Thursday, August 30, 2007


August 30 ~ Thursday ~ Mostly sunny.
Made a later start today, arriving at the fair gates shortly before noon opening. Made a couple exchanges from yesterday and browsed in a couple boothes before wondering what the food de jour would be. Crab cakes and bacon wrapped scallops looked really good...A-N-D...they were, but not really enough to be filling so trudged on over to the 'Whole Hog or None Catering'...BBQ spare ribs and fries which were soooo yummy...THEN I was full! Meanwhile, Jack had BBQ ribs from another place, but didn't like the sauce...and checked mine out to taste if it was better...Yup, by a w-h-o-l-e bunch! The music groups are quite good, just hearing bits and pieces until later afternoon when we sat for a while and listened.
Watched the showmanship part of Tera's competition, winning the top showmanship award with her steer and coming in as reserve master showman in the round robin. The competitions involve a variety of things...from how the person is dressed, to the cleanliness of the animal, the control of the animal, the eye contact of the person with the judge and several other aspects. Very interesting to see how it's all handled. We left about 5:30pm, stopping at 'The Rib-cage'...a little BBQ trailer on the way to Jeff's...for, let's see...a BBQ pulled pork with cole slaw on a bun. NOW THAT WAS GOOD! The guy had run out of beans so substituted some ribs. OH, YEAH! I'd go back!
In the evening Janell, Chandler and I attended the school's open house, the scary place for her two weeks ago, but not any more. I felt priveledged to have been invited!
When it's warm during the day and blue sky the cloud formations in the afternoons over the Hatcher Pass area east of Palmer are just awesome! Blues going to deep dark colors with white thunderheads...rolling and churning sometimes...other times fairly still, but always changing...another example of God's handiwork... How can anyone not know Him!
PS...Cindy and I recognized each other...maybe it takes longer than a day...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


August 29 ~ Wednesday ~ MORE SUN!!!
Laundry day...complements of Adams~and filled with water day...complements of Adams. Also, discoverd we have about enough propane to brew 1/3 cup of coffee so took the bottle with us when we went to the fair at noon. Our first stop(s)??? Pork chop on a stick...Frier Tuck's roasted corn on a stick...funnel cake with powdered sugar...Kettle Korn...soda. Is there any other reason to go to a fair??? Apparently so~ my bags were full when we left at 7pm! BUT...the main reason we watch Tera show her steer~AND SHE RECEIVED GRAND CHAMPION!!! Now for showmanship tomorrow and the sale on Saturday. Didn't really think we'd go this often...BUT...we are only here maybe once... Met Cindy after the above eating spree and went to see 'Salmon on Parade'...nice ones like Whitefish's 'Moose/Bear on Parade'. Talkeetna should take a lesson as they only have little almost plywood moose 'on their parade'. THEN...she and I bought some aloe lotion that will cure everything and make you look...OH, SO YOUNG, since it can also be used on the face. Maybe we won't recognize each other tomorrow!
Everyone just can't comprehend the sun being out for the fair...usually it's raining and cold, but all are enjoying the weather. Met a friend of Janell's tonight and I can see why she enjoys her company. We'd be friends, too.
Wonder what I'll have to eat tomorrow...


August 28 ~ Tuesday ~ SUN!!!
Played on the internet in the morning while Jack read, then I went shopping and had lunch with my friend, Kay, at the Colony Inn in Palmer...a quaint little 'B&B' that serves breakfast and brunch...a very, very good place to eat. The visit was too short, but at least we were able to see each other one more time before we leave.
I did two quilt shops, one in Palmer, the other in Wasilla. Bought two more Alaska-made (salmon~just the outline and...kinda...bones. REALLY, it's cool!) and one Washington-made, but a 'made-for-Alaska' theme also (dragonflies)...more or less an applique technique, but not one that the turning of edges is required...AND...MAYBE...with the 'embellishing machine' I bought I'll be able to 'do-my-own-thing'. Didn't even forget to pick up the photos at Fred Meyer like last time when we had to turn around...but that even was a blessing since I found an LCMS church from that adventure...AND...found another while looking for the Colony Inn...almost across the street! If possible I'll go to both on Sunday. St. John's in Palmer has several hundred souls, but Lamb of God in Wasilla is about St. Peter size. Janell wants a report back because they are looking for a home great talking to her, as always...about everything. We just have soooo much in common and I'll miss her/them greatly!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


August 27 ~ Monday ~ partly sunny, some sprinkles.
Did not do much today...on the net, blogging...reading...visited with Janell for a few minutes and sat on the deck while the sun was available during the late afternoon. Ate pizza with Janell, Tanner and Chandler in the evening. Just a relaxing day after the fair yesterday.

