Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012
Slept late. Mmmmmm. The Fisherman set out right away helping The Bear clean out another building loaded with years of storage, dust, and squirrels' nests. There are several small cabins on their two acre property. They rent them to seasonal fishing guides mostly, guys who don't mind that there's no running water but who appreciate a warm room where they can cook food, watch a movie, have a refrigerator, and hang their chest waders up to dry over night. The building the guys worked on today has never been touched since they bought the place. It's going to be a nice cabin. They've always callled it The Taj Majal, as a joke, but I think it's going to become the reality among their cabins. They've made an exchange with their carpenter: he can live there rent free this summer if he does the remodel. I think it's going to be nice. And finished quickly, too, I imagine.

Later The Fisherman and I went to Soldotna where we met my new boss. He is a genuine "character." Much of his time since moving to Alaska has been lived in a wall tent, either out in the bush or in a small town setting up his tourist gold panning business. He's travelled the mountains on horseback with several pack horses following behind as he looked for gold in streams (and found it). He's lived a simple life, sleeping on the ground, hunting and fishing, and looking for gold. He's a nice man, generous, positive, spiritual, gregarious, bigger than life, and happy.

Monday, April 30, 2012
Drove up from the Peninsula to Anchorage where we accomplished a couple of things and then headed north. We spent the night near Talkeetna hoping for some Northern Lights in the night but no such fortune. The skies were clouded over.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Alaska 2012 - Saturday, April 28, 2012
Super generous and gracious friend, F, took us to the airport at 4:30 a.m. Now that's a friend! (One of my friends also offered; how spendid it is to be surrounded with such good people!) He had a photo shoot scheduled for 6:30 anyway so he said "what's a couple hours?" Nice. By the time he was arriving at his appointment, we were taking off from Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport, Alaska bound. Our flight arrived at 12:30 p.m., it was the only flight we could book that didn't arrive in the late evening. Our Alaska friends, The Bear and Miss K, would be driving about 100 miles to come get us and we didn't want them to have to pick us up that late. Turns out Miss K was in Arizona herself and was flying back the very same day. Only her plane arrived at...10:30 p.m. Dang!  First on the list was lunch! We went directly to China Lights, one of Anchorage's best all-you-can-eat Chinese food buffets. It was great! We were starving and then we were stuffed. Then we spent the day doing big-city errands with The Bear. Went to Costco, Sam's Club, Target, Sportsman's Warehouse, and Midnight Sun Brewing Co. We picked up Miss K. at 10:30pm and The Fisherman and I fell asleep almost immediately and slept most of the way to their home in a tiny town on the Kenai Peninsula. They've offered us one of their rental cabins for as much or as little as we'll need it between now and May 15th when their renter arrives.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Alaska 2012 - Friday, April 27, 2012
To bed at a decent hour last night for a change. Getting ready to leave for five months is quite a chore, especially with working up until the last minute. Only M. drove up last night. This morning she video taped the various instructions about the solar system, pumping water, changing out the filters, and whatnot. We made it down to Phx and dropped me off at my brother's house where I borrowed a car and went to a late lunch with two dear friends. Then I went to the hospital to see my brother at work. He dashed out of the busy E.R. for 10 minutes of hellos, catch-ups, and good-byes in the mild weather spell Phoenix was having (just for me, I'm certain). My last stop was to return the car and visit with my other brother's family. Turns out my niece was at a track meet out of town and my sister-in-law was out as well. I joined my nephew on the couch for a hockey game on TV while we waited for my brother to get home from work. I fell asleep. Exhausted after days of squeezing spare minutes out of nothing and staying up late into the night to get things accomplished. Visited with my brother for only a short while before he took me over to our friends' house where we slept the night and prepared to get up at 3:30 a.m.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Alaska 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012
Last day of work...for now. I've been granted a leave of absence so my husband and I don't have to be apart this summer while he works in Alaska. A friend of ours got me a job up there so I'll be working, too. Tonight I must finish packing, setting aside evacuation stuff (in case a forest fire threatens the house while we're gone so I can easily direct anyone available to get stuff out for us), and cleaning the house for the housesitter and for the friends and family coming up for a summer get-away in the gaps where our housesitter does some travelling of his own. Our friends, F & M, are driving up tonight to learn how to operate our off-grid house and then they will drive us to Phoenix tomorrow morning so we don't have to worry about leaving a vehicle at someone's house for five months.