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,