Hello Again

Well, It’s been a while since my last blog entry. Sorry about the delay. Since we’ve arrived back home to Alaska we have been trying to find our groove and get back into normal life.

We finally made way inside the house and created a more comfortable living space.

Normal life. What is that? I guess for me it’s trying to start back up where I left off.   I got to go halibut fishing and it was a success!  I caught two big halibut for the freezer. It was so much fun!  Catching halibut is really like trying to pull a door off the ocean floor.  I couldn’t have asked for a better time with my friend Tiana.

I seemed to fit right back in to my friendships without a hitch. Thank goodness. Spring was nice and it was really cool to see new beginnings on the homestead. The grass and flowers growing and blooming, the moose with her twin calves. Birds singing, the sandhill cranes flying in for the summer with their noisy squawks, you just feel summer is here.

 

We have been busy with sheet rock, kitchen cabinets, clearing land, digging our spring box, creating a pond, spreading gravel for a big driveway, getting chickens and trying not to wear out our bodies before winter.

 

The best thing we came across was an estate sale that had a ton of firewood. This is something we have been struggling to get. If you have read my previous posts than you know this is something we have been struggling with. We have so much wood we can get through this season and maybe the next. It has been back-breaking to load and carry all this firewood and on top of that we bought a whole bunch of lumber from the same people. We now have the wood to fix the house and build whatever we want. Life is good.

All this and I got a part-time job that I really like. Two days a week I get to go hiking with a bunch of dogs! I get to be outdoors and play. In one full day, I hike about 4 miles up hill and sometimes on a flat surface. What a fun way to get exercise, all this and a great view to boot. On the third day I am in the office. a great break from all the work I do.

Yesterday, I cleaned and renovated the chicken coop. It was gross. It had about 2 hay bales in it. I was given the coop and chickens and I knew there would need to be some cleaning and maintenance to be done. So, I drove to Anchor Point for a couple of reasons. The first reason was I bought a new rooster and decided to buy a hen to make him feel like her wasn’t alone in the relocation process. Well, the hen started crowing yesterday morning. Dude looks like a lady!!! So, I had to return him and get a hen. While I was going that way, I might as well go to the mill and get saw dust for the coop.

So, I picked up the new hen and headed the mill. I got three aluminum cans worth of dust, loaded them up and headed home. At this point, I go into the coop and inspect it. I decided that the laying area was not acceptable and should be changed as well as the roosting configuration. Thank goodness for all the wood we have. I found a decent piece of plywood that I could handle myself and started the measuring procedures inside the coop. My thought is that I could use the nesting shelf and rafters to create nesting boxes.

I came up with a plan and went to work. The first pieces were basically prototypes to get the right sizes and angles. After that, I just traced the template on the plywood and cut it out. Everything was screwed into place including little roofs. Then, I added sawdust. I added new perches and cleaned the coop out. I added new sawdust to the floor, re-hung the food and water. Then I made them a more permanent ramp to get in and out. It’s clean and smells like fresh-cut spruce. The next thing on the list is to create a winter run for them. That way they can go outside without being neck-deep in snow.

 

 

We are still planning to level the house before fall sets in. It’s very important that we do this. Without the house being level trying to do finish work on the sheet rock will never happen and we can’t finish it this winter. Sheet rocking and flooring is top of the list for winter work. Also, leveling the house means we can build an arctic entry to the house. A place where we can keep our boots and coats and shake all the mud and snow off us. This keeps the house so much more clean. We tend to track Alaska right into the kitchen and the rest of the house. It creates a constant major cleanup every time we enter the house.

So, without the house being leveled we can’t finish sheet rock, install flooring or build an arctic entry. It must be done. “The spice must flow” (Dune).

Today, my neighbor had a bear in her turkey run. It ate all her feed, bit didn’t touch the turkeys. It seems the bears are moving lower and lower down the road closer to us. I have a feeling this weekend we might get to see a black bear in our yard. Probably trying to get into the chicken coop. That’s where we store the feed as well.

We also had an earthquake today. A 4.3 or 4.4. I haven’t felt one thus far until this morning at work. It happened so fast that I didn’t know what hit me. Can you say scary and exciting at the same time? There was a weird rumbling noise and the walls were shaking and I had to do a balance check as it was happening. There was not time to get outside or think. It was over as fast as it came.

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Well, I guess I have caught all y’all up on what’s happening on the homestead.

