Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stori - a day in the life of

My two oldest kids are not sleeping at home tonight. Well, to be honest, they are not sleeping inside the home tonight. They have (with the help of their dad) pitched a tent and are camping out in the yard. I have a couple mixed feelings about this whole scenario. For the most part, I'm very happy they are doing this. What fun! A little bit of independence and a whole lot of freedom. Although I can see the tent from my living room window, to them, it must feel out in the wild. Paige just turned 11 last week and Colt is not quite 4 years old. They have their footy pajamas and a couple of sleeping bags, as far as they are concerned they are good to go. I had the tent set up in the play yard, which is fenced. Although it is only sheep fencing, I think it is enough to discourage any wandering moose from tripping in the guide lines of the tent. My major concern comes from some of our more un friendly Alaskan neighbors. We have had a pretty big issue of wolves in our area this spring. Although we have seen several sets of prints that came right through our yard/driveway, we think there is too much activity to allow them to come too close to the house. Wolves do not appreciate this much humanity for the most, but have been known to get a little too close for comfort in the past. Last winter a pack realized that pet dogs on chains make very handy ready to eat meals right inside the North Pole city limits. Several people lost their pets to this pack. Why go hunting when there is prey right there unable to escape? Would our little fence around a play yard stop a pack of wolves? No, not if they really wanted in, but it may be just enough to make them nervous about the situation and decide to move on. The second nasty neighbor is bear. We have no shortage of black bear or grizzly in our area. We have never seen one in our yard, but that doesn't count for much. I'm sure they would be more interested in the pen of trapped young pigs we have, or even last year's calf before tearing down a wimpy fence to go poking around in a tent. But that doesn't guarantee that they wouldn't. Needless to say, we will be sleeping with our bedroom window open tonight. I'm sure my two giggled out, mosquito bitten, grown up feeling kids will be getting a lot more sleep than I will tonight.

As I am sitting here typing this, my husband is watching " Ice Road Truckers" on Discovery and commentating the entire time about the haul road they are filming on. This season is all about the road between Fairbanks and the north slope. My husband has traveled this road hundreds of times while running his old trap line. As the show portrays a certain section of road, Marc interjects with " That's right where I got that black bear hanging up stairs" or "That hill is pretty nasty." or my favorite, "Why do they keep saying ice road? There's no damn ice on that road, it's all gravel and pavement." Starting to feel the Discovery Channel is becoming a bit Alaskan Voyeuristic with all the Alaska shows here lately. Geez, until they told us how tough we were for "surviving" here, we just thought we were living our day to day life. Either we are really tough ( read stupid) or the rest of the world is a bunch of weenies. Who will ever really know the truth?

We had to go into town (Fairbanks) today for some supplies. I needed to look for a particular piece of tack for my horse Rusty, we had to go to the commissary for groceries, and of course our regular stop of Home Depot. On the way to town, we seen a cow moose on the side of the road here on the farm road, and on the highway all traffic was stopped to let a moose momma and her brand spanking new baby cross the road heading towards water. I have yet to see a new calf quite that young yet in the time I have lived here. It was so tiny, all legs and joints. Maybe born yesterday, maybe even today. Bouncing along after it's momma, a little bitty red piece of miracle. If only they stayed that cute and harmless! All in all, we seen a total of 6 moose today on our trip to and from town. We haven't seen a single one in the last 2 weeks due to calving season. The cows had all tucked them selves away in their own little chosen nurseries to have their babies. It's funny how nature sets even moose on a timeline. Within a very small 1 to 2 week period, all the baby moose will be born in the entire state. With so many babies, there is no way that the bear and wolves can possibly kill them all. Pretty neat how that all works itself out.

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