Monday, August 27, 2007


August 26 ~ Sunday ~ AND SUN for the fair...almost unheard of!!!
Left by 9:30am~ picked up a couple friends of Tanner and Chandler~ to go to the fair...10AM gate openings on weekends and the lines were already long, BUT not as long as yesterday! First off...THE SLINGSHOT...both girls and Jeff and Tanner decided to ride. Not something for the 'faint-hearted' as the stomach stays up as the person 'falls' to watch, tho...but scary. Lots and lots...did I say LOTS...of booths: crafts, food, merchandise...and, of course, exhibits of plant and animals...AND...RAFFLES (guns, cabin, quilts, 4 wheelers)...and the midway...and demonstrations. This fair will take a couple days to walk thru and see. We 'scoped' out the food that we want to try on our next go-round. The demonstration of logging was very good...funny. To do that a couple times a day, everyday, during the fair would be tough to keep humor in the dialog, but the four REAL loggers did it well...and you should have seen how fast one climbed a tree!!!
The rodeo started at 2pm so we could only stay about an hour, before leaving for Anchorage, but we did see Lindsay run the barrels, coming in 4th. Only videoed her for the last half because the announcer didn't say who was up next and on deck.
We left for Anchorage to meet Paul, Effie, etc. at 3:30pm...found them at one of the Wal-Marts and conversed for a bit before Paul, Joshua, Caleb and Susan's folks had to leave for Nondalton. Effie entertained us while eating at the Outback and until we dropped her off at the airport. Soooo good to see her again and hear all the news... will see Paul and the whole family next week when they come to Anchorage...and maybe Talkeetna.
Arrived 'home' at Jeff's/Janell's at 11:30pm, by the glow of a full moon, as they were on their way to the airport in Anchorage to drop Jeff off for hunting in MT.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


August 25 ~ Saturday ~ mostly SUNNY!!!
Left our land about 11am, after visits from Kim and Mark, stopping at the pocket mail site for a voice message from Lindsay stating she'll ride at the Palmer state fair rodeo on Sunday at 2pm. Stopped in Willow for Mat-Su Valley maps (gave one to Mark...the two are for us and Adams'), then on to Fred Meyer in Wasilla to print pictures. Had a L-O-N-G drive to Palmer...due to fair traffic backed up, taking an hour for about 5 miles...WOW! We will leave early tomorrow!!! Jeff and Janell were not at home when we arrived, taking 'our' camping spot for a night or two. We'll greet them when they get home, then give them space as this is Jeff's last night home for three weeks as he'll be guiding for deer, elk and possibly bear in MT during hunting season.
A pleasant mild evening, watching the cloud formations.


August 24 ~ Friday ~ partly sunny/cloudy.
Chore day again...will these clothes EVER stay clean! We also had to get the mail as we may not be around again when the post office is open. I offered to go with the 4 wheeler, but that wasn’t going to happen apparently. Took photos of trees, etc. remember during the winter. It hasn’t frosted here yet, but that time is getting closer and closer. Quite cool in the mornings...sweatshirt cool AND a coat when I go to pocket mail. I’m reading a book on the Klondike...amazing what they went thru, but equally amazing is the ice that builds up on the Yukon...and other bodies of such an early time of year. In 1897 the Yukon was frozen~FROZEN!!!~ by the end of September and no boats could get thru at all! They did have a chinook for about 12 hours and when that ended and the water froze again there were house size chunks of ice as far as the eye could see, piled up on each other from the current and no boat moved for 8 months. ‘The Klondike Fever’ by Pierre Berton...I recommend it highly as does Jack.


August 23 ~ Thursday ~ high clouds/some sun. First day of Palmer State Fair.
Not a bad weather day, although it does get quite cool during the night, so takes a while to warm up during the morning. Jack went to see Mark and while he was gone I was sitting, reading, by the fire when a sound came from the woods...thought maybe HB and Erin were at their place, but the gate was still closed. Later we walked back on the trail... and...the answer to the age-old question: Does a tree make a sound when it falls in the woods if no one is around...was answered. I wasn’t technically in the woods and it did make a sound. Also, took the 4 wheeler around to see the swans...bath time for them and they put on quite a show, ducking under water with their feet up wiggling...spreading their wings to fluff and dry...preening, with feathers flying thru the air. AND...a dragonfly landed on my hand and stayed for several photos. There are over 30 species of dragonflies/damselflies (both have male and female) in Alaska (Florida has 170) and are very interesting to read about~one species can lay over 3300 eggs at once and the larval dragonfly can live for months or even years before leaving the water to various colors of blue, emerald, black, yellow and, even, red.


August 22 ~ Wednesday ~ DRIZZLE.
And that’s what I rode in on the 4 wheeler to The Best Little Hair House on the Spur Road for a perm. Really...not a bad ride, especially since Yoder Road is chip-sealed now and it was relaxing. The rest of the day was spent reading or scrap-booking or watching a DVD. The sky cleared somewhat in the clear tomorrow???


August 21 ~ Tuesday ~ cloudy, sprinkles...and...heavy sprinkles...for a while at Talkeetna.
Decided to go back up north today, stopping at Lindsay’s Latte before leaving Ninilchik. As we were backing onto our land Jack noticed moose tracks, coming right up our drive and down onto the trail we made...AND WHERE WAS I WHEN HE/SHE WENT THRU!!! I’m thinking the moose are aware that I want a CLOSE/GOOD picture and they are avoiding me. And, speaking of moose, there are signs on the highways in Alaska stating how many are killed on that particular road during the year. The Sterling Highway (from Seward Highway to Homer) had 171 killed as of last week...The Glenn Highway (from Tok to Glennallen to Anchorage) had 206 killed AND, I’m sure, the drivers/passengers don’t ‘fair too well’ in most cases. The state this week is cutting back from the road the brush that has grown the last several years...a winning situation for all concerned.
Something amazing happened last evening after we arrived...KIM DID NOT COME OVER IMMEDIATELY! But...Blue-eyed Buddy did, after Mark told us he had wandered off and the people that had him advertised it on the or family must have ‘rescued’ him.