Oh! Here’s a movie with me driving my tractor.  It’s a really cool one too!  It’s a Pasquale and it articulates.  Enjoy!

Are We There Yet?

Yesterday, we pulled into Battleford, Alberta for the night.  As Dad was trying to keep us from dying, he hit a curb and blew a tire on the trailer.  First tire casualty and it wasn’t the roads fault.  We were going to spend the night in the Walmart parking lot, but decided we both wanted to take showers and take a break from the trailer.  So, we got a hotel room.  The Travelodge.  It was just renovated and the rooms were very nice…….but…..no A/C.  The room was extremely hot, but the beds were extremely comfortable.  So, we took out showers, opened a window, had a few drinks, and went to sleep.

We left The Battlefords this morning and was able to arrive in Dawson Creek, British Columbia for a grand total of 598 miles.  It was a tough one, but we did it.  We drove for almost 12 hours.  Tomorrow we are just going to drive as far as we can.  There is still a little snow on the ground,  frozen lakes and ponds, and break up is almost over for Canada.  Crossing rivers you can see the large floating ice burgs flowing down and the flooding that happens when snow melts.

Driving was nerve racking and stressful.  There were times I did’t know if we were going to be able to find a gas station to fill up Spike with diesel.  We managed to pull through without running out of fuel.  The roads are worse than the ALCAN!  Riding in the truck towing the large trailer and hitting bumps, dips, holes, cracks in the road feel like you’re being manipulated in a washing machine.  I feel my brain rattling in my head and it’s been giving me headaches.  Once we stop driving, my head calms down.

Tomorrow we start on the ALCAN where the roads are actually less bumpy and torcheres  than Canadian roads.  If we keep going driving the distance we are doing, we can be home hopefully in four days.  We have to stop in Ninilchik, AK to pick up Trubel, our new bear dog puppy.  She’s a cutie!

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Tonight, we are staying in the Walmart parking lot in Dawson Creek.  I am sitting in the McDonalds as I write this blog.  Dinner.  Dinner is and was awesome.  Have you ever heard of Poutine?  Nothing like gravy, real cheese curds and fries.  YUMMY!!!!

So.  Like I said.  We are just going to drive tomorrow.  I have no idea hoe far and where we will be sleeping.  I love a good adventure.

I hope I can blog tomorrow.  It’s hard to find internet when there are no campsites open yet.  Hence, McDonalds.

Good night everyone.

Hello Canada!

April 26, 2018

Today we crossed the Canadian border and our vehicle and trailer were searched. The border guards were very nice and joked with us. I guess because we spent 5 months in Florida they wanted to make sure we weren’t criminals. Lol.

LATER

We were able to get to Portage la Prairie and pull into a Walmart. Dad and I had a drink and mapped out the test of the way home. Ate the most beautiful big mack I’ve ever seen and it was good too. Had a few drinks and spent the night in the parking lot.

Good day. We hope we can get to Battleford, AB by tomorrow night.

So Long MO, Good Bye Iowa, Hello South Dakota

April 24, 2018

We left our campsite Cottonwood RV and hightailed it out of there. We ran a little late and didn’t officially get on the road until about 8:30 am.

It was a fairly smooth ride with some traffic scares and rain. We finally drove out of it just before Omaha. Then it was sunny and nice. Temperature was about 65 degrees and dropping. We ended up at a KOA in South Dakota that was officially closed but they were so nice that they let us stay the night. No wifi. But it had a great dog run and Taco was able to run all his energy out with Gandie.

I griller thin ribeye steaks and asparagus for dinner. It was so good. We had a great night.

Way Down Upon the Suwannee River

This past Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 my best friend Tammy and I went kayaking on the Suwannee River.  It was just what I needed.  Talk about a morale booster!

We started off at the big blue bring in Luraville which there isn’t much there except a little general store that reminds me of Fritz Creek General Store.  Only difference is Luraville store doesn’t have a post office, liquor, and pizza.  So, anyway you have to cross this bridge to the other side where the boat ramp is.  Dad back us up into the boat ramp, unloaded our kayaks and we were ready for our adventure on the river.

We shove off and first stop is Telford Springs.  One of my favorite springs to visit.  Also, that’s where a tradition was born.  Bloody Mary’s at Telford.  It’s a really beautiful spring with a natural cave and bridge.  You can swim through the cave if you want, but it’s better when the river is down.

