Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the tens of thousands of police officers doing a tough job

4 June 2020 Thursday Another long day. Got started at about 9:30 AM. Finished up about 7:30 PM. I loaded up the new rims and the summer tires and took ‘The Beast’ to Tire town. It is time to put the summer tires on ‘The Beast’. The studs on the snow tires will wear out running on non-icy, snowy roads. Getting new studs installed or buying new stud tires is an expensive proposition. Summer had to go into town so she followed me to the tire store. Since she was going into town I had her drop me off at the hardware store. I needed to get a few parts to attempt to repair the sliding door in the travel trailer. After Summer finished her business she picked me up and we went home.

Six new rims installed

Back at the ‘homestead’ Summer went about putting the plants into the new stacked stone planter. We had put the dirt in it yesterday and ran out of time to plant. Too much stuff to do. Too little time to do it. I went about my business of trying to get the sliding door repaired. After about an hour of trying to make the new parts work, I gave up. Sometimes the smaller problems seem the most intractable. After looking around through my ‘possibles’ I realized that I had no type of rollers that could be used. While I was looking around I saw a piece of teak. Knowing that teak is oily and has an affinity for any kind of oil, I decided to see if I could make a teak slide to replace the missing three wheeled roller. It took quite a while to fabricate the slide and fit it to the track. It was a trial and error process and took about an hour to get it right. Once I had the slide fabricated, put a bit of grease on it and yelled to Summer to come help me slip the door into place. The door slipped into place and worked perfectly. Another aggravating little problem solved. The next problem is plumbing. I tried to clear the sewage drain line by forcing a running water hose up through the line. This didn’t work. I had tried it in the past and it didn’t work then and didn’t work now. This meant that I was going to have to cut the drain line closer to holding tank. This, also, meant that I needed a way to reconnect the drain line. I had no parts to reconnect the line. This lead to a phone call.

The planter planted

I called Tire Town and found that they had finished replacing the tires on ‘The Beast’. Summer had slipped and put a small cut in her hand. This meant that she had come to a stopping point in planting her perennials. I commandeered her to drive me to pick up my truck. After paying the garage, I went on to the hardware store for the plumbing parts I needed. Back under the trailer, I cut the drain line. While cutting the drain line, I realized that I had bought the wrong size of pipe repair parts. Again I shoved the water hose into the pipe. Again the running water did not clear the clog. The clog is, apparently, in or very near in the holding tank. At that point I gave up for the day.

Another shot of the planter.

Summer had finished her planting and had moved on to watering her gardens. I purchased sprinklers on my trip to the hardware store. She was placing them to get them in just the right place. We haven’t had a lot of rain. The rainy days the that we have had were more like misty drizzles with not much accumulation. Just enough to disrupt any needed outside work but not enough to water the plants properly. I took the Rover (The Range Rover is what they call a a “Beater with a heater” up here. This means it runs but is ugly.) and went back to town to return the wrong plumbing parts and get the proper size parts. That was my last official act of the day.

Beater with a heater

When I got back home Summer was prepping for her weekend camping trip. She and others are going across Kachemak Bay to the foot of a glacier. The are going to hike up the trail to the near the top of the glacier. I’m not going for three reasons: One is that someone has to stay home and tend to the animals and the garden; Two is that I don’t like sleeping on the ground and fighting mosquitoes, bears and the potential of being run over by a moose; Three is that I like having my luxuries that are only available at home. Used to camp out a lot, when I lived behind the old Lake Lane restaurant and in Brighton, as a teenager. Some of us Brighton boys, ages ranging from 12-16, would ride our bicycles or walk the old railroad tracks that ran from the Woodward blast furnaces to Red Mountain. We’d cross the mountain and down the other side and on to Shades Creek. We would stay two or three days and nights with absolutely no parental supervision. In fact, our parents had no idea of exactly where we were. Those were halcyon days of freedom. No nagging parents, no stern teachers, no Brighton police, no neighbors calling our parents reporting our cigarette smoking, no restraints to having fun and not a single care in the world. We swam, fished, told scary stories in the evenings, rode our bicycles through the woods and fire roads and just, generally, acted like the fools we were. I, distinctly, remember one time that we all thought it was a good idea to pan for gold in Shades Creek. Boy, were we dumb.

A new look inside the greenhouse
Inside the Tomato Palace
The new garden plot being watered

Anyway, I’m through for today. Hasta la vista, Sayonara and Ciao.

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