of this certainly does become more of a problem when we're homebound due to high risk if infected. We've been able to get curbside pickup at a total of three places in the county, so for everything else, we're stuck trying to get deliveries. This means we've suddenly had to become much more self-sufficient than before, from foraging to gardening to really scrounging in the resource pile and letting nothing go to waste. But we do still sometimes need engine parts, salt, canning lids, buckwheat flour, etc. (Don't get me started on the ongoing experiment of collecting, threshing, winnowing, toasting, and grinding sotol (Dasylirion) seeds into flour. Let's just say nothing has been edible yet. Hopefully there'll be a good mesquite bean harvest this year!)