Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March is in like a lion!

March has certainly come in like a lion in our first winter in Alaska! We'd had close to a month of warm temperatures and beautiful sunshine, but now it is March. We've been hammered with snow the last 3-4 days! We have gotten more than another foot AND the temperatures have been down around zero again! Brrr! We'd gotten spoiled by the above freezing temperatures! I guess we're supposed to be back up around 30 by Sunday or Monday, but meanwhile we've got the fire stoked! A wheel on the plow truck isn't working so they're without that plow until Nate gets home late tonight. I think he'll be busy fixing things as soon as he gets back! Well, after this weekend anyway! Right now Rodney is scheduled to go pick up Nate and Maggie at 10 pm tonight in Anchorage which means they won't get home until about 1 am but Rod may make the run if he's feeling a little better today. So far he has not been in any kind of shape to do that, so we'll see. Fortunately the kids have been home this week (spring break) to help with shoveling and Matt Scherrer has been around for a couple of days to help with plowing. Doug Thiessen has been using the big tractor to move large quantities of snow. They're getting there! We have one of the biggest weekends at camp coming up so there's more than normal to do to prepare, plus now all this snow on top of it all!

This weekend is called the "Becoming an Outdoor Woman" or BOW weekend. They have tons of classes to choose from, like how to kill, field dress and butcher a caribou, how to can food, cross country skiing, dog sled mushing, snow machining (I can call it a snow machine pretty easily now, but I still have a tough time calling it "snow machining"), how to gut and fillet fish, etc. I'll see if I can get a list to fill in more of the weekend classes. At any rate, Rodney needs to make a lot of preparations like places to park trailers (caribou and snow machines), trails for the dog sleds and cross country skiers and of course keep the buildings clear of snow! And in between all that, he needs to pull Sergei out of the snow or water when he runs his snow machine somewhere he shouldn't have been and gets stuck. That's what the whole "wide track" snow machine is all about - it floats on top of fluffy snow where Sergei's sinks if he doesn't go fast enough. Sometimes even if he goes fast he still gets stuck! (snicker)

I guess there must have been enough snow for the Iditarod because that did start on Sunday. Andrei got to go watch the official start on Sunday in Willow (not far from Wasilla) with the VanDaams. There is a team from the community that many are supporting so they stayed and watched until he took off. If you'd like to learn about the Iditarod or the community team, I'll provide a few links. http://www.iditarod.com/ is the Iditarod site (obviously) and http://www.sheepmountain.com/ is the website for the local team (and their business). Zach Steer ran the Yukon Quest in February (that race is from Fairbanks to Whitehorse) and with only a little time to rest in between is now running the Iditarod. He's currently still in the race and is taking a required 24 hr rest. Remind me to let ya'll know how he does. I think Rodney's dream of having an all Basset team to race the Iditarod is fading. Ellie gets buried in this deep snow! ;)

Andrei has finished the Volleyball season this year. They had their tournament in Palmer last Saturday. They didn't do as well as they'd hoped, but they did a great job considering that this was their first year playing. Andrei was the most consistent server on the team for the last few games. That makes him expensive to sponsor in the upcoming Serve-a-thon! They're trying to raise money for next year for travel expenses for the team. This year the girls had a team, but there won't be enough girls next year to make a team so they would like to have a co-ed team. The problem is that the closest co-ed teams are down in the Aleutian Islands. They are trying to raise enough money to fly down there at least once to play against those teams before the state finals. I think they have to play at least once to go to the finals, but they may be able to play against a boy's team to qualify. I'm not too sure of all those details. I'll have to check with their coach. I'll be back after the weekend to fill you in with some BOW pictures and stories! Oh, and maybe a picture of Sergei rather stuck in the overflow. ;)

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