August 20 ~ Monday ~ rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain.
Really mostly drizzle, but quite heavy drizzle at times...most of the day. Got up at a decent time, but didn’t go into the house due to sleeping people during the morning. Cindy did make us French toast about noon, then she and I decided to go to Soldotna for our annual peanut buster parfait and fries...and dog food/dog bed for Boots...and groceries...and Alaska patterns (found really neat ones made by a lady in Soldotna...bought two, a moose and a bear, just hope I can do them justice). Would really like to spend A LOT of time...and most likely the Viking store where I bought the patterns...over 7000 bolts of fabric...books...etc.
Boots...just a really neat puppy...5 months now...gets up very slowly after sleeping, just like a baby/toddler, but gets motivated and runs back and forth playing with whomEVer is with him. Today he walked/ran me to the camper and when I came out bounded behind a bush so I wouldn’t see him. Remember when you were little and that flight urge hit to hide when someone came around the corner? The rustle...and his fox ears...gave him away tho.
Probably will leave tomorrow morning and head back to Palmer, then Talkeetna for a couple days, depending on when Lindsay will ride in the rodeo this weekend.


August 19 ~ Sunday ~ cloudy, but very mild and no rain.
A slower start today since nothing ‘major’ is happening at the fair, but get going and there by about 1pm. Ate again at the Texan BBQ...very good...BIG sandwiches (we shared) while listening to music...some not so good, but the last two groups were very much worth listening to. Even bought the last group’s CD of western swing and blue grass...touring Alaska since early August~ from Portland, OR.
Decided to buy a Huskystar by Viking felting machine at the fair (special lower price...had looked on the net last night to compare) and hope to embellish quilts this winter. Of course, the quilts have to be made first...
And... learned that Lindsay will be riding in the Palmer state fair rodeo either Saturday or Sunday so hope that works out for us to attend.


August 18 ~ Saturday ~ cloudy to rain...and breezy.
Another great day at the was perfect (read above)...Tera’s steer sold for $4/lb, bought by AIC (Alaksa Interstate Construction, the company David works for) with a sooo yummy BBQ afterward for the bidders (Jack bid for AIC~ so, yup...we indulged in the food) ...and Lindsay won the barrels and poles in the rodeo (in the rain)...and took fantastic pictures of Hannibul. Even talked to Shad, Lindy Mae and Sterling early this morning which made a great start for the day!!!
Have tried to go from flash drive to Schnabl’s computer, but something isn’t working wait continues for blogging.
No moose close by or on the horizon tonight.
And...still a heavy drizzle.


August 17 ~ Friday ~ cloudy...sprinkles...rain...clouds.
And kinda chilly at the fair grounds...had to put on a coat besides the sweatshirt I was wearing...and stand in the pooch kennels during the downpour, but all in all it was a good day. Tera is again Grand Champion with one of her steers...Lindsay took second in barrels (‘The Beauty and The Beast’ -bull riding). And Hannibul is here again so hope to get a video of him tomorrow. One of the bull riders is both deaf and blind! Can you imagine normal living, let alone bull riding...not being able to see which way the bull MIGHT go??? Bought a few raffle tickets for different things, all of which, WHEN I WIN THEM, Cindy will pick up and keep for me like she did with the pistol last year.
And now...while typing I see a large moose, thinking it’s a bull, across the road and a few minutes later a cow moose with yearling calf 50 feet from the camper...NICE!
It does get dark now at night...for probably 6 hours or so...with stars and moon visible. Thinking of friends who are also viewing those same heavenly sights.


August 16 ~ Thursday ~ cloudy, sprinkle-y, a tad of sun.
This morning I started a little after 6am, transferring pictures to the blog and finally was done about 9:30am ~ so nice to have Jeff’s internet that is faster than Tanner’s at Talkeetna. Chandler came to visit for a bit before we left, worried about being in a new school for 6th grade starting on Monday, but told her everyone is in ‘the same boat’ and it’ll be alright very soon. We’ll be back in a week or so and will see how she is then. Their two little ‘wiener’ dogs, Griz (younger) and Rebel (fairly old) have such personalities...and likes and dislikes. Rebel will tell you if he wants his blanket...likes to cuddle UNDER it, thank you! And then, there is Griz. He and Jeff have a battle every summer over the garden...and a lot of the time Griz willwin, beating Jeff to the carrots and peas when no one is looking...OR...even if they are.
Left about 10:30am for Anchorage and Costco...have to get those pork chops for Cindy! Also, had to buy a few other things including tickets to the state fair in Palmer, held August 23-Sept. 3...Fun Amongst the the theme. Some people really enjoy the fair, while others say, “Same ol’, same ol’!” I’m pretty excited to see what they have...booths for crafts and of huge We bought four tickets for the price of we just have to pay for parking!
Had a picnic on top of Turnagain the camper as it was cool and sprinkle-y, then arrived in Ninilchik by 6:30pm, taking our regular camping spot there, too. So nice to have places we can go and not have to have reservations. Cindy and the girls are gone, getting ready for the Kenai Peninsula State Fair that starts tomorrow in Ninilchik...where I won the 44 Magnum last year. Ya sure...they’ll get my money again...

