Since last we spoke I have received many emails in regard to the length of the post. As it turns out, if you like them short you are going to have to use a book mark and keep coming back to read them. Every email I received was in favor of them being as long as I care to type them.
Last week we had a community get together at the Post Office "sort of". On the Friday after the start of the Iditarod about 30 of us went to Joe and Normas' house to fill their wood shed. Several people brought a dish to pass, all of us brought splitting mauls and 2 brought power splitters. Joe and Norma are in their 80s and not able to cut enough wood anymore so the community does it for them.
On Thursday, Tom, Andy, Bill and myself went into the woods behind Joe and Norma's' and cut down and cut up 28 trees. We left them lay right where we dropped them and just cut them into lengths for the splitter. It only took about 6 hours for 4 of us to cut down and cut up 28 trees. On Friday morning a few teams on snowmachines with sleds started hauling the wood out of the forest up to the wood shed area. Many people at the wood shed unloaded, split, moved and stacked the wood. We had a pot luck lunch during the process and filled the wood shed and left an extra cord of wood under a tarp in front of the shed and did it all in about 5 hours.
We processed 28 trees from the floor of the woods into the wood shed in 5 hours, including lunch. It was pretty amazing to be part of.
Myra is in the back row in the sunglasses right in front of the door to the shed. I bet you can find me.
The following Monday 3 of us went back into the woods and cut up another cord or more of "Dry Wood" from a dead section of standing trees. Joe and Norma have been out of dry wood this year and everything we put in the wood shed was fresh cut trees. We had to fill their wood box and porch with wood they could burn yet this spring. According to Norma their old bones need more heat than they used to. The wood shed used to be more than enough wood and now we have been taking them wood for 2 months already.
Our neighbor Tom is the organizer of this event and many other happenings in the Skwentna territory. Tom is a very interesting fellow and has a heart as big as Alaska. He did tell me in a funny way the other day that he has a hidden motive to his good deeds. During a very light hearted conversation he joked to me "you know, I am the second oldest guy in the territory" with a sheepish grin. I believe this "community" will take care of Tom and Patty with out question. What a privilege to live near people of their caliber.
Myra and I went out for a Burger and Glasses of Water again on Wednesday. This time we went to Shell Lake Lodge and visited with Zoe and had lunch. Shell Lake Lodge is a little more than 35 miles from here on toward the mountains west-southwest of us. We took a neat route back from the Lake via the old Iditarod trail then onto an Ice Road that has been put in to a mine way west of us. Our day for a Burger lunch was a 108 mile snowmachine ride when we got back home. It was a beautiful day as you can see by the pictures.
The snow is beginning to recede. We have not had ANY new snow in a month. Now the temperatures are beginning to raise during the day. It is a bit early for the temps to go up so this may be short lived, I don't know. We have lost about 6" of the hard pack in the last week. We are down to about 3 1/2 feet of packed snow and about 5 feet where it is hidden from the sun.
I thought I would include a couple of pictures of our wood pile.
I am hoping to get a wood shed built this year. It was a real chore to keep digging this out to bring wood to the house.
Saturday I took out my first "Official" snowmachine tour for a day ride. It was a couple that moved to anchorage from North Carolina last fall. They had never been on a snowmachine before but they were very quick learners. It was about and 85 mile day for them. That is a lot for someone that has never ridin. I had gone to the landing from home that morning, rode with them and then rode home that evening. I was well over 200 miles for the day. It was fun to take someone into this territory, that has never been out here. I believe they enjoyed it also, as they tipped me more than $10 per hour, for the length of the trip. I tried to turn it down "once" but they said I earned it. I have never had a job where a tip was even possible. I felt awkward at first but as I rode home it started feeling really exciting to get a tip that big.
I hope they give me a good review with the owner of the company also, I would like to do some more of this type of stuff. At any rate, It was fun and if I never do it again, at least I have done it once.
I am going into town next week to take a two day course for my Coast Guard License so I can haul people for "Hire" on my boat. This is the first step to getting my Fishing "Guide" license. I hope to do some Guideing for silvers and pinks this summer. I don't feel I am qualified to guide for Kings our trout until I get more experience under my belt. Silvers and Pinks are just like fishing for maby of the species I have caught in the past, only bigger. I can help people to catch those species comfortably.
Ok, You know what has been, what is and what is to be (almost). I have a little more to tell but that project is not quite done.
Thanks for being here,
It is a blessing to share this experience,