Yukon River 2016

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When I first started this blog, I was posting about twice a month.  Then my writing spaced out util I took a total break from it all together for about two years.  I only just got last year’s Yukon River trip posted two months ago and now here it is, time to post the new one.  Fortunately, I have adventures to write about and now, inspiration to write.  Once again I am excited about writing and sharing the beauty and wonder that is Alaska.  Once again, I have beauty and wonder in my life.  It’s good to be back.

After last year’s trip with my sister from Ft. Worth,  Yukon River Paddle 2015, I knew I wanted to do it again.  I knew I wanted to conquer the fear and nervousness that it caused me.  The only way to conquer that fear was to do it again.  Unfortunately, we have had a record breaking rainy year so the river was super high.   Gone were the oh so handy gravel bars for camping with perimeters wide enough to make sure there was no wild life lurking.  Gone were the myriad wide banks with open views and plenty of drift wood.  Fortunately, my new love Daniel, had plenty of experience driving a canoe.  Yes, I said new love.  After the first few miles from Eagle to Wayne and Scarlett’s house, we agreed that it would be better for him to steer.  I learned so much about how to handle a canoe from him.  Thankfully he is a patient man and allowed me my nervousness the few times I got a bit scared.

We started off again this year at my dear friends’ Wayne and Scarlett’s place, Bush Alaska Expeditions, outside of Eagle.  Unfortunately, Scarlett had to unexpectedly fly out of Fairbanks to go see her mother in the lower 48.  I sure did miss getting to sit and visit with her.  Here is a picture of Ben, their handler, and Daniel.

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We had a beautiful sunset that night.

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After one night there, we got on the river.  It was then that I realized the sd card from my camera was sitting next to my laptop at home.  So all of these are photos from my iPhone.  I got this phone specifically for the camera and it did not let me down.  Although the storage is pretty lacking, the camera itself is very good.

Lazy Day video.

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These two moose swam by our camp while we were sitting there watching the river.  Once they got on the other side of us, they climbed up the bank and out of the water.  It was pretty interesting to see them just swimming down the big, powerful river.  Reminded me how big and powerful they are as well.

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We also saw 4 pairs of Trumpeter Swans and two Bald Eagles.  No bears this year though we did see a lynx track.

Mmm dinner.

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We got rained on a few times.  We spent most of two whole days running in between storms.  There were storms in front of us and storms behind us but we only caught a bit of rain here and there.

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The river was mostly calm and big, of course powerful.  We didn’t paddle as much as Char and I did last year because there was no need.  We got to just float a lot.  The first big tributary, the Tatonduk River, caused the scariest water.  It created waves and wakes and we were still running pretty heavily.  By the second big river, the Nation, we knew to expect it and it was not as bad.  IMG_0863IMG_0877IMG_0874IMG_0870IMG_0868IMG_0864

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Daniel putting out a burbet set to see if we can get some fish for breakfast.

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We stopped at a small creek for a short break.  It was interesting to see the clear, though tannin stained waters of the creek entering the cloudy silt filled Yukon.   IMG_0895

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On the third day, we arrived at Slaven’s Roadhouse.  I didn’t take many photos there as I knew I had plenty from last year and was worried about filling up the storage on my phone.  We had a wonderful time there with the current park ranger, his family, and 3 park service maintenance guys.  We sat around their campfire and brought out our instruments.  One of the fellows played a banjolelle, I had my fiddle, and Daniel brought a guitar.  Though I still get quite nervous playing in front of people, apparently sitting around a campfire, drinking a few beers, and being in the middle of nowhere is a pretty good remedy for that case of nerves.  Good times, good times.

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We found a really nice creek entering the river so we paddled up it a bit and found a good camp site.  It wasn’t silty like the main river so we took a little swim.  It was a bit cold but we had a good fire going by then.

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The next morning Daniel went fishing before we headed out for the day.  He caught two pike.  Too bad that we had already had breakfast!

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Back on the river with my sweetie pie.  Such a great trip.  Daniel said, “How do you know if you really love someone?  You spend 5 days on the Yukon River with them.”  Hahaha like I said, he’s a very patient man.  IMG_0912

IMG_0911We saw something on shore that we couldn’t identify so we just had to pull over and investigate.  It was a part of someone’s old fish wheel.  Maybe it got swept away from a broken line.  Or maybe it was taken out with an ice jam.