Thursday, August 16, 2007


August 15 ~ Wednesday ~ rainy/cloudy to partly sunny.
Rain during the night, but wake to 'just' cloudy/sprinkly skies as we prepare to leave for a week or so. Loaded everything in the trailer but left that home. Laundry at 'John's', while Jack bought propane and a couple other segments for the outhouse pipe at Moore's, then traveled back to that pipe to unload the holding tanks. Grocery shopped in Wasilla/Palmer, then found our regular spot at Jeff's and Janell's, BBQing in the evening and watching 'Wild Hogs' with Tim Allen and John Trovolta (funny, good movie). This might be the last time here this year that we see Jeff, depending on how long we are on the Kenai Peninsula, as he will be flying to Livingston for guiding on the 26th. Most likely we won't be gone that long. They gave us blueberry jelly made from the berries we all picked on Saturday during the 4 wheeler ride...yeah!!! Also, had homemade current and raspberry jelly during dinner...yum!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


August 14 ~ Tuesday ~ cloudy to rainy.
Woke up to clouds today with a little blue sky, UNTIL Jack went outside...and then it started raining...but just for a minute. Really glad the gazebo is down.
OK...I lied about ‘for just a minute’ with the rain as it started in for a real downpour a little later...wish I had had a rain gauge out to see how much. Finally put a rubbermaid container out for the rest of the day and that totaled ½ inch.
Went up to Chris’ for water as we were low...and also think we are low on propane. That we’ll see about tomorrow when we leave for about a week. The rest of the day was spent just putting things away...or reading. Kim did come over later in the evening to finish making a better ‘ramp’ with dirt to get down to ‘our lower level’ of ground and the start of the trail to the back. Didn’t get to see the swans again today...due to rain...


August 13 ~ Monday ~ and, yes! Sunny again!
So, since it is NOT raining the screened gazebo came down...just don’t want to put it away when it’s not dry. Sure glad we bought the 18 foot wide one as the section under the ‘don’t get wet part’ has room for about 4 chairs, but, as far as keeping the bugs out and the sun off~works great! Jack rearranged the trailer and we also unloaded the camper so we could pick up storage things, also, getting bolts to repair the upper brackets for the air bags under the p/u which had broken (last year they also had broken so have been keeping an eye on them). At the swimming hole/pocket mail place, on the way back, there was a cow moose with yearling calf...first I’ve seen here this year.
I also hauled rocks for the ‘wall’ by the road/pad down to the ‘meadow’ where I hope to sow the native seeds...not done with that yet, maybe tomorrow.
Took a 4 wheeler ride to the beaver dam to take video of the swans...NOTE TO SELF: BRING EXTRA BATTERIES ALWAYS! Did get one video, but the camera turned off by itself...RATS! The swans did swim toward me, but found me not as much of an attention-getter as the dog the other day, so just meandered around. They kept staring at the tree line so wondered if their little ones were still there. Sooo...tomorrow morning when we turn the generator on the camera will be charged...then, hopefully, another trip to the pond will happen.


August 12 ~ Sunday ~ rainy in AM...cloudy PM.
Woke up to the plink...plink...plink of sprinkles on the roof, enough to make the chairs mighty damp for sitting, but by early afternoon only the clouds were here, so decided to cut tree roots in the newly dug up section. Decided to put rocks around the edge where the road/pad meets the dirt. When we come back this way before leaving we will scatter native seeds over this area...should be really pretty next year. Mark came over and helped Jack make a cover from slabs he has cut from logs for the outhouse no critters or humans accidently fall in. After that we watched the camera videos Mark had taken that I had uploaded to the computer (has the same Kodak Easy Share camera we had previously)- of his three months alone at Bunco Lake, 20 miles from nearest road, taking apart and reassembling an outhouse/shed of friends that the 13 feet of snow had collapsed several years ago. His comment about a lot of things, “It’s hard to explain!”, explains it all...cutting snow with a chain saw because it’s packed together so hard...sorting thru all the items stored in the building...taking out ALL the nails...cutting trees to make lumber for rebuilding...bringing plywood from another location ON A CANOE from a mile away for the roof...melting snow for water for EVERYTHING...just interesting watching how he managed to do what he did by himself. SO...if he’s around when we are here again I know he’ll help us build whatEVer...
Chris came over in the evening for a visit...telling us of his trip back east last week...always interesting talking to him. We had given him the book, ‘Cheating Death’ by Larry Kaniut (also wrote ‘Alaska Bear Tales’, etc.)~ real life stories about near death experiences~ to read on the to the last story and discovered he works with the people in that particular survival story. So now we know someone who knows someone who... Really tho~it’s amazing how many people know someone who knows you. Mom used to say they couldn’t do anything when away from home that it didn’t beat them back. He also told us where we could get native seeds...and liked the rocks around the edge.


August 11 ~ Saturday ~ beautiful blue skies!!!
What an awesome day...spent with such great friends in God’s wilderness creation!!! Jeff, Janell, Tanner, and Chandlier arrived late morning...with their 4 wheelers~ a Kodiak and a 660 Rhino~loaded, looking for bear. Actually, Kim was over a bit earlier and said there was a bear in the close vicinity during the night...the smell was in the air. So, with two 44 magnums and a rifle we started out up a 4 wheeler/snow machine/mushing (in the winter) trail at the end of Yoder road. TALK ABOUT MUD...AND ROCKS!!! BIG mud holes and BIG rocks. Both the Rhino (Jeff driving) and our Polaris Sportsman 700 (Jack driving) had to use their winches to pull themselves out of mud holes...and YUP...GOT IT ON VIDEO!!! It took close to 3 hours to go 4 ½ miles and it was a blast! I fell in the mud...never wear CROCS in mud and unlevel terrain when wet...both were sucked off once each and the walking was very difficult with a mud mask around my feet. Didn’t ‘pay’ to clean them off and dry them because some of the mud holes were over the footrests and on up the ankle. We were told the trail is over 20 miles with winches needed in different spots...and we think probably it would have been rougher, steeper going further on up. Stopped to eat sandwiches when we turned around...and picked blueberries along the way back... even saw fairly fresh moose and grizzly tracks and fresh grizzly scat with berries***no little bells that Jeff could see...the stores sell bells, mostly to tourists who are going hiking...get the picture? On the way back we stopped at the swimming hole to wash off mud AND I even took a scrub brush to my feet at home. Coming off the trail it looked quite hazy...wondering if it’s smoke...and could then smell it later in the evening...kinda a red-ish hue around.


