Suess's Alaskan Adventure

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Eeeks January 21'st already....

How time flies when you're having fun. And some of it has been now that (knock on wood) both vehicles are running and the water too. We've had time to go to the races....skijoring that is. We've now spent two Saturdays pulling HE and SHE around at a fun race, and fun it is. We're just learning the ropes but have already taken home prizes- rawhide. Not a bad trade-off for running a couple miles in our mind!
Dogs hitch their people up to them...sometimes up to 5 dogs share the load, what a ride that must be, and we take off on trails of .5m, 1.4m, 2.7m, 3.5m at one minute intervals and the race is on. The first race Grizzly and HE took off first and SHE just flew because I was determined to catch them up....which I did. A good sniff of Grizzly and I was content to slow down for a while. The next race I went first with SHE, but just didn't feel quite the need to go...until Grizzly caught us up. Then another dog passed us, and the chase was on again. I keep hearing grumblings of the need for more dogs, HE likes the idea of two apiece. While that might be nice for pulling, SHE's not too sure at the moment.
Though the skijor list we're on does evil things like notify us that the dog yard at the pound is full and a beautiful female pointer is there...who could be my twin. Weather update 20 above at our place on race day, but quite the inversion as it was still -5 down in Fairbanks. And the light she is acoming, outlines by 9:00am and good visibility (mountain outlines etc) til a bit after 5:30pm.

This last picture...yes we know its dark, but it is quite interesting if you can locate the two specks of light centered about 2/3rds of the way up. That would be a very large moose standing at its manger (aka our compost bin). Grizzly was almost a puppy pancake before SHE realized what he was barking about. A moose high on caffeine (a large part of the compost is coffee grounds) might just be a bit twitchy. HE was snowblowing, SHE was in the house and thought they were having fun chasing the snowblower. Walking casually outside to join them she realized what that dark shadow was that Grizzly was barking around.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Beauty is redeeming....

This picture was taken at 10:30 (AM not PM) it should be pointed out. But if you look at the next picture, taken at the same time, you'll see that the shot is a little deceiving. The light is amazing, think crisp pink glow. So, its not actually dark all day...and we're even back at the point of gaining 5 minutes a day. The moon can act like a spotlight too and with snow reflecting the light is beautiful. So, we start seeing a glitter in the sky around 9:30 and when SHE left work the other night was shocked to see a deep blue sky with the hills outside Fairbanks outlined in light...and this was at 5:30. The things this land allows you to appreciate, which are normally taken for granted:-)

A beautiful shot of us playing in the snow

Our little abode working hard to keep us warm. So, knock on wood, at least one thing is still working in this climate...for three days we were without water before honing in on the problem - frozen well pipe between the house and well. (Not the well itself - discovered after having it inspected by the drilling company - who's response was 'sorry can't help you there') Though they were nice enough to jump the truck which was frozen solid in the driveway on their way out. (HE had caught a cab home, because at the same time the car was in the shop). A comedy of errors, and bad things come in threes right:-)
The 'thawing' company came out, steamed the well and determined 'nope, well's not frozen' must be a pipe, but 'oops, don't have those tools with us today, will have to come back tomorrow'. So 'tomorrow' they returned, thawed the pipe but when asked so what can be done to prevent it from occuring again they said 'sorry, can't help you there, we just thaw'. Hmmm, sounds like an excellent business plan:-) Now, none of this should have frozen as we responsibly plugged in the heating cable...too bad we had neglected to check whether the thing actually worked. Ah, the fun of discovering how everything works in a 'new-to-you' home. So water is again running (all night and all day actually, keeping a drip going to try to prevent re-freeze). We responsibly bought a new cable and HE struggled manfully to get it in, but unfortunately just would not go back in the full way...even after playing with squirting water out the pipe to unplug. Just imagine, turning a hose on full blast for three seconds and trying to catch the your downstairs bedroom and you can imagine the fun:-)
The car is sort of running - yes, replacing oxygen sensor helped but didn't we're told the pressure manifold something something is not working, which is why the car likes to stall after 7-9 miles driving. So we almost make it to work, but have to pause, wait, restart...and almost make it home and vice versa. In the meantime (waiting for the part) we've patched cardboard over the air intake to see if that helps, and keep putting 'heet' in the tank with each new fill-up. The low cost alternative some people recommended trying.
And the truck...well after having the battery replaced it ran fine for a bit, and now it turns over nicely, but something else seems to be frozen so its once again sitting solid in the driveway. Thank goodness for Alaska that beauty is redeeming!