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On the final day we had pulled over to send Jim a message that we were four hours out of Circle and that he could go ahead and start the drive to come pick us up.  Anyways, as we were getting back on the river, I tripped over a rock in the water, got bumped by the boat, and fell full on straight backwards into the river.  I had on raingear but all that did was scoop the water down my back.  After a second or two of stunned silence, I was able to laugh at my clumsiness.  Just call me Grace.  Daniel asked if I wanted to get back on shore and change into dry clothes or if we should start a fire.  I didn’t want to stop.  After all, we were only about 4 hours out and it wasn’t that cold.  I did end up paddling a bit more to stay warm the few times I got chilly.

This was a great trip and I am sure, the first of many we will enjoy with each other.  You’ll never guess what I am doing for my up coming 50th birthday this year.  You’re supposed to do something big for that birthday right?  I’m going to do the biggest thing I can think of.  Stay tuned.

Yukon River Paddle, 2015

Sorry, this story has sat in my drafts folder for a while.  I got so busy with life I forgot that I need to take time for writing as well.  It’s good for me and I enjoy it.  So, I’m back to finish the story, post it, and start planning more adventures.

I seriously thought about naming this blog post “Taking Life by the Throat and Showing It Who’s Boss” but decided for the much more mild and descriptive “Yukon River Paddle, 2015”.  What do you think?

I had been keeping an eye on Craigslist for a canoe for the previous two years.  They are pretty expensive up here and I didn’t want to spend as much as most of them cost.  It just so happened that I found one for a good deal a year ago this last spring.  The owner had died and all his family were in the lower 48.  His landlord told his family to not worry about his stuff until they could make it up.  The canoe is one of the things they gave him when they were able to make it up the following summer.  So, he was selling it cheap.  The moment it was unloaded and sitting in front of my cabin, I started thinking of taking it on a grand adventure on the Yukon River!

The previous summer was a record breaking wet one.  Our rivers remained in flood stage for most of the summer so I didn’t get as much practice in as I wanted.  I’ve only been in a canoe a few times in my life and while I have been in a boat on the Yukon, they all have had motors and I wasn’t driving them!  This spring however, I was determined to go, by myself if necessary.  None of my friends wanted to or could go so I called one of my sisters in Ft. Worth to see if she wanted to and she jumped at the chance.  She was just as excited about this trip as I was so that helped make it really fun.

This quote came to mind once I started planning this adventure.  I don’t remember where I know it from or where I got it.  “Adversity can actually pay big dividends that wouldn’t have been paid under any other circumstances.”  So while this trip was the scariest adventure I have been on in a long time, it also had the biggest payouts in the satisfaction department!

This is food that will go in the bear resistant food container (the blue barrel to the right.)  I was told by my friend Peter Kamper of Alaska Expedition Service that I could really bring as much food as I wanted (or beer lol) as the extra weight is helpful in stabilization.  I really brought too much though.  I thought we would be more hungry then we were.  We ate well though! (Note to self, next time bring less food, more beer.)

Getting ready

I brought my gun and bought a new can of bear spray for Char to wear.  We had fun trying to figure out the shoulder holster configuration.  We were successful though it took us some funny moments.  She can shoot too of course since we were both brought up around guns but I wanted one of each type of protection.

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My friend Scarlett of Bush Alaska Expeditions was kind enough to coordinate one of her shopping trips to town and give us a ride back to Eagle.

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We got stuck in the parade going through Delta Junction.  That was kind of fun.   parade

We were dropped off in Eagle and packed our canoe while Wayne, Scarlet, and one of their guides Ben, went down the river on their own boat (with a motor).  They had their own load of supplies to get home.  We took a while because we had to pack the canoe and also, we were a bit nervous. Hey, it’s a big river, we didn’t have a lot of experience, it was scary.  It was windy and the river looked so big now that we were right there.  We finally got into the boat and started to paddle.  As this was our first time on a river this big, we felt the need to stay near the bank.  The wind was picking up and the rain started to fall.  We didn’t want to try to pull over to unpack and get at our rain gear because we knew the crew was waiting on us down the river to take us up to their cabin on the ATVs.  Matter of fact, we took so long that they got to their “parking” spot, unloaded all their supplies and came back for us.  We were still several miles up river.  We were sure glad to see them.  Ben threw Char a rope up front, told her to hang on as I grabbed the side of their boat from my place in the back.  We were handily “motored” down the river the rest of the way.

We spent the night and as always, had a great time visiting with Wayne and Scarlett.  The next morning the weather was much, much better.  It only took a couple of hours to feel much more comfortable on the river.

I really can’t explain the original fear.  I mean, it’s not rocket science.  It’s not a technical river.  There are no rapids.  But it is big.  It is overwhelming.  It is empty of people.  It is an adventure worth having!