August 10 ~ Friday ~ sunny, YEAH!
This is a chore day again...and this time I’m going in by myself since Jack and Mark are ‘playing’ in the pipe trench for the outhouse. Yoder Road is all chip-sealed...NICE, like a super freeway!!! My usual route is John Watt’s for laundry and internet where I only do my e-mail which takes forEVer...and all but maybe 4 are mail I definitely do not want...THEN, to the hardware store, Tesoro for fuel and M-O-N-E-Y from the ATM, the everything store and on into Talkeetna. Hiked down to the beach for yet another picture of Denali***which stayed ‘out’ ALL day!!! And, since, I’m alone I am eating at the Roadhouse which has ever sooo yummy food! Breakfast is huge...which I am late I opt for a bowl of turkey white bean soup with bread. Get this! Over an inch and a fourth the homemade wheat bread is cut...and real butter...all for $4.75. Of course, their scones are mouth watering...had them buy a strawberry/rhubarb and a blackberry. Internet at Tanners was slow again so only transferred the blog...tried pictures, but was a no go. Also, talked to Laura, the jelly lady, who told me earlier that she would display and sell whatEVer I come up with~ with the pictures I’ve taken~so asked for her address in case I have to send them up for next tourist season. She’s so neat...gave me a hug...told me to keep in touch...and I will. And onward, back up to Malispina Loop where Jack and Mark are sitting, contemplating their work. Mark has brought over his camera for me to upload on the laptop...tomorrow we’ll have videos.
Just heard in town that the shuttle may be in tile trouble again, so praying for their safe return. So glad that God is in complete control of everything...we need not worry.

Friday, August 10, 2007


August 9 ~ Thursday ~ sunny.
We were expecting Jeff, Tanner and Chandlier to drive up today for 4 wheeling, but their p/u started smoking so turned around...disappointing, but all may come up on Saturday. Kim came over to dig the outhouse hole and trench and finish the road/pad...didn’t quite get done tho because of...visiting...trying to find more parts...but no break-downs today. He also told me about a blueberry patch a few lots up the road so tried to find them...and did, except they are up high on a hill, so only picked a few, but will go back for more within the next couple days. Fingers were stained purple when I was below my left eye and that was not from the blueberries, but from a bite.....
The little black flying thingys are not as prevalent today, even after starting a fire...what a relief! Even back in the woods, they didn’t bother when I took pictures of the trail...doesn’t take long to get back to the steep hill anymore. Maybe tomorrow after running into town I’ll finish what’s started of the rest of the trail.
Sounds like HB and Erin are here, pounding away on their cabin...wondering if they’ll be here all weekend as they told us they weren’t coming up.
Roy came over for a bit...also showed me his ‘cabin’ he’s built himself. Told me he went to Home Depot and read everything they had over a four day period, ordered his supplies, rented a backhoe and cat and started in on it...stick-frame, garage on bottom (snow machines), living quarters on the second level with nice size rooms. Seems to have thought things thru especially about providing heat even while not here part of the winter.
Mark was also here, helping with the pipes for the outhouse, etc....and stays for supper. He and Jack will finish putting the pipe in tomorrow morning.


August 8 ~ Wednesday ~ sunny.
The mountain is out again with a few clouds around the base. I’ve taken so many pictures of it and never tire of seeing it, so different in the morning, afternoon or evening. And the cranes (yeah, right...grizzlies) are feeding again at the pocket-mail place...wishing they would come closer.
Kim came over to finish the road, track coming off again later in the day. The road/pad looks really nice now...with parking for several outfits. We’ve decided to wait a couple years for a cabin, but think we will have him dig a hole for the outhouse culvert (shot full of holes with THE GUN for drainage) tomorrow, and a trench for the 4 inch pipe so we can unload the holding tanks here. We can get water at Chris’ so could stay here indefinitely if we so desire.
Jack and I do venture into the woods again, making the trail to HB’s and Erin’s walkable and also in another 300 feet (600 feet from our camp now), Jack helping with cutting more logs out of the way on the part he’s already gone thru. Now he has to decide which way to go as there is a steep bank, probably 100 feet from where I stopped cutting...may not get a trail all the way to the back this year as the time is getting short, but have a very good start for the next time we are here.
In the evening, Jack and I, along with Mark and his dog go thru the swamp on 4 wheelers to the beaver pond to see the trumpeter swans. They swim over to us...about 10 feet defend their little ones which we don’t see, from the dog, keeping her in their sight wherEVer she wonders. She doesn’t quite know what to think of them, standing on the edge of the dam, sniffing, while they stare at her and sometimes honk. Beautiful creatures! Their wing-span is up to 6 ½ feet!
We also meet another new neighbor, Roy, who bought his 5 acres (½ mile from us), also sight-unseen, but from a realtor late last summer, putting in a road in Oct. and pouring the cement then, building in the winter. Sadly...for us..., he bought his land***WITH A VIEW OF DENALI***for less than we paid. Oh, well...we are happy with what we have!
Rained profusely in the afternoon, then sun again during our excursion to the swans.


