Saturday morning Jake and drove up to 12 Mile Summit to meet Dean and Lenny. The original plan was to work on the porch deck, help get the wall sheeting up and the house wrap on.
So as all good plan’s go this one was changed before we even got started. Meet Dean and Lenny and then loaded up the Siglin sled and hauled it behind the Bearcat for our first run in. Dean asked me if I’d mind hauling the rest of the material in and of course I said sure. So Jake and I ran three trips hauling the last of the heavy materials to the cabin site. A nice and easy day actually, all considered. The weather at the cabin was fantastic, blue bird skies and sunshine. The weather at the parking area, 7 miles away was a different story. It started out nice, but by time we got the last load ready to go in the wind was blowing and the clouds were coming in.
Not a biggie really, the wind that is, the worst spot was going down the steep hill about 5 miles in, yup, the same spot I rolled the Bearcat a couple years back hauling some foundation materials. Dang Siglin keeps pushing the Bearcat from behind and actually lifts the track off the ground, not the most comfortable of feelings, being airborne on a rig that wasn’t meant to fly.
So here are some nice pictures of the ride in, notice the clouds moving in starting at the 5th picture, not as amazing in a still photo as it was watching the clouds roll over the mountain tops. The videos are pretty good to, the first one is a short clip of the ride out from the cabin site towards the rigs, the 2nd one is considerable longer from the rigs to the cabin site.
I figured I’d make another trip, my fourth, up to the Mt Ryan property to help some more with the building of Tiff’s cabin. This was going to be a big push weekend as Dean had gotten a few more hands to help, namely Lenny and Chris, both good carpenters. I left town early with the plan to beat the snow fall that was suppose too fall in Fairbanks and the Alaska Range. The Alaska Range is south, so no worries, right…
For those of you who haven’t really followed my postings over the years, after Dean and I brought the property down near Hurricane (aka Hurricane cabin near Chulitna Alaska) we applied for the State of Alaska Land Lottery and won, along with 50 or so other folks. Anyway, the land lottery is the state’s replacement to Home Steading and a pretty good deal, at least I think so.
So I made the trip to Seattle and the Swedish Medical Center to follow up on the brain surgery my local doctor said I needed. To accomplish this I had to cancel all my hunting plans and spend three days in Seattle in a very small room. The bottom line, my cyst is not a cyst but an anomaly and doesn’t require surgery, yeah team.
Well I guess it’s time to review the roll over I had on the 4th of July weekend. We got to where Peter said the group was meeting, this was 50 miles down the rough and ready Denali Hwy and then another 7 miles up the Valdez Creek Mine Road to a nice pull out with a view. So far an easy if bumpy ride, well almost easy, crossing Valdez Creek shortly after turning off the Denali Hwy was a challenge. The challenge of course was convincing my lovely bride that we wouldn’t get sweep away crossing what was a pretty good roaring river. Heck it only came over the top of the tires for a few feet.
So we made it and nobody got wet which was nice. After getting camp set up I was informed that Peter was leading a ride farther up the valley, you can see it on the track log included in the pictures. It was a beautiful evening and a nice ride with only a couple of wet crossings, granted one of those was 500 feet long with nice deep pool at the end to get over, but still enjoyable.
After my end of the season trip last April I figured I’d wait until the snow was gone and the weather improved to make my first summer trip in. Well the snow did melt and summer did arrive along with lots of rain so far this year.
I drove down Thursday evening and had my mind set to get stuck a couple of times on the ride in, surprise, surprise, made it to the cabin without getting stuck once, that was a change. You will notice that the first picture in the album below is of bear pop, taken about 50 feet just before the cabin. Dang bear(s) tore up some more of my form board and decided to leave me a nice little pile to show his support, Ha.
And it was a doozy, the day started out fairly good, worked 4 hours, then drove down to my parking spot and unloaded. Plan was to make the first trip in with necessities and then make a couple more to haul the 1/3 cord of firewood I brought along. Well as they say, the “Best made plans of men and mice”, it was 2:00 PM by time I was able to start my first run in. It was getting pretty warm and I figured I’d see how the ride was going in with a light load.. hahahaha, it’s 3 miles from the parking spot to the cabin. Normally a 10 to 15 minute ride, it took me 4 hours and 38 minutes to make it.
Got stuck 5 times and as you can see from the pictures below, the first time also included rolling the Bearcat and then burning out my belt. After getting unstuck and going again I figured I’d be OK, nope, got stuck three more time and was just about to turn around and head back to the rig when one of my neighbors, Ron, showed up. He helped me get the Bearcat back up and on to the semi-packed trail and then he rode lead on his nice little and very light weight Tundra. We made it into the cabin and there I stayed. It was 6:38 PM and I was pretty well wiped out.
The week of April 11th is Arcticman week and everyone who rides is pretty much down at Summit watching the races and enjoying the third largest city in Alaska for those 7 days. Me, I prefer some quite time and headed on down to the cabin to finish the last of the repairs to the foundation and yes it’s done. So now I can get back to insulating and maybe working on the inside walls.
As I have a hard time making a trip down there without hauling some materials in, I hauled in 10 sheets of OSB and some 40 odd 2x4s for the skirting, and seeing as it was 35 above and sunny, I went for a ride on Friday after getting all the hauling done. It was blue bird skies and just beautiful, no one else was around and I had an enjoyable and quite weekend. Of course Trish always gets “concerned” when I go down to the cabin alone, but man its sure nice to have that alone time in the woods.
March this year has been more about getting the cabin foundation fixed (you do remember my shock last August http://johnstons.cc/index.php/archives/2607) after the big lean than anything else. I made two trips and almost have all of the cribs in and the beams straighten and braced, one more trip should do it and then I can get back to finishing up the insulation.
Of course there was a few hickups during March as well with Trish’s health. So far everything is looking better, but the poor thing has had one H E double L of a winter. We think we may have it all worked out and she should get back on schedule.
The pre-race conditions for the Iron Dog was pretty strange this year, heck our whole winters been strange this year, I’ve heard it called the winter that wasn’t and the winter of OCD, take your pick, it’s simply been a very different one. It started out pretty good with some decent snow fall, then it warmed up and rained, rain and winter months do not mix well in the Interior.
So the weeks before the Iron Dog start of Feb 14th there were lots of discussions on moving the race start to Fairbanks, maybe go north of Big Lake (historical starting place), maybe skip Nome and have the racers turn south once they reached the Yukon River. But the board decided that this is the Iron Dog, be tough or go home, so we kept the race track intact and everyone was geared to run. We did (or I should say the racers) got lucky and mother nature provided some snow fall, not much mind you but enough to help.