July has gone by in the blink of an eye!
Between all of our projects and raising a little one, plus all the adventures we can squeeze in, this summer has been a whirl wind. The weather this summer has been much more “Alaskan” than last summer. We’ve gotten nearly triple the rain compared to last July, and the average high temperature is nearly 10º cooler! The log framing for the storage loft in the garage is complete and assembled...and it turned out great! Now we just need to mill up some floor boards and we’ll be able to check this project off our list.
Pete brought the sawmill up to our friends’ place near Talkeetna, about and hour and a half drive north of us, where they have a lot of large dead spruce trees. These trees need to be cut down and will make some beautiful lumber. Not to mention, they also recently bought a small tractor which makes moving the logs a cinch. In exchange for bringing the sawmill up to their place, they are letting Pete cut all of the lumber he wants, so it’s a win-win! He has already brought back some thick slabs to use as the floor joists for the loft. He will go up again in a few days to make the 1 inch thick floor boards to finish it off.
A couple weeks ago we took a day trip down to the Kenai Peninsula to do a little fishing and exploring. Just a 3 hour drive away is the beautiful Russian River, a small tributary to the Kenai River, with some world-renowned salmon fishing. Well, sometimes the fishing is world class, other times it is pretty slow. The latter was the case when we were there, which was just ahead of when it really started to pick up. We’ll try to get back again for some fishing still this season, but will have to fit it in to our to-do list.
Recently, we got our fist juicer and have loved experimenting with it! I had been wanting one for years and I’m glad I purchased one that can juice, make baby food, and nut butters. Pete figured out how to use a vacuum pump to seal the jars without having to use a pressure canner, which cooks the juice. He still has a few kinks to work out in order to avoid a huge mess when he pulls too much vacuum, but it does preserve the juice nicely!
We were also fortunate to stumble into an Alaskan tradition: dip net fishing for salmon. We had heard of “dip-netting” before, but we were still feeling overwhelmed trying to figure out the normal “sport fishing” regulations, much less the resident-only “personal-use fishing” regulations. The state of Alaska closely monitors all of their fish and game populations and so the rules and regulations vary based on where, when, and what you are fishing. On top of that, an emergency order can override all of those regulations. So, it might be handy to have a law degree in your tackle box the first few times venturing out on your own. Just kidding! We are slowly but surely figuring it all out. Pete is finding that occasionally the person fishing next to him is a gold mine of valuable information and will gladly explain their gardening techniques or tell you how to get to their favorite fishing hole in exchange for being good company.
We have also been getting all of our plans ironed out for the next couple months. Lots of little projects which, if properly planned for, should be pretty quick and painless (fingers crossed)! We plan on renting a mini excavator to trench in a bunch of cables and to dig some fence post holes. We also want to improve our driveway a bit and fill in the ruts. We need to finish the storage loft, build a wood shed, and, my favorite – the front porch! It all seems like a lot considering summer is half over. However, we’re keeping it in context by remembering that we had barely even started building the cabin at this time last year!
Well, that's about it for this month. Take care, Everyone!
Thanks for reading!
Hello, I am Melissa, owner of Wild North Design. Recently, my husband and I decided to pick up and move to Alaska. This dream has been a couple years in the making and we are enjoying the journey so far. We love to learn and make all kinds of things. From wood craft, to painting, to vehicles, landscaping, building, exploring...we love it all! We are finding out that Alaska is a great fit for our restless minds and bodies! Excited for what the future holds for our expanding family!
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