August 7 ~ Tuesday ~ bright blue sky.
The sunlight is sooo awesome shining thru the trees...seems to change the terrain at each angle.
Trekked into that terrain again today ~with Jack within about 400 feet of the east edge of our land...altho we can’t see it because of the brush...maybe it’s only 30 feet...NOT! I’m w-a-y behind...probably 300 feet in since it’s slower going due to detailing, cutting everything from the 4 wheeler path...thinking it’ll not grow over for a year or two...or a month...
Actually, we will have cut more than the 900 feet to the back when done, around and over birch and spruce trees. So animals, but there are trails besides ours back there...and, I think, I saw places where SOMETHING has bedded down~unless Jack has been playing around with the 4 wheeler trying to find the easiest way. Oh, and***Jack is the one that has my gun***
Kim did show up today to continue with the drive...between visiting...Mark also, and the dogs. We have more visitors here than in MT!
The mountain was out today in all it’s glory...given by God as all things are...including new friends which are really old neighbors. After pocket-mailing I drove to the cabin of people Kim told us older couple, in their 80's, who in ‘81 built their own cabin and road, having to snow-machine in over a mile with all the material. She told me they never thought in their lifetime there would be a road past their place...and even farther (we are over a mile from them). A very nice couple...invited me to their church in Talkeetna (she does the ironic is that!)...the guy keeps all the brush down around the cabin and along the drive AND cuts all their winter wood. They only have an outhouse...and have no running water, hauling it in in 5 gallon containers about 15 way.
We had our soooo yummy chicken...baked...last night


August 6 ~ Monday ~ and there IS blue sky!
Yes...high clouds with blue sky...and kinda windy which is unusual. Makes a person a little thoughtful as to the tall trees and their shallow roots. The clouds are traveling two different ways at ... two different speeds.
Today is laundry/propane($2.55/gal....over $3/gal. at the junction)/Jack’s store/mail/dumping/getting water/blogging day.
Jack’s store is at Mile 98 on the Park’s Highway and has just about anything anyone would need in some form or another. Asked the guy if he knows where everything is and he said after almost 19 years he has a pretty good idea. Did buy a whole chicken at the extravagant price of $1.94/pound...better not burn it tomorrow! We had about a gallon of propane left so can run the camper on two 30 pound (7 gal. each) bottles for 12 days...nice to know if we are out and about without campgrounds. AND Tanner’s internet was working a bit faster so blogged 11 days worth and transferred pictures.
Still working on Yoder Road in preparation for chip-sealing ... and ... Montana Creek did get deeper with the rains, but stayed behind the rip-rap that was hauled in last year during the flooding.
Decided not to start a fire because those little flying gnat creatures love it as much as I do. Jack came back from visiting with Mark and said they were just thick AFTER he started his fire.
Kim did not come around today...excavator in the same spot as all weekend.

Monday, August 6, 2007


August 5 ~ Sunday ~ Liquid Sunshine.
7:30AM...Listened to Michael Card, Steven Green and Michael W. morning time with God and sharing St. Peter worship time with my Christian family. Thankful we do have rain and praying for rain in The Lower 48. has rained ALL night...going on 38 hours now. Decided I’d brave getting wet, found a rain coat and took the 4 wheeler down to see how the creek is fairing. Actually, it isn’t all that much higher, so wonder about rain in the mountains...or is it snow and not melting??? Also, tried the pocket-mail...sometimes, due to weather, the signal doesn’t always come in well. Raincoat did what it’s suppose to do...but my jeans from knees down are soaked. Decided to make more banana bran muffins...the oven will warm me up. Jack is watching a movie...generator going, of course, since our batteries were low again this morning. Probably due to using heat during the night along with the fridge’s fan running. Had to start the p/u to start the camper generator...not unusual.
9PM...Rain and propane is low.


August 4 ~ Saturday ~ Rain.
8AM...And the rain keeps falling and falling and falling...since late afternoon Friday. We are ‘catching’ rain water from the camper ‘eve’ in 5 gal. buckets...runs off quite nicely. Since it’s wet outside Kim decided not to work this weekend due to slippery mud, so will be back on Monday for???
Jack does a few things outside, visits with Mark and then is in the camper for the duration, while I am ‘scrapbooking’, continuing on The Behind Trip with Stan and Bobbi...already thru Denali and will start Seward next.
8PM...Still raining.
I washed my hair in rain water...


August 3 ~ Friday ~ RAIN to cloudy/sprink-ly.
More rain during the night AND we are awakened at midnight by the BEEP...BEEP...BEEP of the fridge notifying us of*** low battery***so Jack trudged out to turn on the portable generator since the camper one can’t start due to ***low battery***letting that run awhile to recharge the camper. Finally, we returned to be awakened the BEEP...BEEP...BEEP of the fridge notifying us of***low battery. I’m thinking I see a trend here...with something to do with the portable generator being plugged in???
Coffee time for Kim, then he starts in again widening the pad/road and is doing a very good job! He charges $80/hour...not bad...would have to pay a lot more to hire someone else. His little excavator ...turquoise/purple ...does quite a task of moving logs and tree roots/stumps. By the end of the day the road is at least 6 feet wider, extending from the pad on down around a tree where a trailer can also be parked. He has also moved all of the logs just north of our land where we can cut them up as we need. The owner of the property just north of us hasn’t been here in years so don’t think it’ll be a problem. And, if Kim...or Mark...need firewood this winter they are welcome to take whatever they need.
Jack went on the 4 wheeler to the junction for money to pay Kim and to buy ‘barn spray’...insect killer...for those pesky little flying things. Must be the temp...or maybe a million just hatched...WHATEVER...they are all over the place. IT’S WAR!


