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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sargent Creek


Yesterday rather than fighting the lack of winter I went with the flow and went whitewater canoeing.  Jeremy and I have been meaning to go for a few days, and with all the rain the water levels in all the creeks and rivers has been high.  And so after work off I went to ride the river.

It was a sunny and Jeremy and I both commented that it seems we never go on nice days. And yet, despite the lack of an active rainstorm, the water level was still high.  Perfect.

Sargent Creek has some impressive rapids and an easy shuttle.  It's really a quite convenient paddle - something that is easy to do after work.  After an awesome whitewater adventure I was home just a little over 2 hours after leaving.  That's pretty good.  Patrick






Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Rainy Days

Nora's Photo she took to post on Instagram

We had a little winter - mostly while we were out east for Thanksgiving, but lately it has just been rain and wind.  Bleak outside.  Muddy, brown, dead and very very wet.  After school I help Nora with her paper route and in no time at all it's already dark.

Over the weekend we had to think of things to do inside.  Stuey and I started to do puzzles.  Nora went outside and took pictures.  She extracted a promise from me that if she took a really good picture I'd post it on Instagram.   That's her photo above, and it made Instagram.  We also did a Sunday drive out to Bell's Flats and Java Flats for lunch.  Killing time.

This time of year I hate taking the dogs for walks in the park because they get so muddy and then track up the house.  So I've been continuing to ski.  The doggies stay clean on the mountain and then dry out a bit on the car ride home.  But today the doggies will get a day off - I think I am going to go rafting.  Patrick

Puzzle Complete

Starting the next puzzle!

Deer shoulder stew - perfect food for a rainy winter evening

Dog walk on Pyramid - They get muddy at Abercrombie but stay clean on snow!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Whiteout


The skiing on Pyramid is not all that great.  In fact the last few days it has been so awful that it was almost fun! Screaming wind, blowing ice, and slush.  I get back to the car soaking wet.  The day before yesterday it was snowing hard with a screaming sideways wind.  The snow stuck to just the windward side of the dogs and they had black eyes holes kept snow free by blinking.

But it is exercise and it is skiing on snow.  And why suffer on Denali when you can do it on Pyramid?
Patrick

Tank seems ready to go back down to the car


Monday, December 11, 2017

Basketball Tournament


Last week was the L'il Dribblers Basketball League tourney.  Stuey's team Island Expresso made it to the semi finals where they lost by a point after coming back from 9 down in the final 5 minutes to tie it.  One of Stuey's best friends Liam was on the other team, and the 2 of them were on the same team 2 years ago when they won it all.  But not this year.

Ironically, the semi final game played out exactly the opposite of the first game in the tournament against the same team.  In that game Liam's team came back from 10 points down and lost by one point on a final desperation heave.

Watching the games I decided that some of the best life lessons were in the games that were not close.  I was most proud of Stuey and his team when they lost by over 20 points to one of the best teams in the tournament.  And yet they did not give up and played hard until the very end.  In my opinion, learning to lose gracefully, with dignity and spirit is more important than winning.  Patrick


Under the hoop - will it go in?

Stuey and Liam on opposing sides



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Burger Grind


Last Wednesday was the annual burger kind party.  We ground up 130 pounds of meat into burger and Italian 'Goat' Sausage.  This is the annual event that marks the absolute end of the hunting season.  It's also a pretty fun time.  We drink beer and grind meat.  Philip brought pizza.

Now the freezers are full and we'll wait until August rolls around again and starts things off once again!

Patrick





Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What a difference one day makes!


After a weekend of rain it cleared up Monday and I went skiing on Pyramid.  There was very little snow left (see 2 photos below) and what snow was left was crusty and hard.  But at least it was sunny and there was enough snow that I did not hit any rocks.

On Monday night I woke up to rain and feared the worst.  I drove to work in the rain.  Then around mid morning I looked outside and saw snowflakes.  And then it cleared.

After work I drove up to the pass and there was new snow all the way down to where I parked the car.  We got over 1/2 a foot of new snow up high - whoooo hoooo!  Sunshine and new snow puts me in a good mood!  Patrick







Monday, December 4, 2017

Postcard from the past


While out east for Thanksgiving I was rooting through all the old books on the shelves looking for a book to read.  I saw a good one that I had left behind after finishing it years ago - Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.  I kind of remember liking it - a raw, dark, and violent western, and so grabbed it off the shelf.  When I looked inside the back cover I was surprised to find a note I had written to myself way back in 1993!

I spent the summer of 1993 on a remote archaeological excavation in outer Frobisher Bay, Canada.  It was the summer I almost got eaten by a polar bear.  If we had an on shore breeze the ice would push up onto the shore of the island where we were staying and the bears would walk off the ice and onto our island.  We called such pan ice 'polar bear taxis' and on the nights when the ill wind blew someone would have to stay up to look out for marauding polar bears. A member of the Canadian team died of hypothermia when a boat tipped over.  It was a summer spent living on the edge.  And in a very real way it matched what I read in Cormac McCarthy's book.

Reading the note took me back to the summer of 1993.  On windy days the water often stayed flat calm because of the pan ice.  I washed my clothing in salt water and it was always slightly damp, and I probably smelled pretty bad.  During our excavation we found really cool things carved out of wood and bone, and when things thawed out you could sometimes smell 2000 year old urine.  I carried a gun around.  All this was in my note.

When I was in my 20s I travelled a lot, and I would often write myself postcards.  I'd mail them home.  And then when I returned home I could relive a particular moment in time that had arrived in the post.  I don't know if I still have any of those postcards, but I do know that I just found a note I sent by time machine almost 25 years into the future.

Now it is time to re read the book.  'A classic American novel of regeneration through violence.' (from the cover).  Sounds like a Western to me.  Patrick

The paw of the bear that tried to eat me

On the way home at the end of the summer crammed into the Pitsulak (Inuit for Pidgeon Gillimont)

I learned from the Inuit how to butcher and pack out caribou meat

A Raw land in SUMMER!

Getting eaten alive by mosquitoes - at one point we killed 74 with one hand slap

That's a frozen ocean as far as you can sea - in 1992 it never did thaw

Note the polar bear taxis