Saturday, November 22, 2008

They Judge a Man by What He's Got and they wanta have more and more

Well this last week was spot on awesome.  I got to go to the mountains and answer the call of the wild for a few days and that does the soul good.  I left Fairbanks under snowy skies and dropped in on Iniakuk through a hole in the fog with my friend Max in his little Champ.  It is a great little plane that is as close to hang gliding as you can get and still have a prop out front.  I stayed with the great Paul Shanahan, Slayer of Large Bears and Teller of Tall Tales.  Here are some pics:
Here's Paul in his kitchen looking for caribou while I take apart my snowmachine engine.  The crankshaft seized so I brought the whole mess  back into town with me.  Damn iron dogs.
Here's Max hand-propping his Champ after dropping me off.
Cutting wood with Paul is an adventure in the improbable showing impossible how to get the job done.  It was -35F, the wood pile was empty, and Paul's wood hauling sled had just lost a battle with a tree.  We had to wrap the chainsaws in sleeping bags so they would stay warm enough to run.  Good times.
Fairbanks in the rearview mirror.
Moonrise over Iniakuk Lake at 4 p.m.  I was headed back to Paul's after looking for caribou and happened to look back over my shoulder.  I had to shut off the machine and watch until my camera froze.  And then I thought about what happened to Luke Skywalker on Hoth and I got the heck back to Paul's warm fire before I was forced to crawl into the warm ribcage of a caribou I hadn't shot.
Here's Max buzzing the cabin as he comes in to take me back to the bright lights and big city.
Paul's plane hasn't run since freeze up and it's keeping his riverboat and outboard motors company on the edge of the lake.
Here's the main lodge, shuttered and waiting for more snow.  There were snowshoe hares all over on highways of packed trails.  I've never seen such rabid rabbit density.
Sunset at 3pm with overflow in the foreground adding a little steam to the cold air.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Watchin' the world go by, surprisin' it goes so fast

Well pictures of the day continue to be skiing in the back forty as Angela and I explore the hood and take advantage of the short rays of November sun.  

Temperatures have been pretty mild without much below zero so it's easy living.
I almost think Mazzy would sleep outside if she wasn't so afraid of the dark.

And finally the upper cabinets are in which means the kitchen is starting to look like a kitchen and we're actually cooking meals there and enjoying the place more.  Next week the lowers and a more permanent running water system.  Although I may have to jump out for a quick trip north...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Where's your head at?

This has been a very strange week and we're only halfway in, I'm not sure if I'll make it to the weekend.  On Monday Angela and I decided to go for a ski on the multi-use trail out the front door.  The weather was nice and there's just enough snow to cover all the grass and roots.  We'd been skiing for about 20 minutes when we came upon a squirrel caught in a leg trap.  Some jackass had a trapline about 2 feet off the trail where it could have easily caught a dog.  The squirrel was caught by about 3 toes so I reached down to release the steel jaws of the trap and he bit the crap out of me.  Probably should have seen that one coming.  So I took off my hat, held the little bastard down, and then released the trap.  He shot out of there like he was on fire and we all went our merry ways.  We soon realized we were not far from Jillian's so I called
 ahead and she invited us in for tea.  I generally like to have a cup of tea after I've been squirrel bit, black tea if I can get it with a band aid and a bit of neosporin.  Jillian had it all and then we were off again.
On the way back I thought we should explore a different route so we did and it added just enough distance so Angela ran out of gas.  For those of you who have not seen Angela in the woods when she's hungry let me just say that getting bit by a squirrel was not the worst part of this ill-fated voyage.  But we made it back in one piece although Angela took a wrong turn at one point and disappeared for about 20 minutes which did wonders for her mood.  Apparently it was my fault for not noticing that she was no longer behind me.  What ever.  But we rallied after some hot soup and went out to Chena Hotsprings for a soak.  The rock pool was 107F which is the hottest I have experienced out there and we had to keep crawling out on the rocks to cool off.  Of course the weather turned while we were out there and we came home in a blinding blizzard.

Tuesday the Nation elected Obama for Prez.  WTF Nation???  I didn't think you cared!  So now we've got that going for us, which is nice.

And then the Chickadees attacked.  They are small but they are viscous.  I do not let Mazzy out of the house when they are around.  But today, during a break in the Chickadees, Mazz and I went for a ski.
It was zero degrees which is perfect for both of us.  Along the way we discovered a homeless shanty town (for real) and I would have taken a picture but I have seen what they pick up at the dump and I didn't want to be pelted by discarded household goods so we gently backed off down the trail.  I had always thought the ski trails would make a good shanty town access... apparently I was right.

We got home just at sunset which is now a bit before 4p.m. and I hung the last of the kitchen cabinets.  I'm very happy about that and look forward to cooking in a real kitchen once again.

You Can't, You Won't and You Don't Stop

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Put another log on the fire

I have spent waaaay too much time in the garage lately but at long last the upper kitchen cabinets are done and ready to be hanged, or hung, or shot.  Actually I've had a good time, just inhaled a lot of sawdust. 
I will be very glad to get the cabinets up and move on to the counter top, which theoretically will be easier now that I've put in some hours.  Famous last words.  
I have to give a shout out to Superior Hardwoods because they are the best wood store in town.  I bought some hardware and birch there the other day and had some questions for Rick the owner but he wasn't there so his wife took my cell number and called me back as I was driving home with the answers.  What kind of shop does that any more?  My only complaint is that they don't have a little coffee area because I would like to sit there and drink coffee while they mill wood.  The shop is so awesome.  Of course sandwiches would be nice too Connie if you're reading this.
But all this woodwork has pulled me far and away from photography and in my eternal quest for balance I will now begin a "shot a day" posting.  I shoot nearly every day but often with just the camera phone whose quality I detest but whose omnipresence I adore.  So the shots will be with the Nikon and more than 2 seconds of my time...