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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 2011 / OMG

I posted at the beginning of the month that I have been busy. I know that one must be careful what they ask for in prayer with God but I did not know talking about being busy could only make you busier. Well, I am not sure if I got busier but my families life certainly did.
The last time I typed an update I was getting ready to fly to Ohio for Mandy's wedding. A world of events have happened since then.
The weeks before and since the wedding went something like this, my days might be off by one but the accounts are all accurate.
On the Tuesday before the wedding Myra's grandmother passed away. She was only a couple of weeks from being 101 years old. Grandma lived a long and wonderful life and was a gift to the world. God bless her and remember all of her family in your prayers. On Wednesday before the wedding Myra's Mom (one day after Grandma) was found on her kitchen floor, unable to get up and disoriented. She was taken to the hospital and admitted for extreme dehydration and other problems. I flew to Ohio for the wedding as planned on Thursday. Needless to say, Myra's life was upside down with grief, concern and joy all at the same time. What a bunch to deal with.
We did all the pre-wedding events and requirements and Myra dealt with her Mom's illness, as she has medical POA for her.
The wedding was awesome. It was outdoors in a park, near a train tracks. We had contingency plans for rain and trains but; the weather was perfect and no trains went by during the ceremony. It was way cool to see my daughter so happy on her day and she is married to a guy I like; how cool is that! I wish them all the happiness and love in the world.
Mandy was married on Saturday, I flew home to Alaska on Sunday. Myra, Mandy and family and other family all went on to Michigan. Grandma was buried on Monday. Myra got on a plane on Tuesday and flew to Florida for her Mom. Myra was supposed to have knee surgery on Wednesday but she postponed it for a couple of weeks. (She is actually in surgery as I type this).
Mom, Myra's mother is not doing very well at all. She was in the hospital for about 10 days and is now in a rehabilitation center. She has a feeding tube, she is down to about 70 pounds and she has a large yet un-determined mass in her lung. Please pray for her comfort and family comfort also, while dealing with Mom's illness.
Myra flew back to Ohio on the 29th and now on the 31st, today, she is having knee surgery. Myra can really use your thoughts and prayers. OMG what a month for her, and here I am in Alaska and she just keeps taking care of things down there while I try to get ready for winter up here.
We are already beginning fall season here. It gets into the 30s at night frequently and leaves are changing on the trees and bushes. Especially on low islands and sunny meadows. The river water level is dropping very fast this week which is signs of things to come. I made my last trip to town yesterday for final fall supplies. I was not going to go to town again after I got back from the wedding but I needed several building supplies to complete some projects for home improvement.
I have completed the wood shed structure but still need to get our wood cut up and split. I dropped all of the trees last year for this years firewood and I sectioned the trees into logs and stacked them all this spring. I thought I would have all firewood prepared by now but I had no idea how busy I would be fishing this summer. I have no complaints but this fall is going to be hugely busy.
I have to cut up, split and stack the firewood. I have materials and a borrowed mini backhoe to put up a new outhouse. I have materials for the cold storage room that we have not gotten built yet and I have all of the plumbing supplies to put in a drain system for all of the gray water drains in the cabin.
Today I am care-taking at Yentna Station Roadhouse for Dan and Jean and this weekend I have fishermen scheduled for a couple of days. This is my last known (scheduled) guide trip of the year. I may still get a few day fishermen fly in for trout fishing but I know nothing fixed right now.
August was slower for guiding than June and July because of the wedding, the flood on the river and I took a week off to fish with friends from the Quad Cities area of Davenport Iowa that flew up and spent a week with me. That was really cool to have friends come up; I leave an open invite to each of you to come visit this great land. Thanks Tom and Gary for coming, and we had a successful week of fishing. The guys took home 68 lbs of fresh salmon fillets. That is the Fillet'd weight of the keepers they caught.
I have some pictures of various things to post but the connection speed here at the Roadhouse is pretty slow, they won't upload so I will add them later, stop back and visit!
Thanks for being here,
It is a pleasure to share,
See Ya

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Holy Cow it has been Busy

Willie on the 4th of July,,, Need I say More!

As you may of guessed by the length of time it has been since I have posted on the blog, I have either been busy or I just got lazy. I would like to tell you that it has been all busy but the truth is I have had time to do a post a few different times. I did not do it because I just could not muster the energy to put into it. That energy was gone from being busy.
It is pouring rain again today and it has rained a lot for the last 8 or 9 days now.
I have fished at least 4 days a week since the beginning of June up until this last week. I was scheduled to fish 5 days this week but we have had serious rains and the river has gone into flood conditions. It has not been good fishing at all this week and there was several trip cancellations this week. I am ok with that. It has given me some time to get caught up around the cabin and to catch my breath.
I have fished with people from several European countries and all over the USA. I have even fished with people from Dayton Ohio (90 miles from North Baltimore). I have learned to fly fish, which I had never done before this year. I now really enjoy fly fishing. I have caught all 5 species of Pacific Salmon and Dolly Varden, Burbot, She Fish and Rainbow Trout this summer.
I have fished with a Fish Wheel for subsistence fishing for our freezer. The fish wheel sank on me when a tree floating down river hooked on the anchor rope and sank it while I was working with it, that was a rush. The fish wheel is basically built like an old paddle wheel only it has chain link baskets that scope the fish out of the water as it rotates. It is built on top of two aluminum boats with the wheel between them. The tree hooked on one of the boats rope and sank one of the two boats and broke one of the fish baskets. It also pushed the rig into the shore and broke the fish cleaning table where I was cleaning fish at the time of the crash. It is a long story about this fish wheel but to sum it all up, I was able to get the boat back up out of the water enough to bail it out and Tom came down with Andy to repair the broken basket. Alls well that ends well right!

