A Fowl Adventure 2014

Yes I know, this is my 5th year going to Chickenstock and Eagle and using this same title, but hey, it’s the perfect title.  Why mess with perfection?  But really, I can only repeat these so many times, so if you would like to hear more of the story or see some of the other years with more pictures and/or story, check out these other years as basically I am dumping my pictures here and posting it.





We begin with Chickenstock Music Festival in the little town of Chicken, Alaska.


My friend Kate’s husband, Dave Parks of Grassroots Guitars.


Such a little cutie just dancing away.   Mostly it was just kids dancing during the daytime.




Spank Williams and friends.



Dry Cabin String Band



The Flock




The Cluck Off was a tie!  We were dying with laughter because these two finalists really brought it.  They were clucking and pecking, scratching the dirt and shaking their tail feathers.  Good times, good times.





1000 baggie clad Peeps were dropped by three different passes.




Kat Moore from the Super Saturated Sugar Strings.  She is really fun.  When not playing she is dancing, visiting, and hoola hooping with us all.


Here is a compilation of video clips I took during our trip.  Most of the one during Chickenstock were during the day when I had time to video.  During the evenings, I was too busy dancing to worry about taking video.

I really love visiting my dear friends Scarlett and Wayne with Bush Alaska Expeditions.    They really help me to refocus on what is important and even our rare, annual visit helps to keep me grounded in my goals.



They have a young handler staying with them and he used to play the violin.  “It had to do with a pretty girl, who taught violin.”  It was really fun to spend an evening just taking turns trying out different tunes, seeing what we each could remember.


They also had a new batch of puppies with eyes just opening.


The most sweet spot on Earth is right here.



The Mighty, Mighty Yukon River!  I’m going to canoe this river next year.



Well that’s it in a nutshell.  I love our busy, busy summers.  They really are the promise that Alaska makes us in the winter.  Until next time my friends.  Have a great summer, love your family and your friends, and be happy.

The Good Ol’ Summer Time; kind of.

We had a marvelous spring.  It really made up for last spring, which is known as the spring that never came.  We had winter, then all of a sudden we had a bit of summer.  But last spring was just an extension of winter.  This year it warmed right up.  The days got longer and the sunlight oh so welcome after the long dark of winter.  Green up happened in about 3 days which is always a wonder to see.  Now we begin summer in earnest.  Summers are always so busy.  By the end of summer I am looking forward to winter; to snuggling down with in my warm, little cabin with my kids, cooking, talking, reading, planning, dreaming.  But summers are for doing.  So here we go.

We started off early spring with the annual World Ice Art Championship.

Mike and a peacock.

DSC_2315 DSC_2329 DSC_2320 DSC_2322 DSC_2299 DSC_2303 DSC_2306 DSC_2295 DSC_2293 Ice Art Championship

DSC_2286 DSC_2290 Ice Art Championship

The road into Denali National Park is 90 miles long.  Personal vehicles are not allowed except for one week a year by lottery.  You can drive in to mile 15 during the summer and mile 30 in the shoulder seasons after they clear the roads and before tourist season starts.  Lori and I drove in to mile 30 on the last day before the closure, May 18.  We met with a snow storm.

Dahl Sheep

Dahl Sheep

Wolf and caribou tracks in the snow.

Wolf and Caribou Tracks

Ptarmigan are white in the winter and mottled brown in the winter.  These are in the process of changing into their summer feathers.




I love this outcropping and have taken pictures of it several times.


A mew gull.



I would take a picture, then walk a few steps closer, then take another picture, trying to get as close as possible.  I was tickled pink when he opened his beak right as I was about to take another one.

Mew Gull

Caribou and more caribou!



Snowy Lori taking pictures of the caribou lol.



Ah Alaska, how I love thee!










We also saw a bear but he was so far in the distance even my telephoto lens wasn’t able to pick him up well.


When I first started to do henna, my pregnant friend Sandy allowed me to do henna on her pregnant belly.  Hers was the very first belly I did.  That was over 7 years ago.  Now she also allowed me the honor of doing her head.  This was certainly a learning experience.  So many new angles and not many places to anchor my hand.  She was tickled with it but I think I need much more practice hennaing heads to be any good at all on them.


So much easier to do hands.


Did I tell you we got a new puppy?  Her name is Maari named after a Pyrenees Goddess.  She is part great pyrenees, part black lab and golden retriever.  I’ll post some better pictures of her soon.  She is 15 weeks now and is huge!


We also got a new to us canoe.  It’s a 17′ Grumen.  I want to learn canoeing well enough for a trip from Eagle to Circle on the Yukon River.  I really want to be ready to do this trip next summer but we will see how comfortable I am by the end of this summer.


Got a new 15 gallon barrel to haul water and use my small pump to pump it up into the house with.  Unfortunately, I had Olivia hold the hose in the barrel while I ran up to do something else and she pulled the hose out of the water and burned the pump out.  ARG!  Live and learn.  Now I am going to teach myself how to fix the pump.  My neighbor said something about bearings and seals so I’ll look into that.  But it will probably be set aside for a winter project.  I have found that I can learn just about anything on Youtube.


