Sunday, July 15, 2012

Generation π: This Game Has No Name

Don't let them fool you... they are out for blood.
 Pictured above are the cannibalistic fowl that my boss kindly named the "Franken-Chickens". We are slaughtering them in 10 days. Yesterday they killed one of their own and devoured it: feathers, bones, beak and all. So watch out for blood-thirsty chickens. Otherwise, here's a glimpse of what life is like above the Arctic Circle.
My boss and I had to load up this 450 lb. prop on a gravel bar out in the Gates of the Arctic. It's from a flipped DeHavilland Beaver (not ours). They helicoptered the plane out, but left the heavy prop behind and asked us to retrieve it. Imagine two people trying to slide this thing into the back of a tiny bush plane. It was not pretty.
Imagine the force it took to bend that. 
A view of the gravel bar on which the other plane crashed.

'Is it time for our run yet? Please let it be time for our run!'
We have 3 sled dogs. Hobbes is a huge, wolf-like dog and also a big coward. He's my running partner, but I'm not sure he'd be any use if I ran into a grizz on the trail.
Hobbes---the most cowardly dog I know.
 Hobbes is on my boss's shit-list. A week ago he managed to kill and devour one of the egg-laying chickens that got too close. The kids were in tears. Ever since then the dogs have been exiled to the back of the property.
This is Cranny, and all she can think about are the chickens in the pen next to her. 

My reading material up here: Freedom of the Hills and the Private Pilot Handbook.  

The Shop
 The Shop is where all the tools for fixing and working on the airplanes live. It's also known as the black hole, because once something is inside, it will never be found again.


Fueling 'Pumpkin'.

I've been semi-domestic around here and decided we needed some cucumbers. 
 There's no grocery store around here (we have to fly all our food in from Fairbanks), so fresh vegetables are in short supply and high demand. Growing a garden here is simple: throw seeds in the ground and have the 24 hr sunlight do the rest.

With the amount of bulk food we have stored, we're ready for the Apocalypse. 

Charlie Carlos II
 Here is the caribou blanket that keeps me warm at night. I named him Carlos, only to be informed by the children that his real name was Charlie. Hence he is now known as Charlie Carlos the Second.

Remarkably he doesn't shed. I have not found a single hair from Carlos in my cabin. Maybe I'll market caribou as the new fashionably trendy non-shedding-pet.
I'm quite proud of my painting job. 
 The Subi that my boss lets me take out on the Dalton. Only two flat tires so far...


Our outhouse with Elvis creeping in the back.

A wide array of bike-choices.


We live off the grid with our own well and solar panels. With 24 hr. sunlight, we've only turned the generator on twice when some thunderstorms rolled by.

A clothes drying rack and compost bin. Unfortunately when you live out in the bush, there's no recycling and most of our trash we dispose of in burn barrels. 
The Bible. 
 The book that has it all. What would we do without Larry.

Appendage for the Cat. 
 I've come to the conclusion that every home needs a Bobcat. I use it almost everyday to lift things, haul gravel, drill posts, yank metal things out of the ground, etc... Most useful tool by far along with the Walt drill.

A lot of my time is spent with a nail-gun on top of ladders. 
Two day old gosling.  
 Remember Olaf? He's the German carpenter that helped us build the airplane 'dog house' hanger. Below are some photos from when he worked as a guide mushing dogs in case you forgot who he was. 

Photo courtesy of  http://www.markusegger.com 
 Anyway, so Olaf is this big bear-like character who likes to listen to 80's German techno (and dance to it), wears glacier goggles even when he's not anywhere near snow, drinks kefir, can eat a whole jar of Nutella in one sitting and used to have dreadlocks. 
 He lives on a homestead with 40 sled dogs+50 chickens and supports, as he calls it, his 'dog-mushing habit' by building things. 
Anyway, so Olaf and I rescued two goslings that got separated from their mom and placed them in a card-board box with a lid. I decided to teach them how to swim, took the lid off, turned around for 5 seconds and  a gosling had vanished. I ran over to Olaf, who almost strangled me on the spot, because even though he looks like he can kill a grizzly with his bare hands, he was getting attached to the little geese.

Olaf saw Pookie the Cat with the gosling in its mouth, chased after it, almost suffocated the cat until it let go of its juicy meal, and rescued the gosling, who by the way is safe and sound without a scratch on him.

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