Packing to move

So the decision has been made to move to the cabin. Fairbanks is getting to controlling in its political view and lots of regulations that in my opinion are too restrictive and an undo amount of government regulation. I figure when the local gov’t not only tells you when you can and can’t heat your home and from whom you have to buy your wood stoves and wood, its time to go. Getting to socialistic for me.

Anyway, I also needed to get some fish for the winter so a trip to Chitna was in order and off I went. Netted 10 decent sized salmon and am now working on a brine. Think I’m going to try a new brine, the one at https://justsmokedsalmon.com/recipes/sweet-southern-oregon-smoked-salmon/ sounds good. If not I’ll go back to my Dry Brine from last year, it was pretty good.

The plan is to move around the first of December, depending on the weather. I want 2 feet of snow down to set a good trail to haul our household goods and gear. I am working on a Solar System for electricity and trying to drive a well in for water. Driving a well by hand is a bit of a hassle but I think I’ll get it. If not I do have access to year round water, just have to filter it. The solar system for electricity is easier just more expensive.

Our North Pole home won’t be empty as I was originally planning it would be until sold, our grandson is going to move in and rent it from for a while. So for now its packing and yard sales. Going to moose camp in a couple of weeks and hopefully we’ll have full freezers of fish, moose and caribou before we move, makes winter much easier when I know the freezers are full for the year :<)

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The Cabin March 2018

Made the trip down to the cabin on the 14th with Dean and Jake and the roads were terrible. Icy and slick and blowing snow to make it all so much fun to drive on. Well we made it down to the parking area around 1:00 PM. Oh yeah, Rose’s café in Healy has a great breakfast.

The trail in wasn’t broke open, so Dean as our fearless leader set a track in through a foot of nice powder. It really was a nice ride without any loads. After Dean made a pass with his Bearcat, Jake followed with the M6 and I followed him with my Bearcat, so after one run we had a nice track set, just a bit rough. Dean’s second run included a groomer we made and brought in to leave at the cabin.

After the trail was smoothed out we packed in the 2×6’s for the second floor, firewood, and barrels of fuel. Guess I should explain, the cabin was originally built with a 12 x 20 foot loft, however as our future plans have changed I decided to extend the loft all the way and make it a second floor. So we now have 960 SF of living area. The new area is going to be a great bedroom or maybe it’ll be the entertainment area for the TV and Inet J Not sure just yet.

We also had about ¾ of a cord of firewood to haul which we started doing on Wed and Thursday. Friday Dean and Jake began work on the loft extension and I hauled firewood, that’s a lot of wood to haul with an Otter sled, but it’s all in and stacked. Along with the 60 Gals of gas and 55 gal drum of heating fuel.

Friday and Saturday were construction days. Dean and I (mostly Dean) framed up the floor and Jake worked on the electric (that is getting a couple more lights working on the second floor) and tying in a new breaker for the new area. We originally figured a day to frame the floor, but as things go it took us Friday and most of Saturday, of course not starting until noon might have helped put our timeline back a bit, that and a small hangover.

 

Dean and Jake left around 9:00 AM Sunday, yeah I know, early. So I was now on my own and thought I’d enjoy it a bit and work on the trail to the water hole, a little spring about a mile away that has great water. Well it snowed all day with a 20 to 30 MPH wind and visibility was zero, so I decided to relax for the day and deal with it on Monday. Ha, it continued to snow all night as well and by 9:00 AM Monday I had another foot of fresh snow. Humm, so I’ve got to get a trail open to the water hole and the truck so I could make it to Wasilla Tuesday to get the materials to start our Renewable Energy System, i.e. solar power for electricity.

As it turns out Kim the local resident (den mother would be a better name) was thinking about us and getting to the water hole as well. So she calls and we agree to meet up and break trails. She’d start from her cabin and head to the water hole and I’d start from ours. She made it most of the way and then disconnected the trail drag she was pulling and left it on the trail. I meet her and we headed to get the drag and more trail broke open. Ha, she missed this one turn and got her Bearcat stuck, hey, no biggie, I’ll set a track next to her and will get her out. Dang it, so after I got stuck, right next to her we dug out the shovels and 45 minutes later we’re back in business.

So six hours later the trails are all opened and ready, well sort of, one small issue with the dog gone wind, still blowing 30 mph and filling in the trails. Kim and I tried to get to the parking area by going over the top or S pipe as it’s called. It’s the hill just north of the cabin and clear of any trees and yup blowing wind that turns into white out conditions is not what I call fun. About half way through I stopped and looked behind me, our tracks were gone as fast as we made them. OK, plan B, take the lower trail, yeah I have more than one way in and the lower trail works, it just adds a few miles to the route out. And the wind was still blowing but we got a track set, or so I thought.