We drank our bloody mary’s and then we were off to our next stop.

We stopped a various springs including Peacock Springs where we had lunch, Running Springs where we were able to kayak into with some great difficulty but we did it.  It wouldn’t have been possible without the river being up.  We had some fun, ate some more snacks and then road out of the spring by way of current and maneuvering.  As, we went down the river enjoying the beautiful 85 degree weather in February we decided that we should take a gander at Bath Tub Springs.  Tammy always said there were a massive amount of snakes there.  I’ve never seen any there so I was positive that it would be okay.  We tied up our boats and proceed to walk to the spring.  This spring is not completely accessible by water and you must walk to it by trail.

I was telling Tammy that everything looked safe and we could proceed on the trail.  As we got closer to the spring Tammy was worried, I wasn’t.  As soon as I said that it was all clear, the biggest water moccasin I have ever seen high tailed it into the spring right in front of me.  It scared me so bad I screamed and I think I peed a little.  The thing was 2 or 3 inches diameters round.  It was wider than a garden hose.  The darn thing had to be 4 or 5 feet long!

As I screamed, Tammy screamed, and we were high tailing ourselves back to our boats, not before rinsing myself off though.  Tammy kept watch for the big bad snake so I could finish what the snake made me do.  LOL

Number on reason to live in Alaska.  NO SNAKES!!!!

So, we left Bath Tub alive and continued down the river.  Low and be hold, ALLIGATORS!

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The first one we saw we floated by a little to fast for me to get a picture of him.  He was sitting in the most uncomfortable way.  Face in the water, butt in air, tail on the other side dangling down.  It was funny.  Then I saw this guy posing for me.  It turned out to be a great picture.  Then I almost had a gator in my boat.  I wanted to go through a series of boulders and I surprised the gator so much it jumped into the water.  It got air.  If I was any closer we would be kissing.  We’ve never seen gators this far up the river before.  We usually see them on the islands in the middle of the river further down.

Any who, we started talking about Convict Springs and how great their burgers are.  So, we decided to stop.  The name convict comes from the exact thing it was used for.  It was used to cool down the convicts on hot days during the chain gang times.  The name stuck.    Since then, it has become a back woods resort with river campsites, RV sites, swimming pools, food service and ice cream.  They only serve food on the weekends of course and we didn’t know that at the time.  So, we packed it in and headed home.  It was just getting dark when we made it and pulled our kayaks up to Tammy’s property.

It was a fun and adventurous day.  I am so glad I was able to do some paddling.  I hope I can do it again before I leave for home.

Will it Ever End

Today is Feb. 24, 2018.  The house in Florida has been a real pain.  It a pretty big house and I just now finished the floors.  Today I am doing laundry something that we have put off for a while.  Home feels farther and father away as each day progresses.  Time ticks by and Alaska seems father and farther away.  I am homesick.

It doesn’t matter that I have kayaked the Suwannee River this past week and it was absolutely beautiful.  I enjoyed it with my best friend Tammy.  We even encountered a large water moccasin that scared us to death as it shot off the bank of Bath Tub springs while we were walking around.  Another reason I miss Alaska.  There are no snakes.

I don’t miss the hot muggy weather of Florida or even the South at that matter.  I want to go home to the snow and cold.  Stoke the stove and have amazing views with amazing friends that I love to learn new things from.  I have realized that my heart is in Alaska and not on the Suwannee River.  It’s a fun place to visit but I am done living here.

I miss the clean crisp air, my views, my friends, my lifestyle.  I have been gone too long in my opinion.  I can’t wait to leave and get back on the road.  I will miss my friends in Florida, but I think we probably have had enough of each other.  LOL!

So now, Dad and I need to work double time to get out of here.  There’s not much more that needs to be done to the house,  Just install trim, pressure wash house, paint decks, touch up paint throughout house and paint trim, clean up yard, fell some more trees, create some curb appeal and DONE!  Then, we have to paint one of my rental houses as well.

Then, we can high tail it out of Florida!  Must go North!

As, we get closer and closer to bug out time.  I will start blogging everyday again.  You will be here for every bit of the road to home.

Counting Down to Home

Hi guys, I am sitting here at my best friends house doing laundry and thinking about home.

So let me catch you up.  I have two rooms to floor and a bathroom to finish.  I am working on a room a day and a half.  I have to prepare the room by pulling up old staples or hammering them down before I can roll the foam out and start laying the flooring.  It’s been trial and error and lots of frustration, but I am almost done and the flooring looks incredible.