We passed the Windfall Mountain coal seam fire.  Continuously burning since 2012.

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About 4:00 pm we took our first break.  We saw a couple in a canoe pass us.  We waved.  They waved.  The magnitude of our aloneness increased.  We had a snack and got back on the river.  Every thing we did, including pulling up to a bank and getting out of the boat, were learning experiences for us.

About 8:00 we found a good spot to camp.  I started gathering drift wood to cook dinner and Char started setting up the tent.  That was the routine we would stick to.  I’ll do the cooking and cleaning and she would set up the tent.  One thing I love about Alaskan summer nights, the sunsets.  It doesn’t get totally dark but we get extremely long sunsets and sunrises.

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Moon rise.
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We camped on gravel bars when possible.  We quickly learned not to try and pull up on a beach that looked smooth and sandy.  That stuff is quicksand and I almost lost a sandal. 


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It really is a huge, lonely country.

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We originally thought this was a caribou crossing the river.  It was so weird.

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Seesters!

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I took my lighter sleeping bag and gave Char the heavier one so brought an extra blanket with just in case.  It got a bit wet so I draped it over a bush to dry.

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Most meals were cooked over the fire.  I love campfire cooking.

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Caribou tracks.

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Bear tracks.

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Black bear crossing a small channel as he heard us talking and wanted off our gravel bar.


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Snacking with bear spray.

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Wolf tracks.

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Moving the canoe closer to good camp spot.

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Some things did better with the finesse of the burner.

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Somewhere along the way we passed the couple who passed us the first day.  We met up and hung out at Slaven’s Roadhouse for a few hours.

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Frank Slaven and the Roadhouses of the Yukon River

While many historic roadhouses have burned or have rotted away, Slaven’s Roadhouse has been restored and now serves as a public use cabin and landmark along the river between Eagle and Circle.

From 1990 through 1996, the National Park Service restored Slaven’s Roadhouse to its original 1938-42 condition.

Slaven’s Roadhouse continues to serve the public as a landmark along the Yukon River. It is open to public access and frequently has people spending the night while traveling up and down the river.

Each February, it serves as a dog drop point during the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. At times, the roadhouse also serves as quarters for volunteers working for the National Park Service.

https://www.nps.gov/yuch/learn/historyculture/slavensroadhouse.htm


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I also finally got to meet Kae.  Wayne and Scarlet told me to make sure and look her up.  We continue to be friends.

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One of the best things about playing the fiddle.

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We had to sit out one storm for 3-4 hours.  We snacked and napped and played Farkle.


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The last morning we were woken with a pretty bad storm at about 4 am.  We decided to sit and try to wait it out.  We were so close but really didn’t want to break camp only to have to get off the river again soon.  We waited until about 3 pm.  The whitecaps had died down so we decided to paddle like hell and try to make Circle.

I was really worried about getting the right slough that exits to Circle City.  The river is all channel upon channel upon channel.  Instructions by various people in the know:

Just hang to the left bank.

The mountains on the right will peter out, then you know to exit.

You’ll see an old fish camp with a blue tarp on it.

We were getting frustrated and nervous and wondering if we missed it when all of a sudden, there it was.  Big and beautiful as anything we had seen on the whole trip; the slough!

Celebratory cocktails we had been saving for the end of our journey!

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It was cold.  Char is from Texas.  I wrapped her in a sleeping bag and started a fire in the cooker to dry our socks and shoes while we waited for Moe and Jim to pick us up.  I had bought a SPOT for our trip so our friends and family could follow us online and so our pick up could see when they should be in Circle.  Eh, technology sucks sometimes.

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It was 29 degrees that night.  They got there at 3:30 am.

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I could write a lot of things about this journey.  It was not simply moving from point A to point B.  It was one more thing I felt I needed to accomplish in order to be the person I wanted to be.  And the rest I just feel very private about so wont share it here.  Maybe it is the break from writing.  Maybe it is that I am just not feeling the philosophical thoughts that I was thinking at that time now, so much later.  But it was a good trip, meaningful to my life.  I want to do it again!

I was so happy that my sister could come with me.  I hadn’t seen her since Justin’s funeral in 2011 and that is too long.  I have 4 sister and miss them all.

Here are the videos from the trip.  We have some adventures on camera as well as the bear and “log jam” that I did not write about.

5 days, 4 nights.

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.

2010

2011

2012

2013

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

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

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

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Spank Williams and friends.

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Dry Cabin String Band

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The Flock

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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.