August 2 ~ Thursday ~ cloudy, then r-a-i-n...
A remake day...Kim is over with his excavator, pulling downed logs over where we can cut them into lengths for burning ...and enlarging the road/pad, going down into the soil 11 feet with the first 3 feet just awesome good as any in the Red River Valley of NORTH DAKOTA! After the 3 feet he did find sandy soil mixed with gravel/rocks so used that to fill in, then will put the tree root balls into that hole and fill. During one of his breaks he and Jack went to the junction for diesel, gas, and to retrieve our generator from storage. After plugging in we discovered the microwave and refrigerator do not respond, so don’t know what is going on there...DVD and camper batteries seem to be charged, however.
Brian Hougie came over for a visit...lives about a mile north of us with his family. They are the people who cleared a trail and made a boardwalk over the swamp south of us for a short-cut to their soon-to-be B&B ...also hauling 120 loads of gravel with their 4 wheeler/dump trailer onto a trail made by Kim to their prospective guest cabin.
In the evening it starts to rain...and rain...and rain. Just wish we could send some to the lower 48...


August 1 ~ Wednesday ~ cloudy, mild.
It’s a lazy start again today, but vacation means that sometimes. Once we get going Jack takes the 4 wheeler on the starting of the trail while I cut/prune the smaller bushes/trees to make walking easier. It’ll be a really nice trail when done! He has gone past HB/Erin’s by maybe 100 feet...some slow going due to dense thickets. By this weekend tho, I will have cleared close to their property so we can go back and forth this way instead out on the road and over their road.
Some of the leaves are turning already...and dropping...and the fireweed is half done. The ‘old’ saying is...when the fireweed is done blooming it’ll be 6 weeks until the first snowfall. The Devil’s Club berries are making an appearance...and I AM EATING SOOO YUMMY BLUEBERRIES! So much better than the ‘store’ variety! Hmmm...maybe that’s why it’s taking me longer than Jack... Mark and Kim visited.
I wash my hair every night...since those little creepy crawly things like to take up residence. Today they were terrible! And that was AFTER we were back at the fire, not in the woods. Probably followed us out after we liberated them in their cozy mossy boggy soil. No more bites tho!!!


July 31 ~ Tuesday ~ cloudy with mega-rain during the night.
Rain drops keep falling on my head...whenEVer I go to the pocket-mail site...
Went to John’s (the gravel guy last year) today to do laundry...then to a little store on the Parks Highway known as Jack’s to see if they carry Alaska Pride bread (soooo yummy!) AND it is about 33 cents cheaper than at Freddy’s! Also, bananas...99 cents, but Carr’s were that the other day. Been hungry for chicken, but that was too expensive and the bags were too big for our little freezer. Then we make our way into Talkeetna for dumping/water and mail and Tanner’s for the net, WHICH WAS A WASTED TRIP BECAUSE I COULDN’T GET ANYWHERE...THEREFORE...NO BLOG FOR AT LEAST 2 WEEKS!!!!!
Mark stopped by just before arriving home so talked with him a while, then I took a walk back to see what Jack had done with the trail yesterday. Thinking there is about 500 more feet out there, but the first 600 is very walkable. We’re going close to HB’s and Erin’s...they’ll use it, too.
Yoder Road is getting a facelift...grading and soon chip-sealing we think. Slow going now, but will be nice when done...and... hoping they have it high enough if another flood like last year comes thru. This soil is quite sandy; therefore, sinks in fast. If we didn’t know it had rained last night we couldn’t tell by our road/pad, but some roads do get quite muddy.
Jack talked to David...the girls didn’t place in the high school finals rodeo, but didn’t do too badly either. The second they arrived home in Ninilchik they loaded up their horses to ride at the fairgrounds. ALSO...I missed my chance to blow up the mountain...thousands of yards gone now. SOMEDAY!


July 30 ~ Monday ~Raining since late last evening ~ Amanda’s BD!!!
Have a happy day, Amanda!
The day starts with Woody and Wilcox on the radio...and coffee...planning on doing SOMETHING today instead of sitting around by the fire...which is a real pull in itself. Love that fire smoke...ODE DE SMOKE, my new fragrance; however, since the weather is NOT cooperating we’re sitting in the camper, Jack reading and I...decide to start the 2007 album. Did all the pictures through arriving at Jeff and Janell’s while Jack went outside and started cutting more dead fall to get a trail to the back. Mark came over for a bit this afternoon...Kim this morning...and the dogs whenEVer. Sure am glad we have the 4 wheeler because even riding in the rain is a nice break.
Kim doesn’t know yet when he can start work here...maybe it’ll get done...maybe it won’t, but I’m not stressing.
This evening Jack is watching a movie...and I’m reading, not listening to the rain on the roof since right now it’s not...


