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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It is Fall & Falling

The season has definitely changed here. Those who wrote the seasons on the calender did not live in this area. The temps are in the thirties almost every night, The underbrush is all but dead in the forest, The leaves are changing on the trees by the minute and the river level is dropping 3" a day, every day. Oh yea, the length of daylight is also dropping over over 7 minutes a day. We are losing well over an hour of daylight every 10 days.

WoW, what a change in a very short period of time. One great change is that the rain seems to have moved on to another region. September is typically the wettest month of the year around here but we have had only a few days of rain so far this month and the weather has been crystal clear for a week and the forecast is to remain crystal clear for the foreseeable future. This is a really nice break for me to be able to enjoy.

The down side to this great weather is the daytime bugs have come back in full force. The mosquitoes must know that there time to get blood is coming to an end for the year because they are landing stinger first. They don't even buzz you, they just pile drive that thing and start sucking immediately. Then there is this new discovery of a bug for me. I am aware of Mosquitoes, Noseams, Nat's and black flies but now we have a little biter called "white socks". It is bigger than a Noseam (you can see these) and smaller than a fly or mosquito and about the size of a Nat but they ain't a Nat. These little suckers bite like a deer fly and swarm like Nat's. They take small chunks of skin before you can feel them land and they are so small they are hard to kill with a swat. I end up smacking myself hard to kill them, then the smack hurts worse than the bite. I have resorted to the deet again, for self preservation. If you ever want to learn about bugs just come on up here, there are so many different varieties the education could be priceless. The beetles look like something out of a horror film, good thing they don't bite. They are black with white strips and war paint like markings and their tentacle's are longer than their body. The body is about one inch to an inch and a half and with the tentacle's when they land on you you think you are going to be eaten or carried away, or worse yet. My fear (nightmare) is some day they will just knock me down and just keep walking all over me. Yuck that gives me the creeps. Then we have dragon flies with a wing spread that will challenge a small eagle. If you don't pay attention it is possible to mistake one of those for a humming bird, except they are bigger.

All bugs aside, if they don't bite you, carry you away or knock you down and walk all over you, it is easy to remember they are just more of Gods creatures. It's a good thing I don't have to understand everything God does and I just remember he has a great sense of Humor and these things must be part of it!

I have made three trips to town in the last 6 days. Do you drive very often in heavy fog on a single lane road when it's icy and there are deep ditches on both sides. Well that is comparable to the concentration level it has been taking to navigate the river in the low water conditions. Now do this for three hours or more at a time. The mornings are extremely dense fog so I have been trying to wait until later in the day to drive. The later I wait each day the lower the river gets. Today, on my way home I came into an area where I knew it had been getting very shallow. I watched the current flow as far in advance as I could but when I got to the top end of this pass there was just now where to go to find deep water. It was like coming into an intersection, seeing cross traffic and not being able to stop, but you could see everything that was going to happen. There was no other way for me to get home, nowhere to turn around and nothing to do BUT, hit the throttle to full, raise the motor as high as I could and still keep it in the water and Pray. The motor hit the bottom four times, but not very hard and the boat hull never hit bottom. I made it through, took a breath and said thank you. This is supposed to be my last trip to town with the boat this year. I did bring everything up river I set out to, except the boat trailer. I just did not have the weight capacity left to haul it.

A couple of views from the grocery store parking lot. See the new doors in the back of our truck? Sometimes I think about getting a better quality camera but then I would have to get better at taking pictures because I wouldn't have an excuse.

I have no idea yet, what I am going to do about getting the boat out of the water. I don't know if I dare take a chance on one more trip ( It would be far less weight than this trip) or if I am going to try to devise some sort of skid system to pull the boat up the bank right here at our place. If I do figure out how to get it up on High shore here then I also have to know how I am going to get it back down to the water next spring. Getting it onto high shore could be done with the ATV and electric winch on it, plus the aid of a chain fall I have here. All of that should lift the boat. The bigger problem may be getting it back into the water. I can't just drive the ATV out into the river and anchor it to a tree to pull the boat back down there. The thing weighs a couple thousand pounds so I can't just carry it and it won't slide well on the dirt, hum. The last option would be to take it (the boat) back down river, put it on the trailer there and leave it then higher a plane to fly home, $ Hum again! Still thinking, I'll let you know.

I made a deal to trade the "Alaska Moving Trailer" for a large portion of the price for a Freight hauler snowmachine. I took all of the upper wood off of the trailer and brought it home. All I am trading is the frame and deck for the snowmachine plus 2 sets of axles and tires so I can make another trailer or two up here. I have to kick in a little cash but We will now have a "Heavy Hauler" snowmachine for pulling our freight this winter. This new (to us) snowmachine is a Skidoo Superwide Track (30") with a two speed transmission (low gear) and a 503cc motor. It has 4072 miles on the chassis and 160 miles on a complete motor rebuild. It had been loaned to a guy that pulled a double bottom freight sled with about 4500lbs on a 40 degree day last spring, He melted it down. It has a hole new top end and rebuilt lower end courtesy of the borrower. It was not really for sale but; it was only a back up machine for a friend of mine that has purchased a 2009 four stroke 800 cc freight sled (because he could) and he didn't really need it anymore. That is why he had loaned it out and he has decided that is not a real good idea either. I talked him into selling it to me. Hopefully it will be a nice machine for us, and we got it for a good price. I forgot to mention that after searching most of the summer I have only found a few heavy haulers for sale and they are usually over 10000 miles or 10000 dollars. I got it with less than half the miles and far less than half the price. These things are very valuable up here and skidoo has anounced they are going to quit making them after this year. Thanks God! oh yea, and Ron too!

Ok, I have been rambling long enough. I have been extremely busy and tired. It is fun to just sit down and catch up with myself, and you all, a little bit. I have a long list of projects to get done and hopefully all of the materials to do them. I should be able to schedule myself a little bit and work at a reasonable pace for a while.

Nice talking to you, hope to do it again real soon.

Thanks for listening and sharing!

A couple of more pics from todays trip. I was too busy driving to stop and take pics with mountains in the background and the colors up front. The river was just to tight to do it alone on those areas but, wow, thanks god for the views. Use your imagination, it won't get you all the way to the reality of it!

1 comment:

  1. Roger, Can you drop two trees and use them for skids to pull your boat up out of the water? I am not sure how much your electric winch can pull, but the bark of a birch should give a lubricating effect. If that works, come spring time could you attach the cable hook to the stern of the boat using a snatch block attached to the logs riverside to draw the boat back into the water. If not, Kathlyn and I will have to fly to Anchorage and rent a float plane to help you out!! :-)D3 P.S. Kd2 says she'll wait shore side for pics.