Olivia graduated from 6th grade.  I’m a proud mamma.

Olivia graduates2

She also finally had a growth spurt.  Look how tall she is.  My son was taller then me by the time he turned 11.  She is 12 and not quite as tall as I am.  Of course, he is over 6′ now and just 15.

Olivia graduates

Now that roller derby is over for the summer, we thought soccer would be a good thing to keep her going.  Yes, I am now officially a soccer mom.  What a strange place this is in my life.


My friend Sue came out of the bush for a few days to take care of some business in town.  Of course we had to stop in at the infamous Howling Dog Saloon for a bit of music by my friend Mike Stackhouse and a few libations.

Sue Aikens and Mike Stackhouse

We have so many exciting plans in the making that I was sad to see her go.  I wish we had more time to sit and scheme but of course, a trip to town means a LOT of stuff had to get done in a short amount of time.  She is one person who really gets me.  ie She didn’t blink an eye when I told her that I planned to do my Eagle to Circle Yukon River trip even though I have only been in a canoe twice in my life.  She understands if you want to do something, you can only accomplish that by getting out there and DOING it.  Because that is the way she lives her life as well.

Me and Sue

Today I start packing for our great Fowl Adventure 2014.  For those of you who have been reading for a while, you know that this is my annual pilgrimage to Chickenstock Music Festival in the tiny hamlet of Chicken, Alaska.  We leave from there and go visit our friends outside of Eagle, Alaska who live in the Yukon River, Bush Alaska Expeditions.  It will just be Olivia and I as my son does not enjoy that type of thing.  Luckily enough that works out well for him to stay home and take care of the animals.  Handy huh.

See you when I get back.  Thanks for reading.


A Fowl Adventure 2013

Once again I embarked on my annual foray into the deep interior of Alaska.  Chickenstock is a small, funky music festival held in Chicken, Alaska.  The village of Eagle is 100 miles further, but takes 3 hours to drive that 100 miles.

You can right click these pictures and open in new tabs to see them better.


The hill starts to fill with tents.



Took a little walk about.


Dredge buckets which would scoop up the dirt/gravel and bring it to the gold dredge to be seperated and run through to collect the gold.


The stage.


It was hot and dusty.  I found some shade and spent some time with Fairbanks area firefighters.


Was invited to jam.  That was the most fun I had at Chickenstock.  We ended up with 4 guitars, 2 fiddle players, a banjo, a dobro, and a tambourine.





In the camp next to us, I noticed people were naked.  Funny that those pictures I tried to take, didn’t turn out.


Moon rising over chicken butt?



The Taylor Highway between Chicken and Eagle.  Got one flat on the way up, and one flat on the way back.  It was hilarious because at first a car load of tourists stopped to see if I needed help, then shortly thereafter, while we were standing there visiting, a pick up pulled up with a young couple.  We were all visiting and the girl asked me if my name was Georganne.  I said yes, are you XYZ?  I know her sister.  The amazed tourist said “Here we are in the very middle of no where, and you two KNOW EACH OTHER?”  Yes, Alaska is a very, very large state, with a very, very small population.


The road is brutal but worth it.


My favorite river, the 40 Mile!


Get to Eagle, park at the Yukon River.  Take the boat X amount of miles up the river, park the boat.  Take the ATV up the trail to the little cabin in the woods.


Scarlett and her sassy feather that she just got in South Africa!


Dinner the first night, moose steak and sprouts salad.  It was delicious!


There is no better dining facility in the wold.  That’s the Yukon River in the background.


Yay puppies!




This is the life!


Soft, feathery horse tail ferns cover the forest floor.


The sauna.


Dried salmon to feed the dogs through the year.



Wayne, working on a dog sled.


Scarlett watering the tomatoes in the greenhouse.



Training a lead dog to “line out”.  This is the command given to the lead dog to hold the team tight and straight while stopped.  It’s the most difficult thing for them to learn.  Normally takes about 2 years.



A little afternoon snack.  Dried salmon.


A bear got into one of their salmon storages last winter so they removed what was left and stored it in 55 gallon barrel/s.


Wayne and Scarlet are some of the most fun and interesting people to sit around and visit with.  My dad is one of those types of people, imparting knowledge, entertainment, and comraderie all at the same time.


Finally it was time for me to go home.





I love the Taylor Highway.  It is closed in the winter so residents up the road either fly in and out or just sit tight for our long, cold winters.


Arctic Lupine line the road side.


We do have sand dunes in Alaska.


Tetlin Junction, Milepost 0 of the Taylor Highway where it begins from off the ALCAN.  The buildings on the northwest corner of the intersection are what remain of the old Fortymile Roadhouse.












Have you ever seen a mile post with this many miles on it?  This is towards the end of the ALCAN (Alaska Canadian Highway).