July 29 ~ Sunday ~ cloudy to sunny.
The last several days have started out with high clouds, then by afternoon the sun is out and it is gorgeous! Maybe a little breeze...enough to keep those little tiny flying things away. When it’s in the 70's here it feels a lot hotter than in MT...the tilt of the sun farther north perhaps.
Jack takes a little ride over to Mark’s to call Jim/JoAnn and David and takes note that ‘the mountain is out’. Too bad we don’t have ‘a view’, but are happy with the peacefulness here. David has to work...J/J will be here this afternoon, so stay close to home, visiting with HB and Erin for a bit and Jack going down to Brian Brandt’s, the neighbor that introduced himself yesterday. Did I mention...friendly neighbor? So friendly that he has shown Jack where the key is to both their cabins (on the same property) in case we ever need ANYTHING!!!
Met Thane and Chevon, friends of HB and Erin, who have a place about ½ mile north of here...up for the weekend, building an outhouse and helping HB/Erin raise their cabin walls...very nice people! It’s an up and coming neighborhood! They all plan on coming up next weekend also.
Finally, about 4:30pm Jack takes the 4-wheeler down to the Spur Road to wait for J/J, but returns without them and goes to Chris’ to call. They had gotten a late start from Anchorage and, since Jim has to work tomorrow morning, decided to not stop on their way back to North Pole. We brought with us 4 bottles of Longhorn BBQ sauce for Jimmy...and we still have them...let’s see***something about 9/10ths of the law, comes to mind.
After discussing building the outhouse, I took a 4 wheeler ride to the creek. Yup...salmon AND ***young grizzlies playing by the tree line at the swimming/pocket-mail hole, maybe 600 or more feet away from the road! Have I mentioned the camera we have? Kodak Easyshare 740. I use it in place of binoculars, bringing in things by I start snapping’s two Sandhill Cranes snacking on...whatEVer they snack on. Maybe the bear were hiding behind a tree...
Spaghetti company to share...and a sprinkle or two.


July 28 ~ Saturday ~ cloudy to sunny.
Each day while here we have to run the p/u to charge Jack’s portable battery for his C-PAP, so glad we did in the morning because Adams came over early afternoon...a side trip on their way to pan for gold on Hatcher Pass. While Chandler and I stayed in case Morgans came...the rest went for a ride to see the beaver dam...and also saw bear scat on the road AND A MOOSE at the pocket-mail site. Do you think I could see a moose many times as I’ve been there!!! Of course, who’s to say...they keep telling me they have a mama moose at their place... Was good to see them and they may be back for a day or overnight next weekend...YEA!!!
Jack is cutting some downed trees today...and also cutting the culvert into two pieces, one for the outhouse and one for the spring, if we decide to go that route. AND making beans in the Dutch oven. He’s just soooo busy!
I have printed pictures for postcards...will write them tonight and give them to Jim and JoAnn for mailing when they come tomorrow. Janell is mailing some bills for me...and will pick up the 2fer coupon book from the Fairfield in Anchorage on Monday, Diane having left it there when they checked out.
Another neighbor about ½ mile north of us came to introduce himself today...Brian...from MN originally, but has been in AK since the ‘70's. Nice man, three dogs, a wife...and said we could borrow anything he has that we need. Alaskan people are like this...complete strangers helping other and don’t expect any payment in return. Have just read a book, ‘Oh, No! We’re Going To Die’ by Bob Bell and he mentions this several times.
Morgans did not come up...glad we saw them last weekend!
Beans were very good...Mark enjoyed them with us before the thunder...but no rain as the cloud moved to the south.


July 27 ~ Friday ~ sunny.
VERY lazy today...just sitting by the fire, enjoying. Chris came over for a visit before he left...and won’t see him for a couple weeks since he’s flying back east for his brother’s wedding.
Remember the red berries we noticed this week...elderberries on bushes, leaves and berries look almost like Mountain Ash, but these berries are not a ‘cone’ shape...all parts poisonous, except the pulp of the berries and flowers, but the poison is broken down by boiling. There are also watermelon berries with a very weak taste of watermelon and not too many on any one bush, so to gather them for jelly would be tough. The natives of Seldovia do make that type of jelly and had bought some when there. And... there is the trailing raspberry which doesn’t look like a raspberry at all, but has 2 to 8 little berries all together to make one, with 5 separate leaflets. I’m assuming they are good to eat...because, the book doesn’t say otherwise. Now then...ripe berries...equal***BEARS***oh, oh... Also, we have Wood Ferns, not Ostrich Ferns, but the fiddlehead can still be picked and eaten in the early spring after they dry and the brown scales rubbed off.
Kim came over during the evening with a friend, so visited with them...and probably will again this weekend.
A most beautiful day God provided...peaceful, calm...just taking in His creation.


July 26 ~ Thursday ~ cloudy.
Since the rodeo is not broadcast on tv, and can only be listened to on the net (no wi-fi here either), we’ve decided to go back to Talkeetna today...AFTER we watch ‘Love Comes Softly’ (VERY good movie!), waiting for David to take us to the ‘used culvert site’ at noon. After we pick up the 10.6 foot, 42 inch culvert we head back to Jeff’s to use the net, then 3 Bears, Freddys and on to Home Depot for outhouse supplies. Have to call HB since we can’t remember what they used for their ‘pedestal’ for seat. It’s a sump basin for a sump pump... cut the top off and place on it~ the seat. Also, bought 4 inch ABS pipe (three, 10 foot long), a couple connectors and a cap...glue...and are at a loss about the rest so decide to leave and talk to Colgroves this weekend when they are on their land. How big...window(s)...roofing...cement or wood floor...all questions to be answered. Deciding is the hard part...SO FAR!
Stopped to ‘dump’ at H & H just north of the junction, but they charge $12!!!, so on to Talkeetna and the RV Campground there for ‘only’ $5.
Arrive home about 9:30pm and go up to Chris’ where we have left the 4-wheeler with Mark. Yup...Kim did drive it...and he is NOT a slow driver, but nothing is the worse for wear. Big party we leave very soon to set up our camp again.