I have not accomplished any projects around here because of Fishing and Fixing. As you know I did start on the Wood Shed. I have not gotten it completed yet. I do have the roof rafters started but that is as far as I have got. I did get the main beam up by myself by putting up the to main support columns then strapping a taller log to them and hanging a chain fall from the taller log and hoisting the main beam. Putting up the rafters is not too hard, just time consuming. I have had to cut the trees, peel the bark and do the forming and shaping. I did use a few old rafters from when I tore off the old back porch from the cabin.

I bought a new Much Bigger chain saw so that I can cut boards myself. I have an Alaska Mill that was given to me to use by a neighbor. Now with that mill and my new (Used) 36"long chain saw I can cut some pretty massive logs and boards. I am looking forward to being able to get to work with it more.

I have replaced a CV Joint on one of the ATVs for the first time. That was a learning experience. I had the little generator where out and start blowing oil thru the exhaust. I now have to buy a new generator while I am in town for travel to the wedding.
I have sent the power inverter in for repair and now have ordered a new one because I am having trouble getting the company to honor the warranty on the old one.
I have another sputtering fuel injector on the boat. The fuel injector's are getting frustrating. This is the third failure of one. The fuel up here is hard to keep pure with having it transferred from truck to truck to barrel to pump to can etc. I have a very good fuel filter on the boat but I am thinking about putting on another one in addition.
I have repaired a portable water pump so I can water the garden directly from 50 gallon barrels. I now have several plastic barrels for hauling water. I have been getting 250 gallons at a time for the garden now. Of course I have been getting that one barrel at a time with the ATV.
I have been keeping the garden weeded (and doing a pretty good job of keeping it alive). The Lettuce and Cabbage is heading, the broccoli is broccoling, the cauliflower is blooming, the potatoes have blossomed, the tomatotoes are tomatoeing and the pepper plants look great However they are extremely miniature. The tallest pepper plant is about 5 inches but they look healthy. The onions and carrots look good on the surface and I pulled one carrot to check it. It has a skinny orange thingy on the bottom. I think that is a good sign, don't you?
I have been keeping the cabin clean, the pets alive and most of the house plants look like they will survive my care.
I received a notice from the postmaster that our post office is one of the 3700 post offices expected to be closed in the near future. The local Skwentna Roadhouse is working on becoming a UPS store or something like that so they can continue to receive our mail. It will be more hassle because they are a mile inland with no direct boat access but it is far better than going 63 miles down river. Getting mail may be even more interesting in the near future. If this works out we might even be able to receive ups service, who knows?

Hans and I are having a Very Serious conversation about some recent problems. He keeps trying to explain his side. Look at all these expressions as he is talking to me. The dogs have gotten too used to going fishing with me. Now most mornings when I let them out they take off and make the 2 mile trip to the boat and sit there and wait for me to show up. They did this one day when I was not going fishing and they set there fore over 12 hours before I went to bring them home. I know they were at the boat all day because other people had called me to tell me they were there in the morning and then in the afternoon. One day I did not take them fishing with me, I left them in the cabin all day (it had rained all that day and they make a mess in the boat when it rains). The evening I let them out and they took off. They were not home at bed time and I assumed they were in the boat. I did not check on them. I did not have to fish the next day and the dogs did not come home so I went to the boat that morning. No dogs. I got a call a little while later and found out the dogs had gone to a fishing lodge 7 miles down river, where I fish for frequently. They were waiting for me at the fishing lodge instead of the boat. I now keep Hans tied up unless I am outside. I hope he learns not to run.

I chased a bear off of my boat one morning when I went to the boat to go fishing without the dogs. Look close at this picture and you will still see the wet foot prints from the bear AND the sucker pooped all over the boat. I think I litterally scared the shit out of him. It was a little guy, probably first summer away from Mom. He didn't really hurt anything on the boat he just got into the shore lunch cooler and bit open the shortening bottle and made an oily mess to go along with the poop.
I had a night time door knocker once. As you can see by the foot print on the door, I am glad I did not get up to answer it. It is the only time I have had a bear at the cabin that I know of this year. It knocked over the burning barrel also and spread burned trash around but no other damage. Of course the dogs were sleeping inside that night. The dogs have been doing a good job of keeping them away this year.

I need recipes for cooking Salmon. Please send them on if you have a good one. I have about #100 of fish in the freezer right now and a few more weeks of good fishing after I get home from the wedding.

Speaking of the wedding, one week from today (on August 13th) Mandy and Rick are getting married. I will be in Ohio for just a couple of days for the wedding. I am super excited for them and I wish them all of the luck and love in the world!

Myra was due to come home a week after the wedding but like all plans, they were made by humans and changed by god. Myra had a slip and fall in a grocery store where the floor was wet. As I understand it, she slid under the shopping cart and wedged her knee somehow. She has torn the meniscus and dislocated something around something and the surgeon gets another big house payment. Myra goes in for surgery on 8-18 and then has 4 to 6 weeks of PT before she can come home. Oh Crap, huh..

It has been one heck of a lot of fun but, I miss Myra and the rest of the family.
Thank you for letting me share with you, even if I don't share often enough.
I will try to talk to you soon,