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Saturday, December 31, 2011

A December full of Events

It has been an event filled month of December and there are many more events to come!

We built a shelf rack on the back porch to hold a bunch of the extra totes of "stuff" that we have that don't fit into a 16' x 20' cabin. We had twelve extra totes stacked up and setting around the back porch. I built the rack big enough to hold at least sixteen totes. Of course the more space you have the more space you need. We already have the shelves completely full and and have double stacked the top but, we have a little more space inside the cabin.





I finally made it into town after a few weeks of very weird weather. I ended up flying in and catching a ride back out to the Deshka Landing to get my truck for a little shopping. I only bought 1 tote worth of needed items because I did not have a freight sled with me. All I had to take back out to the cabin was my New Snowmachine.

I picked up my brand new 2011 Ski-doo, Skandic, 800cc, 4 stroke, Super Wide Track snowmachine. I Got this machine 3 weeks ago today and I now have 896 miles on it, almost All working, money producing miles! This new snowmachine is pretty nice. It is very similar to the (new / old) one I bought last year except it has much more power and a better ride. I have pulled 6 barrels of diesel fuel on one freight sled with this one and I does not even grunt very much. That is about 3000lbs on one sled. That is more than any compact car can pull efficiently, on pavement. Of course, I paid more for this machine than several of the little cars cost.

Myra and I went back into town about two weeks later to do our big shopping trip.We took in empty fuel barrels for a customer and then brought out our own groceries and supplies.













This is the sunrise from the trail the morning Myra and I rode into town. YES, We left home well before dawn that day, as I do most days when leaving to go anywhere. Sunrise this time of year is about 10:15am, of course that changes everyday.



























I have been shoveling snow off of Cabin roofs and decks and out-builds all around the Shell Lake area. I have been doing this for hire and have been making decent money doing it. It is one heck of a lot of work but it is very good exercise. It is really cool to be standing on the ridge line of a building looking out over the lake or the mountains in dead silence and just take in the experience. Look at the top of the cut off tree. See how it has curled over? The snow up here does not melt all winter (for the most part), it just settles and compacts. In this case, the snow had stood straight up until it decided to just fold over. You never see this in the lower states. The snow just hangs there now. How cool is that!
Shell Lake received over 10' of snow in 2 1/2 weeks. Since it and the previous snow has settled and compacted, I am shoveling about 5 1/2 feet of snow off of decks and roofs. It is very heavy and the bottom 2 feet is as hard as clay to dig into.

videoI kind of hurried on this video because they take so many Megabytes to upload but I thought you might want to see this. I tried to give you a video last year but it was too big of a file to upload. It is a little BRISK here this morning at -31 degrees.

OK, Now I am just going to give you a hole bunch of pictures of sunsets and mountains and dogs from our living room, THEN, after all of these pictures, I am going to give you some BIG news of a change for Myra and I.






































Look at the clouds blowing right off of the tips of the mountain tops. Isn't that awesome. Blow up these pictures, they are amazing.








































































































































































OK, now for the news. This has been developing for quite a long time and it has now come to reality. Oh Wait, before I tell you about that let me tell you about this.
Myra will be flying to Ohio on January 18th for a few week visit, then on to Florida for a week to see her Mom, then she will be back home.
Now on to the big news of a change. You probably all have read the stories I have typed about Joe and Norma Delia, our post master extraordinaire(s) and our neighbor and friends. Oh wait, before I say anymore, let me tell you this.
While I was off shoveling roofs at Shell Lake I had one of the dumbest damn things happen too me. I had looked at my shop building before I left and determined it was fine, we only had about 4 inches of snow on it and it would be good until I got home. Well, the damn thing collapsed while I was taking care of other peoples property. Someday maybe I will learn to take care of myself first, before I go do for others!
OK, back to the Delia's. Joe retired from the post office back in mid summer. Norma retired from the post office on Dec. 22. NO, No, No, we are not becoming the new post master(s). Steve C., a long time resident up here took over the post master job. Joe and Norma are moving to town tomorrow, 1-2-2012. Myra and I are going to be moving into Joe and Norma's house up on the Skwentna River and taking care of it as if it were our own. Joe is suffering from some issues that come from aging and they must move to town and Norma is not able to sort through and de-cipher 50 some years of Joe's collection of STUFF. Myra and I are to go through and sort and organize etc while we live at their place. What an experience this will be, to see what 50 plus years in the bush can bring together. We will winterize our little place over the next couple of weeks and move a lot of our belongings up to their place for now. Their homestead is for sale but the activity has been very low. If any of you have and extra $400,000 laying around and want a really nice property let me know. I will hook you up with Norma.
I will continue to come to our place and make improvements etc on our place, AND it looks like I will be building a new shop building soon.