Three days ago, I noticed that I was getting some sort of rash on my neck.  No, I haven’t been rolling in any kind of poisonous plants.  It’s a mystery.  It’s itchy, burns, and tingles.  No, it’s not shingles because it’s on both sides of my neck and I’ve had shingles before.  It’s time to go to the doctor.  I have been eating Benadryl and using a steroid cream but nothing seems to work.  It’s driving me nuts!

We have finished the kitchen and working on timing the rest of the house as I put down the flooring.

Dad and I both want to go home and have set a deadline to start back home this month.

We can’t wait.  Home sickness has set in heavy.  ALASKA WE MISS YOU!

I will continue to keep in touch and update you on whats going on.  Have a great Sunday!

Please visit my GoFundMe page to help me set up a Glamping business!

<https://www.gofundme.com/fcglamcamp&gt;

Meanwhile Back in Florida…

We’ve been busy trying to cut up some tree limbs that are the size of trees to be able to get into the house we are trying to finish renovating.  We had some chainsaw problems.  Dad got one started but then after an hour it threw the rods in the engine, basically it’s a parts saw now.  Mine, we it just wouldn’t start.  So, we took it to the chainsaw place in town to see if they could fix it.  It took about 3 or 4 days to get to it and fix it.  Seems there is some sort of issue that really can’t be fixed but they were able to finagle it to start.  So my little Poulan will start, but if I were to turn it off while it was hot it may not start back until it cools off.  Fabulous!  Dad decided to bite the bullet and buy a Stiel chainsaw.  The dealer fixed it up that it was ready to go with no problems.  Well, that’s what we though.  The darn thing was cutting great and then it just stopped running.  I don;t know anyone that has the kind of trouble with chainsaws as much as us.

My chainsaw is working and was able to really get some cutting done.  I can’t wait to fell some dead trees on the property back home in Homer.  I’m getting lots of practice using my chainsaw here in Florida.  It’s all up to me and my chainsaw to finish what we started.

Today we are going to tear out the master bathroom, finish installing a new window, and few other things before we can get to the flooring.  The faster we get this done, the faster we can get home!

 

Not Much To Do and Yet So Much

Since I have been here in Florida there really hasn’t been much to do until Dad rolled up on Friday.  I’ve got to see all my friends and catch up with them.  I have run errands and started selling off stuff that we don’t need.  I said good bye to my dune buggy, trailer and small camper.  I feel like a weight has been lifted.  It feels great!

Tomorrow, Dad is getting a replacement window for the house we are trying to finish renovating and I am going to do more errands as well in town,  then we will install the new a/c unit and window.  This will take the humidity out of the new flooring so it can be installed after Christmas.  I love staying with my friend Tammy, but there is something to be said about missing your own bed.  I miss my own bed and my home.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Florida.  I love my friends.  I don’t miss the hot sticky weather.  I am eager to finish my own home and start preparing for spring.  I love growing veg, raising chickens and now I can’t wait to start fishing for halibut and learning to hunt in Alaska!  Home is calling.

It’s funny.  I am so used to waking up, stoking the fire, having coffee and then working on the house.  We’ve lived a tough homesteader life there for about 3 or 4 months.  I’m now living in a friends house using air conditioning, having unlimited amount of water.  It’s crazy.  I had to force myself to flush toilet paper.  We don’t flush toilet paper down our toilets.  We brown paper sack it and then throw it into the wood stove.  I’ve had to relearn to be more civilized.  LOL!  Of course neither Dad or I packed the right clothes for Florida.  We’ve been buying  whatever we need from the Walmart in town.

We took the dogs to the vet for needed shots, check ups, and nail trimming.  Everyone is healthy and vaccinated.  Taco has made a new friend at Tammy’s.  Her name is Irma and Tammy calls her “The Terrorist” the kitten.

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I have to give my neighbor Tiana for saying our butts this week.  She has been checking in on our home and jumped to our rescue when we forgot all of our keys back in Alaska.  Thank you for mailing us our keys!!!!  You’re my hero!

And a special thanks to Tammy for giving us a place to stay and being my bestie while we finish this renovation we left unfinished to move to Alaska.

Many thanks to all of you.

For dinner I made nachos and we are downing it with a vodka 7.

I am still hoping to go kayaking on the Suwannee River soon.