Tuesday morning early, I have to be in Wasilla by 10:00 AM and it’s a 120 miles south and the roads are slick and the wind filled in the tracks set Monday, so it’s 6:00 AM and I’m headed out. The trail was OK, windblown but no biggie really as I could see the outline of the trail. The biggest pain was arriving at my truck and finding it and the trailer buried in 24 inches of snow. After getting my morning workout I took off and made it to Wasilla by 9:30, not bad.

I then spent 3 hours with 907Solar and the owner Coley, great guy and excellent service and help. He and I put the Inverter/Charger together and he walked me through the configuration of the system to add the batteries and solar panels after I buy them. This is a piece meal project, just don’t have the $9,000.00 to do it all at once. So Inverter/charger first for $4,000.00 then the batteries next and then solar panels. After I get the batteries, next purchase, I can use the generator to charge them and the Inverter to run the cabin on the batteries. Not the best solution, but it’ll work until I get the solar panels and reduce my generator use from 24/7 to about 2 to 3 hours a day at most, maybe even less.

A nice evening at the cabin watching the wind blow off the mountain tops and fill in the trails again. But it was a productive and enjoyable trip, wish I didn’t have to come back to the rat race. Soon, oh so soon until we move.

Next trip I’ll bring in the 3/4 plywood for the sub-floor and some flooring to finish up the second floor and move the bedroom up stairs.

If you look at the photos below you can see the wind blowing the snow off the mountains tops.

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Pizza Run in March

It was nice day and the temps were above zero. This was what I call Stoney’s annual Pizza Run. Stoney, our fearless ride leader took us all though the local back trails starting about 3 miles from our home. The snow this year is great and deep, lots of powder and a couple of “Stuck Feast” times during the ride.

We rode 63 miles in all, some of it on trails, some of it on what should be trails that we broke open, some on the river and some play time in wide open fields. A variety of riding for everyone and as I said the temps were great, at one point folks were stripping off layer to cool down.

We also had a variety of riders aging from 11 to 70 with a variety of experience, Pizza was at the Two Rivers Lodge and they did a great job on service and cooking, great pizza.

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Sweetheart Run 2018

It was a cold start to a great day. As I drove to Chena Pump Landing to meet up with everyone for the ride I really didn’t expect to find anyone else. Alvin was already there, ready and waiting as I parked my rig others started to show up. So why you ask didn’t I expect anyone else, well my truck said it was -22 Below (f) and Mike C. said -26 Below (f) and as our normal ride cancelation cut off is between -15 and -20 below (f) depending on ride leader, I just didn’t think anyone would show up.

It ended up with 9 us of riding to Nenana and it was cold start but surprisingly it warmed up as we got farther down the river. Normally it gets colder, so I was happy to feel the warmer temps. Heck, Zero is down right balmy after unloading at -22 or so below.

The ride was easy, Roger and others have been running the trail to Nenana to get it in for the Iron Dog and we saw some stakes already in place. Not a lot of stakes and many more will be required before the 24th, but a good start.

About a third of the way down, say around the 16 mile mark we had this one little issue, no biggie for Iron Doggers, but thrilling for trail riders. As their fearless leader I came up on a small break in the ice with some water, ha, no biggie, the ice dropped a bit, but not enough I couldn’t get over it. So I roll over it and up on the trail on the other side, well the guy behind did what I did and went a little slow and as soon as his sled was on the ice, just before the crack, it broke and fall another foot or so.

Little hard to see from the angle, but it was about a 2 foot drop in elevation from where the pictures were taken to the ice on the other side. Hey, what’s a ride without a little diversion to keep your mind sharp. So we all made it across and kept on going. We did run into some areas similar to the one where the ice broke, a little tense but the trail ice held all the way to the Mondo.

Our waitress at the Mondo mentioned that the ice was thin compared to past years. This conversation got going when we were talking about the Nenana Ice Classic and when the ice would go out. She thinks it’ll be early, we’ll see.

Anyway, we stopped for gas in Nenana on the way back and now have a new ride slogan, “Evan Look Up”

It was a fast ride back to town and we got to our rigs around 4:00 PM, all in all a great day to be outside enjoying the sun and not a bad 110 mile ride.

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12 Mile Summit Ride

The last FST ATV ride of the season, next club rides will on snowmachine, snow is almost here. It was a good ride with Mike C, Evan, Jake and myself. We rode the trail out of 12 Mile Summit towards Circle, the trail was so rough we only made it 8.5 miles in and turned around. Once we reached the ridge above Birch Creek, Mike wanted to go down into the valley and ride out to the rode and go back via the highway, Jake of course figured we’d get stuck in the mud and be out till midnight. So we returned the same way we went in, over the very solid and extremely rough trail. By time I got home it was a 3 Aleve night, man was I sore.

But it was a good ride, never got rained on which was a plus.

