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.

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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

A Fowl Adventure 2012

Why come up with a new name every year when this one fits so well.

Yes, once again we are home from another amazing adventure to Chickenstock (a bluegrass festival held in Chicken, AK) and visiting our bush living friends outside of Eagle, AK.  Wayne and Scarlet Hall of Bush Alaska Expeditions are so much fun and I am glad they are my friends.

Tanana River

It’s a 6-7 hour drive to Chicken, but when the view is as beautiful as this, I don’t mind.

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When we got there we saw that the “Big Ass Chicken” had been moved to the top of the hill.  Cool.  It made a really interesting silhouette in the evening sky.

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Of course, the stage is always interesting.

Hurricane DaveHurricane Dave is always a favorite.

Dry Cabin String Band

Dry Cabin String Band with an awesome fiddler, Rachel DeTemple.

camp cooking

Since we were camping on the grassy hilltop we had to do our cooking around the Rust Princess.  That’s ok though, it’s very handy.

I was so glad that my friend Laurie came for Friday’s festivities.  I had to slap some henna on her.

Cloud 9 Henna Body ArtWhile I was at it, another table mate got a simple little flower.

And here is the infamous Chicken Dance.  They did it several times so we all got a chance to film it as well as dance it.

Gold dredgeThe Pedro Gold Dredge.

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Deviled eggDeviled Egg!

Chicken legsChicken Leg Contest (yes it was hilarious)!

And this wasn’t even the winner!

ChickenstockI love all the colors of tents up on the hill with the Big Ass Chicken.

ChickenstockChickenstockYes I had a lit Christmas tree at our tent.  Don’t ask me why.  In Chicken you can be as funky as you want to be.

The days were sunny bright and hot.  We had a torrential downpour about 20 miles before getting to Chicken.  It was coming down so hard I had to pull over.  But it only lasted about 15 minutes and from then on it was sun.  Needless to say we got a bit lobsterized.  Walking around “town” we finally found some sunscreen.  We don’t normally have any because we normally don’t need any.  But I was proud to pay the $20 for one of the last three 16 oz bottles in town.

American Summit

We stopped on top of American Summit and I just played everything I could remember.  It was an awesome feeling.

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I found it is a bit more difficult to play when it’s windy.

Yukon River

After 100 mile drive between Chicken and Eagle that takes 3 hours, Wayne and Scarlett pick us up on the river.  Another friend also came to visit.

Catherine takes a little rest on some lumber for a new cabin being brought home.

Jordan stayed with friends this year.  There’s a lot to be said about quality family time but I dare say, if I had forced him to come, there would have been little quality to our time.  Eh, 13 year old boys…  Olivia and I had a lot of good quality time though..

Wayne

Yukon River

Yukon River

Fish wheel

Fish wheels used to catch salmon.

Boat parking

Boat parking spot.

Sweet Spot

Sweet spot view of the Yukon River from Wayne and Scarlett’s house.  This is the most peaceful, gorgeous view.

And here’s a video of it.  The sounds of the breeze shushing through the trees and the creek burbling below help but yet simply can not fully convey the peace I feel in this spot.

Ahhh, good friends, good food, even good wine.

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Another trip to town to drop off Catherine and pick up more lumber for the cabin.

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Eagle Bluff

Eagle Bluff.  There is an American flag flying from the top as well as a cross.  I asked if there was someone specific who put those up there and was told it was mostly teenagers who go up there.  Cool.

Eagle Bluff

Bald Eagle

They showed us the bald eagle’s nest that has little ones in it.  Scarlett had told me about the eagle pair they used to watch but when the big flood of the area occurred in 2009, the nesting tree was wiped out along with all trees along the river in the area.  They have kept their eyes open for the eagles to come back and this year they found the new nest.  That makes me happy.

Here’s a short video of the Taylor Highway.  Most of it is not marked with handy orange cones!

On our way home we had to stop by the 40 Mile River which is where I want to retire to when the time comes.

40 Mile River

40 Mile River

Taylor Highway

Top of the World Highway

Crossroads.  These are certainly some of the “Roads less Traveled”.

Mt. Fairplay

Home again, home again, jiggity jog.  Now on to Summer Solstice!