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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.

I 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,


  1. Happy New Year Roger and Myra!!!

    Thank YOU for taking the time to share your story with us!

    Beautiful photos and neat video!

    Stay safe - stay warm!

    As always, I enjoyed the update and the pictures are indeed awesome. Please be careful on those winter journeys and cleaning roofs and decks! I will try not to grunt and complain when I have to shovel my little 4 inch snowfalls here in KY. Does the new house have real running water and a REAL bathroom? Is it any closer to town? Tell us more about it as you settle in. Wishing you both the best!

  3. Roger, what a great blog. Thanks for all of the great work you are doing at Shell Lake. It is super you are going to help Joe and Norma out with their place at Skwentna. Glad you will be closer to us at Shell Lake.

    I will blogroll you to my blog. It is at: