Saturday, February 20, 2010

Has Spring sprung?

Third day in a row that it's been above freezing, which is odd this time of the year. Maybe Spring is coming early, or maybe Mom Nature is just gearing up for a really nasty end-of-winter cold snap. Hard to tell, so we're just enjoying the warm temps and sunshine as long as it lasts.

We only need to keep the stove barely going, and just making meals is pretty much enough to keep the tent warm throughout the day... so we don't have to spend all our usable hours collecting deadites for firewood. We took another set of bearings and have cut another 100 or so yards of trail and will continue on that heading until we reach the center marker. Trail vs. driveway -- trail is wide enough that we can get the ATV down, and driveway is wide enough that we can get the truck down (without folding in the mirrors LOL).

Once we get the trail cut we can widen it and hopefully straighten it out a bit, cuz right now we're meandering a little as we lose sight our landmarks in the denser patches of trees and have to navigate around deadfalls and tussocks buried under the snow.

We did try to take the Billy Goat through, but only succeeded in snapping the starter pull cable. Figures! But I guess running a brush mower through snow banks might not be that effective anyway. So we'll get a new cable when we're in Fairbanks next, and just continue clearing the trees out of the way in the meantime. Once all the mud from Breakup dries up it'll be easy to take the Billy Goat through and munch up all the rest of the stuff. And while it's still muddy we can winch out the stumps we left behind and that'll make mowing even easier. Can't do much else here during mud season unless you want to get stuck!

Once we clear out the main trail we'll probably take more scouting trips into the rest of the property, see if we can find more cool and nifty locations. It's funny how deceptive 80 acres can be. On one hand it's a LOT of space, but on the other hand it can seem really small. I mean, when there's a clear trail of sorts, it hardly takes any time (comparatively) to walk the distance north to south (our short distance) or east to west (our long distance). Diagonal is the hard part since there isn't any survey trail cut in that direction... which, of course, is the path we're cutting in for the driveway!

Of course, we're not contending with understory and brush this time of year, just snow... maybe that makes a difference. Right now, it seems weird that we stopped to build the tent platform here instead of continuing just a few hundred yards to the sentinel tree; but I remember how horribly time-consuming and grueling cutting in this far was during the summer/fall with the tussocks and mosquitos. Kinda why I want to get the trail at least mostly cut in before it gets too warm!


Anonymous said...

Getting to know the property is odd. When I first started our cabin on our 40 acres, I was always turned around. I needed a compass to hike in to our property. Now after a few years, everything is familiar our 40 acres and the 600 acre section that is adjacent.

Love the Sentinel tree. I hope the weather holds for you and the mud dries up quick in the spring.

Quinton said...

I see that it's -27 again today. That's a short spring. I couldn't handle it.

wannabe1 said...

Hope you two feel better. From what I've read so far, you two are born Alaskans! From Wannebe1 in the Carolina's