Myra and I have never known why we felt so compelled to move up here. We had no idea what was in store for us, if this was a God thing for sure or human will. At most points of time in the beginning we were sure that God had a plan for us up here and as time has passed, honestly, we each begin to wonder if it was more of an illusion of human will. Today, I don't know if this assistance to Joe and Norma is why we are here or if there is still larger plans in process for this adventure but, today there is a bigger reason to be here, than just us.

Thank You for allowing me to share with you,
God Bless you all,
Roger

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Myra and I would like to wish all of you a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year!

Thank You for visiting our Blog and allowing us to share with you.

I will try to do a full post again in the near future.

Love and Blessings to All

Roger and Myra

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Living WITH Mother Nature

It has been a very different early winter as compared to last year. Once it got cold in the end of October it got very cold for a few weeks. We seen temperatures of -30 deg a few times and it stayed -10 to -25 for about two weeks.
The river freeze up was much faster and less dramatic than last year. The river ice stopped flowing very smoothly and there is not much large jammed up rugged ice. There was a few week period after the river stopped flowing when we did not get any snow. I think it was just too cold to snow. The lack of snow made it very difficult to travel on the river because we need snow to cool and lubricate the snowmachines.
A neighbor from down river contacted me one day mid November about going down river to try and mark a trail over the ice. We made it about 15 miles or so from my place and came to some very un-safe ice conditions. We did not make it as far as hoped before turning around to go home.


These are pictures from the trip down river.

Riding on Ice this close to open water really makes my cheeks tighten up. This is Not the spot that was bad ice!











Mt McKinley in the background.































I have been trying to get into the "Landing" for two weeks now. We (several of us) of planned a trip to all go in together many times but the weather has not cooperated at all. Once we started getting snow, we really got it. Then it turned warm, then it rained, then the river flooded over with slush and water (we call that Overflow). Then it got cold out here, the river is in great shape here but it never has froze good near the landing. As recent as last night I had a friend make the trip and report a foot of water on top of the ice for over 150' long, plus several other areas of open water and overflow that would make it Very difficult to haul anything. SO today I was scheduled to fly to town, do some shopping and bring out my new snowmachine with just a tote full of stuff on the back (no freight sled), Now today, the planes were not flying so I am still home. Several guys from out here did ride in today but no one was pulling sleds that I know of. Many people have appointments or are flying out for the holidays etc. We will start hauling very soon however. It won't take much cold weather to get the river good and solid again but it needs to get colder than 20 degrees at the landing. Again, the river is great from about 15 miles away from the landing all the way out here, it is the 15 miles near civilization that is a problem. (Some may say, In more ways than one!)
Myra and I are still in good shape for groceries etc. The only thing we ran short of for this period of "isolation" is Dog Food. Last year 200# was plenty for 4 months. This year #200 pounds got us less than 3 months. Thank God for neighbors. I guess Hans is eating a little more than last year ay!



Today, just before I took these pictures, we had 2 Moose go across the back yard area. We were outside hanging Christmas Decorations and the dogs were getting real nervous and were barking toward the back area. I was giving the dogs the dickens and told Myra I suspected a Moose when she said LOOK, there was two of them walking just beyond the far back of our clearing. Of course by the time I got the camera and gun to go check them out, they were nowhere to be found. (The gun was just for personal protection. I do not have a permit for this time of year in our yard. I have to go to the National Park to shoot one now.) Just use your imagination and you can see 2, 1000# Moose walking along the edge of the trees back here. Speaking of the trees, isn't the snow beautiful right now!

Our neighbor on the other hand, got a Moose yesterday out on the river. One neighbor, like me does not have a permit locally but he came across 4 bull Moose bedded down on the river. He called the neighbor With the local permit who promptly went out and took his choice of the 4. He brought home a nice healthy bull. Not huge but should be great eating.

















Now for a Sun Set, nothing I can say!
















Kind of a Nice Front Yard!


















You can really see the contrast between the smooth ice and the sections of Jammed Ice. The foreground is the gravel bar in front of our place.











Life on the river is great today. God has given us many blessings to enjoy and is teaching us a lesson in patience, for working and doing in His Time. Myra reminded me today, of a time when we talked about being thankful that we were not dependent on the weather, like a farmer, for making our living. I had to laugh because that was back in a time when I thought I was in control of my day. Today, I (hope) I have learned to do what I am allowed, that God has made OK for the day. I try not to do what is un-safe. I try to accomplish what the weather will allow. I try to allow for the snow, rain and temperatures that will be thrown our way. Above all, I try to just Accept the hand that I am dealt each and every day. It is a new day, Everyday!

Thanks for letting me share!
It's a pleasure,
Talk to you soon,
Roger