Saturday, April 3, 2010

Oh yeah, definitely spring!

I'm making up for the lack of posting last week and now you've got THREE posts in one week! :) There's just so much to write that if I don't do it now the next one will be a mile long. Can't have that! I left off with us having a foot of water over our "ice road." The next morning Rodney drove out the camp truck and the water was up to the floor boards! He was afraid that it would start coming in the doors, but it didn't. Needless to say he did not bring the camp truck back that night. Nor did we bring our truck over to pick up the cap. We're officially done using the ice road for the year.

Rodney talked to Lee Althens, the guy that built this place and lived here for 20-25 years, and he said that if there is that much water, it is no longer overflow but must be coming through holes in the ice. He said those holes can go from 3" to 3' in 24 hours! Yikes! We could see fish swimming above the ice, so we're pretty certain that is exactly what is going on. We have one of those holes out on the road beyond the generator shed and probably a few more out past the peninsula. Lee also gave Rodney some suggestions about better placement of the road next year (closer to the peninsula) so that it will last longer. We can still take the snow machines across the lake if we stick to certain trails (like straight across the peninsula), but for the most part we're taking the ATV trail. It was a bit of a disappointment that we didn't get some horse manure brought out for the garden before we lost use of the road, but we'll figure out something. We may just have to start a bit smaller with the garden this year.

I got my snow machine stuck in a pile of slush by trying to turn around in a spot that was too soft, not packed trail. Fortunately Rodney wasn't too far off and came to pull me out. Good thing my machine is light! Rodney was a bit annoyed with himself later that he didn't have the foresight to bring the camera. ;) I wasn't too far off the path, but I just didn't have the strength to do it myself. It really is a two man job when you get stuck like that - one to pull and one to hit the gas! The worst that happened was that I got a soaker (a cold one at that!) and had to go change into some boots. I was trying to get going on my way to Anchorage so it was a minor annoyance to think I would be late, but it worked out just fine in the end.

Rodney and I did a little snowshoeing yesterday while surveying the water situations. That was kind of fun! We were able to buy two pairs of almost new snowshoes at about half price so we've been getting some good use out of them. They are a perfect size for me - I hardly go through the snow at all. They are a little under-sized for Rodney, but he'd finds them to be a handier size than larger ones anyway, so they work. At any rate, we walked around the generator shed to check out the hole and then out to the road to look at the ice/water situation there. There are THOUSANDS of sticklebacks (a small fish with spines on it's back) in the hole near the generator shed. I'll try to get a picture of them but it will be hard to see. They are just massed in there, probably enjoying the aeration provided by the water flowing in.

Yes, spring is definitely here! The snow is quickly melting, revealing all the mess that we left last fall with the construction. We're starting to clean up as stuff appears from under the snow. We're gaining about 6 minutes of daylight each day now. According the the local weather, our sunrise is at about 7 am and sunset at 8:45 pm, but it starts getting light at 6 or so and stays light until about 10. Sheep Mountain Lodge up the road from us (owners Zack and Anjanette Steer are the ones who run the Iditarod) has a weather station that is much closer to accurate for us than Sutton, Palmer, Wasilla or Anchorage. It is almost always 5-10 degrees warmer down in those cities than it is near us. http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=99674 I'll try to link this on the front page as well so ya'll can look at our weather and gloat. Honestly, go ahead, I don't mind. I LIKE it cool and/or cold! :) When you guys have 80 degree weather (or worse!) I'm thanking God for bringing us to a nice cool place to live! :) In my opinion, anything greater than 70 is just a waste of degrees! ;) You can always add layers of clothing, but there's just so much you can take off and it is STILL hot!

One more sign of spring is all the rock slides on our drive in to Palmer/Wasilla/Anchorage. The roads are carved into the sides of the mountains leaving HUGE walls of dirt and rock along the road sides. I'm not sure if I mentioned with the "guardrail" post or not that there is a reason for the lack of guardrails. It is so that they can plow the rocks off the road! This is the time of year when we really see that. They don't snowplow this time of year, they ROCK plow! Honest! With the thaw comes loosening dirt and rocks on those hill sides. Considering the angle of some of those hills, gravity takes effect and down they come! They often land in the road and then the plows come by and push them off the other side of the road. It is certainly efficient this way!

Another indication of spring is of course Easter. Dan Woodard, a friend we stopped to visit on our trip up, here recently shared a piano rendition of And Can It Be that was just beautiful! It is one of my all time favorite hymns and the words tell the wonder of the Easter story. Unfortunately Dan's rendition is only on Facebook, not Youtube. If you've got Facebook you can hear it here:
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/video/video.php?v=1372439345719 He said it was a Kim Collingsworth arrangement but it didn't sound like the one she plays here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuwPlsdaEBs Either way, it is such a moving song! Lyrics below:

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

One more QUICK note, Rodney ran across a video of dog sledding that was really good so I'll link that here for anyone interested in seeing it in action. I think it is a local TV show from Vermont - pretty well done at any rate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv2If_a-apE So that's my story for today. As you can see, there was a lot to tell and I know ya'll don't appreciate when these get to be a mile long! Oh wait, it is already a mile long!

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Morning commute

Morning commute

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