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 10:00PM....it 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
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 step....sink...here 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.
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!