Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wolf Walk

A large black wolf has been living out by the Mendenhall Glacier for the last several years. I went for a long walk out there yesterday and saw the wolf for the first time. He is heavier now than when these pictures were taken and looks strong and healthy. He is always seen alone; his "pack" seems to be local dogs who are walked by their humans in his territory.

My friend has a dog and the wolf approached us because of Gypsy. He trotted up with friendly body language and there was sniffing. Tails were wagged, ears were up, fur was down. Named Romeo by the people of Juneau, the wolf stayed with us, about 50 feet away, for a mile or two. When we drew apart, he howled and howled - a haunting, lonely sound, even on a bright day with friends nearby.

The photographs are by Doug Jones. I found them here. Contacting Doug by email failed and he is not listed in the local phone book, so perhaps he has moved. His pictures are great (click on them to enlarge). The wolf is beautiful.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pinewood Derby

Ray strode into the Boy Scout Pinewood Derby race last Saturday, expecting to win. At the practice event two weeks ago, his car dusted the competition and was never beat. But, alas, the other boys must have tuned up their rigs because this time, his car came in last every heat it ran. Oh, well, the crushing disappointment only lasted a few moments and when he left the event, clutching his prizes, he was happy.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Patty's Porch

Just a pretty picture, taken from my friend's front deck...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Battle of the Books

Ray, first on the leftRay, the fabulous student, participated in the Battle of the Books this week. He read 15 books and sat with 25 third and fourth graders, answering questions about the stories. After the final round, Ray was tied for second place! He made the team that will represent his school at the district level. Unfortunately, he had to withdraw because the next Battle is scheduled for the week that we are going to the cabin. He enjoyed participating and he really liked doing so well. Good job, Ray!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Dave's New Plane

CharlieDave likes to say that I bought him a new plane for Christmas.

Leather seatsThis is not the style of interior to which we have become accustomed. Where's the duct tape?

Instrument panel
Obligatory shot of the instrument panel.

The real story? It is easier to get up to our cabin with a plane on floats. The seller of the plane, Charlie (guy in the top photo), had a perfect 180 that he had meticulously improved in the four years that he owned it. The owner before that had a bunch of money that he threw at the plane, installing a new engine and a new propeller. So when Charlie ran out of things to work on, he put the word out that he wanted to sell it. There were floats available in a nearby hangar and he agreed to install the floats. So we bought it. We have our wheel plane, the 172, for sale.

Weekends at the cabin are now on the calendar for the season. Dave has to work to pay for the plane, he needs the plane because he is working. It is sort of a vicious cycle, but the pilot in the family looks pretty happy. I think he is a 180 guy through and through.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Growing Up

Mural on the wall of City Hall, painted by Bill Ray
Ray is packing a bag to take to a friend's house to spend the night.

Mom: "Do you have a toothbrush, some floss, a change of clothes?

Ray: "Yeah."

"Do you have your hat and some gloves?"


"Do you want to take Puppy or Carl?"

"Mom, I don't need stuffed animals for a sleepover anymore."

"OK, what about pajamas?"

"I don't need any, I'll just sleep in my boxers."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baby Sweater with a Baby In It

My latest project looks better modeled than it did on a hanger in the backyard.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Serious Snow

We are back to lots of snow in Juneau this week which has been good for a bit of downhill skiing and generally enjoying the winter. If the calendar says winter, we might as well have snow.

We are planning a trip in to the cabin in a couple of weeks so we want cold weather and good ice on the lake. Mushy snow and overflow are not friends of snowmachine travel.

Some friends who are living at the lake year round sent us a picture of the lake house last week. It is good to see everything is still in place. It will be even better to tromp around and spend some time in there.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Baby Sweater and Hat

I have been unable to log into Blogger this week and I just discovered it is happening on my computer only. It must be a cookie problem or something I don't know much about. Hmm...

Yarn: Knitpicks Shine
Color: Blush
Needles: US 4
Pattern: none
This is a sweater made without a pattern. I used a stitch I have used before to make hats and turned it into a baby sweater with little shaping. I left the neck big and stretchy to accommodate a squirmy child. The hat matches the sleeves.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Pontoon Boat

Dave drove to Montana, in 2003, to buy a hovercraft. Well, that was the original plan. He returned with two pontoons on the roof of his truck.

Dave! Another wacky idea! Nobody has a patio boat around here.

Stable, he says. A more comfortable ride. We can haul a lot of lumber. I can even pull a water skier with this boat I am gonna build.

He built it at the hangar. He has hauled a lot of lumber. It is stable and he has pulled a water skier.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Backhoe

One of Dave's projects that emerged from the hangar was the backhoe. We bought some land in 2001 and built a little cabin hugging the lakeshore. The land sloped up quickly from the water and we needed to move a lot of dirt to create a level building site for the shop and the main house. Hmm... thinks Dave. Dig that hill out with a shovel? I don't think so.

He got on the Internet and did some research. He found a U-Build-It kit from a guy in Massachusetts and had it shipped to Juneau. The steel was pre-cut. After learning how to weld, Dave welded the 58 pieces together to create the ultimate digger. We towed the finished beast onto the ferry and drove it 20 miles up the Haines Highway. A helicopter was in the area for the end of the heli-skiing season and the chopper lifted the backhoe up over the river and the mountain and placed it gently on our property. Easy - all we had to do was write a check.

Two building sites have now been leveled, a septic tank is buried and stuck snowmachines have been yanked out of snowbanks with this little Honda engine and all those hydraulics. This year we have a woodshed to build into the hill somewhere and a trail to work on for better access into our place. People at the lake thought Dave was a little wacky with his backhoe idea but it has proved to be a very useful item.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Rained Out

Last year.

This year.

Sunday, December 31, 2006 4TH EDITION
Eaglecrest New Year's Day activities postponed. The windy weather and low visibility have forced Eaglecrest officials to postpone its New Year's Day plans that included a torch light parade and fireworks, among other activities.The ski area's Jeffra Clough says Monday's forecast includes high winds and wet weather, neither of which is suitable for the fireworks display.A wind advisory is in effect for the Juneau area through 6 p.m. New Year's Day. Gusts to 45 miles per hour are forecast.Clough says the event will be rescheduled for a date, probably in February. That date will be announced later this week.

Via KINY radio.