Aug 2017 FST ride 12 Mile Summit

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Silver Fishing at Valdez

Had a blast dipnetting Reds and got a call from Dean that he was going to Valdez with family to fish for Silvers, so another trip for more fish. Fishing was good and the company excellent. We had a nice if wet 4 days. Silvers are in the smoker and taste really good 🙂

Silver Fishing at Valdez, 8_2017

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Dipnetting at Chitna on the Copper River

Everyone decided to leave Summit Lake where we were ATVing and head back to town, me I decided to head to Chitna and do some dipnetting for Salmon. The reds were in and I figured since I hadn’t been dipnetting for a quite a few years it was time I did it again.

I got to Chitna and took to the road to O’Brien Creek, this is actually the road that was started by in the 60’s I think, that was supposed to connect Cordova AK to the main highway system, leave it to say it was another Alaskan Politicians blunder, no the road never got done, but it does make a great ATV trail for 15 or 20 miles, maybe more I don’t know.

Down the road about 1.9 miles you come to a steep grade and one I wouldn’t take the RV down, but heck you can only go another ¼ mile anyway and no more road. So I parked in the large turn out just near the top and as dipnetting was closed until Tuesday morning, not a sole in sight, I got my pick of parking spots, beautiful view of the Copper River.

While cooking dinner, momma moose and her baby come along and hang out for bit, kool I thought, nice scenery and wildlife, if I only knew.

So my week starts out with breakfast Monday morning, thinking this will be enjoyable, quite breakfast watching the river flow by down the hill and just relaxing for the day, fishing opened at 12:01 AM Tuesday, so I had a day to just do nothing. My breakfast is made and I’m sitting at the table, all I need is my orange juice, so as I get my cup and turn around to eat, what should be watching me with his noise pressed on the dining area window, a black bear. He kind of looked like he was trying to figure where his plate was, I make noise and he walks to the front of the RV, stand on my cooler and then looks in the front of the RV. Dang pest, after he figured he wasn’t getting in, he walk off to the trash can about 50 feet away and tried to find a snack there. Good thing to, because by that time I had the sawed off shotgun in hand and a round jacked in, ready for him to break a window or door. Well this guy hung around for a day or two and then when went on his merry way.

Dipnetting Chitna July 2017

Dipnetting in Chitna for Reds

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ATVing at Summit Lake

So a week after I get home from the Lower 48 I load up the RV and hit the road for Summit Lake on the Richardson. This is the same location that the Arcticman event is every year. Been down most of trails in the winter but never in the summer.

Trish and I were suppose to leave together Thursday evening, but she had to work until late and being a short 3 hour drive in her car, she decided to follow me down after she got done.

I love Alaska in the summer and the scenery is always beautiful and this trip was no different, good weather and sunshine, most of it anyway.
So we rode Saturday along the Alaska Pipeline trail, actually the maintenance road for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, but still nice. I didn’t get to go down the one trail I really wanted to explore, but I guess I have reason to go back some day.

So you’ll see my bride in the pictures below, she is just covered in dust. There was 7 of us with Stony as our leader and he prefers to drive a faster pace than most of us, but Trish was determined to stay right on his butt, ATV butt that is and she got covered with trail dust for her efforts, but danf she did a good job of staying with him

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Road Trip

So one day in April I’m just hanging out on the deck and my sister calls, she has decided to move from Calif to Lawrence Kansas and as we’re talking she mentioned that she really needs to drive to Kansas with some items and her dog. Her dog is a sweetie but older and I know she wouldn’t make the plane trip, dog that is.

So being the kind younger brother than I am (yeah lots of patting self on the back there) I agreed to fly to So. Calif and drive her to her new home. It was a pretty good trip I have to say, we left Calif on Tuesday morning and hit the road. First day was long, 11 hours and we made it to Salina Utah, a nice quite community. When we pulled in I see all these Polaris ATV’s and after talking to the folks a bit I discovered their on an 800 mile ATV ride across the state and not a big deal, or so they said. I seems Utah has excellent ATV trails and they ride from small town to small town and stay the nights in hotels, 4 days to do the 800 miles. Dang I wish we had those kind of trails.

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Mt Ryan Cabin Site

Dean needed to check on Tiff’s cabin on Mt Ryan and since I was there any way, we did a work little to the foundation and beams for my cabin. Leveled the beams and made up a material list to get the platform in. I don’t plan to put up the walls and roof for while, so I figured I’d at least get the deck (eventual floor) in and use it as a platform for the wall tent during the summers. Will have to see what’s the best exterior floor paint these days to protect it.

6_13_17_Mt_Ryan_Cabin

Scoping material needs to finish cabin foundation

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It was a beautiful day and we did notice that some 4×4 trucks had been down the trail, suckers rutted it out big time. I don’t mind 4×4 trucks, but when they drive on trails that they aren’t legally allowed on, due to weight limits and then destroy them, I have issues with that. Probable the same A-holes who destroyed the walking trail in town.

We did find a a nice chainsaw someone dropped in the trail, trying to locate the owner, but if its one of those 4x4ers, oh well, their loss is our gain.

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