Alaska Pipeline crosses one of the many rivers on it’s journey from the Arctic Slope in Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, our only port that doesn’t freeze up in the winter.


Sorry this one is short and sweet but I am about to embark on an 11 day backpacking, camping, fishing, communing with nature, just kicking around the Kenai Peninsula trip.

You can read my previous “Fowl Adventures” by clicking here:

A Fowl Adventure 2010

A Fowl Adventure 2011

A Fowl Adventure 2012

These all have many more pictures and a lot more information.

Here We Go!

Summer in Fairbanks

Countdown to Summer Madness has begun.  The kids are going on a lower 48 grand tour and I am going to Chickenstock, Eagle, and the Kenai Peninsula.

The kids will be flying down to one of my sisters’ in the Dallas area.  They will visit a few days there, then she will bring them up to southern OK to my mother in law’s and they’ll visit there.  My dad will come down from NE OK and pick them up, take them home and they will visit there with my parents and another of my sisters and her family.  I’m so glad they didn’t get blown away in all the tornadoes they have been having there!  Then they will go to northern MN for our big family reunion held once ever couple of years.  They’ll do a return of the same route for even more visiting.

I’ve never been away from them this long.  There will be tears… especially on Father’s Day when they will visit his grave for the first time since the funeral.

But between bouts of missing my babies, I’m going to our annual Fowl Adventure all by myself.




Check out the previous years’ fun.  I go to Chickenstock then go visit friends outside of Eagle.  I can’t wait to visit them this year as they just got back from Africa.   I’m bringing extra wine for storytelling time.

Then later this summer I will be going backpacking down on the Kenai Peninsula.  I haven’t yet explored this part of Alaska and I am looking forward to it.


Summer Fun, or, the Story of the Lawn Mower.

Well I should say summer work, but work is fun when it comes to playing in the dirt.

 I used to have a nice lawn mower.  But when we lived in the cabin I didn’t have a yard, just woods and a gravel pad which the cabin was built on.  So one year when my friend Morgan watched my kids for a week while I went and worked at Mile 101 check point for the Yukon Quest, I gave her my lawn mower in payment.

When we moved into this house, it was November and already had snow on the ground.  Winter passed, spring passed, summer arrived and I still had no lawn mower.  The grass grew and grew.  I finally got up enough spare money to buy a lawn mower and every one in town was sold out.  Well there were still plenty of the $300 variety but really, who needs a $300 lawn mower?  Not I.  After all, this isn’t “lawn”.

On Saturday I took Olivia over to a co-workers house for a Pox Party.  Yes, that is Chicken Pox.  (Funny that this is coming up right after Chickenstock and our Fowl Adventure.)  Her children had them, mine as of yet, have not.  We do not vaccinate for Chicken Pox because I choose to not use my children as guinea pigs.   I prefer the natural, lifelong immunity obtained by actually getting the Chicken Pox.  Ok ok, sorry for the side ramble.  While at my co worker’s house, exposing my daughter to her children with the pox,  she was showing me this huge generator they had just bought for $100 from the garage sale across the street.  I was duly impressed.  So we walked over there to see if they had a lawn mower.  The young man said he didn’t, then said, “Wait, hang on a minute” as he went digging around in his garage.  As he brought one out of the depths of his full garage and started dusting it off, he stated that he forgot about this little one.

Long story short,  he started it up and after being totally dry for storage, gassed up, it started on the first pull.  He sold it to me for $40.  It doesn’t die when the handle is let loose but you can manually shove the lever on the motor to kill it.  *Sigh, the mowing ensued.  It took two tanks of gas and a couple of blisters to get this monster mowed but I did it.  Oh my aching back.  There are ruts in the yard from when the land lord drove his truck into the yard for several days last fall.  Then someone felt the need to fill the ruts with sticks…  ARG!  So, I still have a few piles of sticks in the yard but after a few more times of mowing, this yard should start looking nice.

We also went and gathered up rocks from a rock site, some dirt from a secret dirt spot, and built more beds.  I found a half off plant sale last week so bought some squash.  My garden is very small this year but considering it is a rental with no dirt but old river silt, at least we’ll have some fresh veggies.  Olivia and I had a really nice day out in the yard today.  She said she “felt very healthy spending so much time in the yard” lol.  Yes!  We were not ready to go inside yet when it was such a beautiful evening so grilled out on the old grill that had been left here from the last tenants.  I’ve been cleaning it up….  Grilling is a learning process for sure.  Really, how hard can it be?  Start the charcoals on fire, put the food on, cook, eat.  Guess this is why Justin always did the grilling.  But we are learning…

 Porch flowers

Porch flowers from the half off sale.

raised beds

 This is the newest part of the garden spot that we just built today.

 Tomatoes, basil, and squash.

 I didn’t have any BBQ sauce on hand so made some from a bunch of schtuff in the kitchen.  Ketchup, A1, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, wine, olive oil, Tony’s Cajun Seasoning, garlic powder, onion flakes, salt, pepper, maybe some other stuff that I’ve forgotten.  It was yummy.