Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wintertime has all began to run.

I still continue to say that no matter how much we love to get away there is really no place better than to be home, here in Alaska.  It is a completely different world outside than it is here! Somehow we managed to totally miss the beginning and what I think is often the worst stages of 'break up'.  Most of the snow is melted away now, although at our place it seems to be sticking around far too long for my desire.  Yes, an avid lover of the snow says this?!  Let me tell you, the sun is out, the temps are up to 45 by day and it is getting light out around 6:00AM with darkness shrouding around is hard not to have the fever!  Hibernation is over, the snow had it's day and it is time to do what Alaskans do; work your ass off by day and play through the night!  Seem unthinkable?

It was just yesterday that Maryann coaxed me into going out to enjoy the beautiful day we were having.  As described above, it was fabulous and felt really good to get outside.  We pulled out the bikes and decided to do some riding between Kenai and Soldotna.  Just before we pulled away in Kenai, I decided to change out of the light over shirt I had on and put on my heavier hoodie.  That would be about the single best decisison I would make this day!  I figured it was only going to be a little jaunt around town and with it so nice out who needs to bundle up?  It turned into a ride to the end of town, which continued on.  About the time we hit the flats just outside of Kenai, I, in particular, realized how much the breeze was kicking up off of the bay, funneling up through the flats and making me wish I had dressed a little warmer for the ride.  Frozen, I continued to rough it out and frankly if I hadn't decided about 4 miles into the trek to pull the plug and head back, we would have gone all the way into Soldotna, I am sure of it.  The woman has become relentless in her pursuit of exercise!

My wish is simple really; sunshine 6 days a week with one day of rain each week so we don't have to water the lawns or wildflowers!  It's not asking much.  The lake is still frozen although it is to the point that it would be foolish to walk on the ice.  Most of the snow is melted off everywhere else and the ground is thawing pretty good now.  It is like walking through a swamp in most places that aren't covered with snow.  You a sloppy 'fart' sound emitted from both sides of your sinking boot, with water squirting out like a pissed clam...  This is break-up!  We are so ready for some spring and yearn for the summer.

When we arrived at the Anchorage airport a couple weeks back, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the seagulls have returned.  Although some people may say BFD, for us, it is a BFD!  It is just another sign of summer on it's way and anyone who has spent a summer in Alaska knows that a summer here is a very exciting and energetic time where nobody sleeps.  We live for summer!  Today we saw several squadrons of ducks in flight on their way to available water....which is lacking with lakes still frozen and thawing slowly.  And we can't forget the pregnant cows!  The female moose are about ready to start dropping their calves here soon.  Although we haven't heard of any incidents, the grizzly bears and black bears are coming out of hibernation now and it is a time to be very aware of where you are and what is around you.  It is the time of year that I like to keep the 454 Casull on my hip or chest when out and about.  Last year Maryann got herself some bear pepper spray.  She is not quit hip on pulling a 'Palin' and running amok with a 12 GA shotgun on her shoulder.  We were hiking up Exit glacier last spring and had a run in of sort.  If walking through patches of snow in sandles seems odd and enough to draw the attention of a curious tourist.....her bear spray turned some head.  She was approached by this guy who commented that she was crazy for walking through snow in her sandles.  He proceeds to ask her, "so, what's up with the fire extinguisher?"  Ok.  Obviously a clueless camper!  Oh by the way, did you notice the scat on the trail back there....dude?!

All in all we are ramped and ready for another good year.  Maryann has her vegetables and herbs germinating in her studio which doubles as a sun room, sprouting and shouting with utter glee.  With about a couple of cords of firewood left from winter, we are gearing up to start hauling up the beetle kill and dead fall from winter and start that sacred stache of heat source.  That comes out to about 10 cords of wood we have burned since late August.  Fortunately, as of now, we are able to burn in the morning for a couple of hours and then again at night for a few hours before bed to keep the house adequately heated which suits me.  I would really like to be able to conserve that last 2 cords.  As of June 13th, it will be officially 4 years since we landed.  Will there be any kind of celebration or hootin annie?  Most likely not.  But it is another notch in the belt, and the beginning of year 5 which is looking to be the best year as of yet!  It was the biggest move we ever made and the best decision we ever calculated.  We love it here!


Should Fish More said...

Stumbled across your blog, quite entertaining, and nice pictures. Brings back memories, I lived in Alaska 1975-82, and spent a lot of time on the Kenai Pen. Homer was quite a place back then, and I got to know the Ninilchik, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and Anchor River/Point areas pretty well.
Take care,

oliviadog said...

I just found your blog with 'next blog'. It is really wonderful. I just wish you had a button to subscribe. I love your photos and commentary interesting. I hate the TSA too and the pretend game of security that we are FORCED to play. Anyway, just a suggestion, because I never look at my bookmarks, even with the best of intentions. All the best, Nicole

Angelica Bowman said...

Love your blog