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1000 baggie clad Peeps were dropped by three different passes.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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The most sweet spot on Earth is right here.

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

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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.

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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.

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Ptarmagin

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

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A mew gull.

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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!

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Snowy Lori taking pictures of the caribou lol.

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Ah Alaska, how I love thee!

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Eagle

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Moose

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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.

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So much easier to do hands.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

Georganne

Is Spring Really Here?

Last year we had the spring that never sprung.  It was cold and wet and nasty until finally, summer was here…then gone.  Our warmth passes so quickly.  I love winter, obviously, or I wouldn’t be able to live here.  But when it starts to warm up, it’s such a time of excitement and expectation.  It’s almost heartbreaking when it doesn’t happen as it is supposed to such as last year.  This year, it seems like Mother Nature is apologizing for last year as we are already in breakup.  The snow is melting, the sun is out, life is good!

I know it’s been a long while since I posted anything.  Mostly I have been hibernating so there’s been little of interest to write about.  I’ll try to catch you up with a few pictures.

Christmas came and went fairly quietly except for the kids got their first guns.  They are just little .22s.

Of course, there was always nights of chasing the auroras.

One of my aurora photos was used on a Denver station news program.  I was pretty excited.

We did a bit of entertaining and a lot of cooking.

Olivia’s very first home made cinnamon, raisin, yeast bread.

I also taught her how to make home made chicken noodle soup, with home made noodles.

Worked at Checkpoint Mile 101 for the Yukon Quest again.  This was my 5th year working there.  Needless to say, I love it.  I ended up staying an extra night and day after everyone left, just putting wood in the stove and playing my fiddle.  I’m going to plan on doing this every year as it was so peaceful and restful after all the commotion and lack of sleep that working there during the Quest brings.  I didn’t write about it this year but you can look back over the years in this blog to see some stories if you care to.

I did take some video of the two passes I have to cross coming home from the checkpoint.  The roads were actually very good even though in the videos, you can see they were icy.  Last year three of our members got stuck or left the road while trying to get out to the checkpoint.

12 Mile Summit

Cleary Summit

Did a bit of henna here and there.

I love doing bellies the most!

Of course, winter is a time to go visit friends, hang out, have fun, drink some beer, etc.

Here’s my Solstice centerpiece, complete with Yule Log.

While Olivia was working on her roller derby skills.

I got to hang out with pretty mushers in tuxs for the Bunny Boots and Bids fundraiser and Wine Tasting.

And of course, practiced and played my fiddle.

I don’t think I posted this video yet.  It’s how I have to unfreeze the drain.  Living in a dry cabin, having to haul all our water, makes us really conserve.  Of course, if you are only using tiny bits of water here and there through out the day, and it’s -40 outside, the water freezes before it clears the drain.  We have a grey water system which means that the water just goes straight from the kitchen sink to the gravel pad that the cabin sits on.  I have had to do this a couple of times each winter.  It’s not really a big deal but yea, at that cold of temperatures, one’s lungs do not want to inhales so you end up breathing very noisily as you can hear in this video lol.

So, onto the upcoming summer!  I have a camping, float trip down the Delta Clearwater planned for the kids and I.  I have a trip up to visit my friend Susan in Kavik River Camp planned for later in the summer.  I have a zipline adventure trip down near Talkeetna planned with my friend Lori.  And I want to take my kids back packing in the back country for the first time.  I have taken them camping lots of times but never into the back country.  There be bears out there you know.  Backpacking has almost always been my special solo adventures.  I keep them for myself.  But maybe my kids would like them for themselves as well.  Of course, you can’t forget my annual Fowl Adventure.  Chickenstock Music Festival then a visit to my friends’ Wayne and Scarlett who live off the Yukon River.  Can’t wait to see them!

Until next time my dearies.  I’ll be here.

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.

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The hill starts to fill with tents.

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Took a little walk about.

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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.

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The stage.

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

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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.

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

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Moon rising over chicken butt?

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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.

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The road is brutal but worth it.

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My favorite river, the 40 Mile!

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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.

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

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

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

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Yay puppies!

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This is the life!

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Soft, feathery horse tail ferns cover the forest floor.

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The sauna.

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Dried salmon to feed the dogs through the year.

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Wayne, working on a dog sled.

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Scarlett watering the tomatoes in the greenhouse.

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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.

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A little afternoon snack.  Dried salmon.

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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.

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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.

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Finally it was time for me to go home.

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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.

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Arctic Lupine line the road side.

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We do have sand dunes in Alaska.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

2010

2011

2012

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.

Kenai