4 Unusual Mail Delivery Options in the US Today
The US Postal Service runs a specific system of mail delivery that most people assume is the same everywhere. While most US residents do receive their mail the same way, often from a traditional truck, some people don’t share that experience. In the US today, there are four unusual mail delivery options that don’t entail a truck.
Mule Mail in Arizona
One of the most unique mail delivery options in the US is mule mail. Animals, including horses and mules, often delivered mail back in the 1800s. Only one area has continued that tradition, though. Supai, Arizona, is in the Grand Canyon and is only accessible by river, helicopter, or mule. The US Postal Service uses mules six days of the week to deliver mail to Supai residents, and the entire trip can take up to eight hours.
Bush Pilots in Alaska
While Supai residents wait for a meandering mule, Alaska residents look to the sky. Since most areas of Alaska continue to lack proper road infrastructure for mail truck delivery, the US Postal Service uses aircraft. Over 80 percent of Alaska residents receive their mail this way. Since so much mail goes through the air, the US Postal Service allows for bypass mail. Bypass mail goes straight to authorized shippers instead of slowing down the Alaska post office system.
Mail Jumpers in Wisconsin
Although not as fast as a plane, mail jumpers deliver speedy mail service to resort towns around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The Lake Geneva Mail Boat hires about six jumpers for summer mail deliveries, which started back in the 1870s when there were no good roads available for paper deliveries. Jumpers must jump off the moving boat, swap incoming and outgoing mail, and jump back on. The boat never stops!
Jet Boats in Idaho
Residents in Hells Canyon, Idaho, don’t receive mail from a small boat or a seasonal jumper. Instead, Hells Canyon residents get their mail from a jet boat once a week, and it comes no matter the weather. Jet boats are popular on the powerful rivers in and around the canyon. Since roads are often inaccessible during the winter months, jet boat delivery via the Snake River and surrounding waterways is the solution. The round trip covers almost 200 miles and can take roughly 10 hours with two delivery people. If you want to experience the location and thrill yourself, it could be a great reason why you should visit Snake River.
Four unusual mail delivery options in the US today involve mules, planes, and various types of boats. You can visit these areas, such as by hiking the Grand Canyon or taking a jet boat tour in Hells Canyon, to see these interesting mail deliveries in person.