The FST Sweetheart run was another great trip down the Tanana to Nenana and a lunch at the Monderosa. The river conditions were pretty good, but lacking in snow cover and lots of sheet ice and I was glad to have the Bearcat’s track studded up. However, those same wonderful studs also caused me some issues. I threw a couple of the studs and one of them went through my cooling unit. Same as getting a hole in your radiator, loss of radiator fluid and overheating 🙁 I ended up having to remove the track and lots of front end part to get the heat exchanger off, welded and then back on again.
So the weather is nice and we all have Caribou tags to fill. Normally I’d go up to Rosebud in the Chena Rec area, but that is in zone 1 and was closed while Trish and I were at the cabin in Dec. So Dean, Dave, Jake and I decided to go into the White Mtn’s and up to Windy Gap to find some Bou. Well, our tags are still unfilled and my freezer is getting low.
We spent Christmas Eve with the kids at home and Christmas day packing for our trip to the cabin near Hurricane. This was the wife’s first trip to the cabin since the walls went up. She’d been there once before after we got the foundation and platform built, but it’s a big change from platform to walls, roof, insulation and such.
So the first ride of this summer. Met Stoney Robertson at True North camped the night. The next day we were joined by John Johnston and Dave Oliver. We took off explored the mine and then headed down some dusty trails crossing the Steese and Circle Fairbanks Trail…ended up at Chatanika Lodge had a nice lunch. We also went to the Davidson Ditch and took a close look at an old cabin and Mining tunnel. Made it back to camp Dave and John went home…Stoney and I sat up til midnight talking war stories etc. This morning we went on a long ride made it to Hilltop drank coffee and came back by 1pm….I said goodbye and came home…waiting for the next adventure soon!!
Took a few days off of work and went down to the cabin. I left around 5:30 in the morning figuring I’d get to the parking area by 9:00 so I could ride in to the cabin before the snow started to get to soft to haul any loads. It went pretty good, the temps were in the mid 40’s when I arrived so I only took one light load in the first day, most of my freighting was firewood, so I wasn’t worried about it “disappearing” overnight from my truck.
As I said it was a nice day when I arrived on Wed, cloudy but warm. After spending the day opening up the cabin and moving things around so I could get to the front wall it was dinner time, so I called it a night and relaxed for the evening. Moving a few things included taking down 4 sets of scaffolding and hauling it out to the deck and moving the firewood I was storing inside to keep dry out to the deck as well. So it took a few hours to complete.
What I figured was my last local ride was the Snow Travelers Two River run lead by Stoney.
It turned out to be a good ride of about 48 miles on the trails north and south of Chena Hot Springs Road and through a couple of trails I hadn’t been on before. We started out with 11 riders and nice temps above zero, of course the above zero became above freezing before the day was out.
Stoney did a great job on leading the group and we all had a good day. Even found a few fields of snow that no had ridden on this season, so some of us got to play a little.
Anyway it was just a nice day to be out on the trails. We did end the day early, around 3:30 as the snow was getting to be a bit soft.
We got a nice dump of fresh snow, a wet and heavy fresh snow, not what we usually get in Interior Alaska. I’m use to that nice dry powdery stuff, but this year has been such a snow drought for us any snow is appreciated, even wet heavy stuff.
As the club didn’t have any rides on the calendar, I posted on the web site that I was thinking about heading out to Chatanika for breakfast and a ride. I got called from a couple of members as to my plans, like where we going, how many miles, no idea. My plan was simple, meet at Chatanika, have breakfast, get on sled and ride.
After the Sweetheart run the week before I decided to make a cabin run and haul in some more lumber for the generator shack. Jake offered to come along so we also hauled in the new 7KW generator, which means I can run the chop saw again when getting the tongue and grove up on the inside walls.
A great day and an excellent 106 mile ride. When I arrived at Chena Pump Landing, our parking area, at 8:30 AM it was already 2 above zero. It looked like it was getting a little cloudy and of course that had me wondering about the flat light. Last year there was a couple of place where I was driving by brail, not a fun feeling going 35 miles an hour on a sled and wondering if there were any open leads and holes in the ice you’re heading into. This year we had a little flat light but not bad all in all.