Friday, May 29, 2009

Alaska 3

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
We went back to the property to at least start working on digging the truck out. We reserved a back hoe for the weekend to do more road work. We had a big sequencing problem with multiple things. The truck is stuck, and also somewhat broken. It didn't start up for us. We had to change batteries in it for it to restart. Is it bad batteries' (diesels take 2 batteries)? Is it the alternator that didn't charge the batteries while we drove it? Is it a bad starter? A loose connection in a switch? We don't know. We tested the batteries at the local Shuck's (Checker Auto) and they were fully charged. Hm.

So...our sequence problem: We need to get the truck unstuck. But we need to get it fixed before we can drive it out. We could pop it right out of the 18" holes with the backhoe on the weekend, but then we may not be able to start the truck once it's out. We need to get it off the road to do the road work. We need to lay down some "road fabric" preferably BEFORE the backhoe arrives so we can make the most of the time we have it rented. You put down the road fabric and then dump a bunch of gravel on it...gravel from the high spots of the road as well as from our "gravel pit" dug out last year for just such reasons. So, we need the backhoe to get the truck out but we need the truck out before we get the backhoe. And we need the truck fixed before we get the backhoe so we can lay the fabric. And we need the truck lifted out in order to get underneath to fully check things out and fix it. Hm.

What we did was begin working on digging it out. We used cut down tree trunks as levers and stumps as fulcrums, other stumps as props. We managed to raise the truck about 12" and shovel rocks and gravel into the worst of the tires. We shoveled away the ground around all the tires and raked out from underneath. We buried that truck so well that the hitch was laying level with the ground. It barely looks stuck now, comparatively. We were tempted to try to drive out (the truck actually started for us) but were afraid that the vibration of the enginewould just sink us further before we had a chance to actually get out of the holes. We decided to wait.

We went up to the the cabin and grilled some salmon and veggies. Yum. Nice to have a hot meal. Nice to have vegetables! A friend stopped by to see the cabin. We met him at the road, drove in with him as far as our van, and walked with him to the cabin. Nice to have company.

We all went into Soldotna to "Moosequitos" bar to watch Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals. After a little bit of the game I went out on the deck and called my dad. We talked for 45 minutes. It was about 45 or 50 degrees outside and damp as it had drizzled off and on all day. It was a great talk.

Thursday, May 28, 2009
It began raining in the middle of the night and didn't quit until 3:00 p.m. Another computer day at the Wash 'n' Dry in Soldnotna. That means showers, too. Thank goodness it's been cool-to-cold because that has made our few showers last longer. Took only our fourth showers in 20 days today. It's a consolation that we are by far not alone in this scenario; hoards of people are doing the same thing, going as long or longer between showers as they camp their way through Alaska. Public showers abound. One of our favorites is the Soldotna Wash 'n' Dry. It's a big clean laundromat with free wireless internet, bathrooms, and $5 showers. They'll even do your laundry for you. Lots of fishermen take advantage of this service; they don't want to miss any time on the river fishing!

We wonder what all that rain did to our road and our freshly dug holes under the tires!!! We rescheduled the backhoe for the following weekend and rescheduled with our friend, Jerry, as well, who will be helping.

Friday, May 29, 2009
TODAY. I am caught up! Woohoo! Today we drove east headed for Seward for The Fisherman to catch some Kings (salmon, that is). We stopped at Gwin's in Cooper Landing again to say hi. Then we went to see Jerry at "Prospector John's" Pioneer Village where his wife, Kim, works at a tiny gift shop. Kim was working at her other job for the day so Jerry was minding the store for her. It's always nice to visit with Jerry and Kim. They are a couple The Fisherman met about 6 years ago when he first worked at Gwin's. They loved Alaska so much that they bought a house in Cooper Landing and stayed. After an hour's visit with Jerry we left with plans for dinner tomorrow night where the menu will consist of The Fisherman's fresh caught salmon and Jerry's recently acquired "bear ribs".

The Fisherman just called and said he didn't get his Kings but instead went around to the other side of Resurection Bay and fished for Reds (aka Sockeye Salmon). He got his limit and is now fileting up six 10-pound Reds. He loves Alaska! And I tell you, it's pretty darn cool to grill up freshly caught salmon. Not to mention having a freezer full by the end of summer. Jerry and Kim, along with most everyone up here, live off the land as much as possible. They have a giant freezer with moose, caribou, salmon, and now bear. Tomorrow night's plan now is to have a few filets on the grill and then he and Jerry will smoke the rest. Of course, there's still the bear ribs. I'm curious to try them.

It's not looking good for Kings right now in Seward so we'll probably be back before I leave. That's fine by me because Seward is a nice little town. There are cute shops, the Alaska Sealife Center, and of course, The Sea Bean...the internet cafe I'm sitting in right now. Their motto is: "Sit. Sip. Surf." Only trouble is...they're right next door to A Flyin' Skein, where I just couldn't resist a few skeins of yarn!

Well, I guess I've caught up. Wish I had photos to post. I'll have to post them separately sometime. Maybe next time The Fisherman's out fishing and I find another internet cafe. Catch you all later!

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