THE BUSH LIFE

THE BUSH LIFE
My old boat on Six Mile Lake

THE BUSH LIFE

THE BUSH LIFE
My tent cabin on the Kvechak River

The Bush Life

The Bush Life
My old buddy "KAYAK"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waste of time?

The day I started this Blog, it was kind of on a whim. I was introduced to a Blog that belongs to some friends of mine and found it interesting. So, I decided to start one myself thinking I would have communications more with others who live a remote lifestyle and it would be a good way to exchange ideas and also to share a lifestyle with those who have an interest in remote living and how we do things.

I have worked at it trying to make it as interesting as I can and for some reason it doesn't seem to work and I can't figure out why. I look at other Blogs and many of them have quite a few people participating in their Blog on a regular basis, I often wonder what is it, I am doing wrong.

I have had a few people who started following my Blog say that I should Blog more often so, that is what I started doing and I think I have made some interesting entries. Still no participation. I am starting to feel it is a waste of time to share what I am doing and not having anyone interested enough to join in.

I would really like to have any input as to what I am doing wrong or how I can make it more interesting to have others participate. It makes no sense for me to be basically, the only one reading this Blog. Thanks

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This will make ya smile

                              Ingenuity at its finest























Monday, March 28, 2011

Here is a poem I found

             The Beauty of No Indoor Plumbing

                      I just went out to pee
                      and much to my aglee
                      it's Thirty below
                      and the sky is aglow
                      with Northern Lights to see.

                      The Northern Lights you see
                      can help to set you free,
                      you'll stand and stare
                      with frozen nose hair
                      and forget you came out to pee.

                      If you give the lights a chance
                      They'll put you in a trance
                      from green to red
                      as you lay back your head
                      and watch their magical dance.

                      It seems from the end of September
                      until I just can't remember
                      it gets so darn cold
                      and the dark gets real old
                      but, the dance of the lights keeps
                      you limber

                      You'll feel so warm inside
                      and the smile you just can't hide,
                      while watching the lights
                      on cold winters nights
                      you really can't beat the ride.

                     It's a ride so pure and free,
                     it's a ride you'll just have to see,
                     at thirty below
                     and the sky aglow,
                     Don't forget you came out to pee.
                 

 poems by Jimmy Tohill / Old Sourdough Studio-Denali.                        

Last trip to the Homestead

This is how the morning started out. It was a bit colder this morning, 20 degrees and the day went on to become nice, sunny, 40 degrees and a breeze out of the North. This is the moon, not sure how I made it double.






Anyway, my friend Dave made the last trip up to the homestead. He had a really nice day to travel but, it certainly wasn't uneventful. He got to within a mile of the property and the freight sled broke down. He left everything there and went up and got a neighbor of mine to give him a hand.

               Here is Dave loaded up and ready to go

                This is the freight sled broke down

This is where he McGuyvered the sled with 2"x2" and 2"x4" lumber.

This sure isn't the first time he has broken down. But, he always managed to fix things. The one thing I do know is, he is a really great friend to help me out. Pretty soon, I will be counting the days to start building.



Now, I'm not sure what the story is with this Coyote, Dave didn't say but, my guess is from the looks of it something attacked it and ate on it. I will let everyone know the story when I find out.


There is a certain romance about living a remote lifestyle. But, there is a lot of hard work that goes along with it. The hard work is something acceptable in order to live a peaceful lifestyle and enjoy everything Nature provides for us. The one thing in life that really makes me greatful? Not everyone is doing it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another great day

The day started out pretty nice. I really enjoy mornings like this. Sitting in a quiet cabin having fresh brewed coffee looking out the window as the day begins.













The one thing I knew was, it is laundry day, the big one. Sometimes I get lazy and let it go for to long and then I have to break out the real washing machine.


I know what you are thinking, how hard could it be to use this washer? Well, first, it takes about 3  five gallon buckets of water to fill it. Then it takes as many to rinse. You also have to wring the clothes out both times and then use the spinner which really helps the drying quite a bit. Afterwards, I have to go out open my water hole and haul five seven gallon containers of water back to fill up my water container.


Afterwards, being Friday which is mail day, we get mail Mon. Wed. and Fri. I decided to go to the village to get mail. On the way, I came across some friends of mine pulling their fish net from under the ice.



They brought out a nice big haul. Mostly white fish and an 8lb. Lake Trout.


OOPS! I forgot, guess who got the Lake Trout? UH HUH! You guessed it, me.

All in all, it turned out to be a very nice day. It was sunny and 50 degrees again.

                                       

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today I scored

I took a trip to the village to stop and visit my friend at the clinic. When I got there, a nurse from Dillingham was having a class on Diabetes. She was giving fruit baskets to those who attended. Well, there happened to be an extra one and my friend scored it for me. While there I had the nurse check my blood pressure, HMMMMMM! It was a little high. Afterwards, I scored a blood pressure kit from her. What a day.

                            This was about 7a.m.

About 7:25 a.m.

                            Finally sunrise 7:55a.m.

                                                
                          Mugging for the camera
                                    
                                 
Heading to the village

Fruit bowl and blood pressure kit

It's an amazing thing when you live in a remote setting and the only way you can get supplies is by BUSH plane or in some cases by mail which can sometimes take forever. Sometimes it does. Seeing as we get mail only three times a week. So, whenever you get fresh fruit and/or vegetables, it is a real treat.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stepping up

I have been giving a lot of thought about giving up the computer when I build my new cabin. After reviewing this new blog I subscribed to http://frontierfreedom.blogspot.com/ I may just change my mind. After reading many of their posts, I got the feeling that maybe I should share some of the good life also. Not many people get to live a life of beauty and content like those of us living the Alaska Bush Life. Although our life isn't always easy, actually most of the time it is hard but, it is very fulfilling. There are people out there who envy our way of life and through the wonders of the Internet are able to live this life through us. So, I hope to start making my Blog a little more interesting  while I am here at the lodge. Come June 1st, when the plane comes to take me out, things will get more interesting. Right now my friend Dave is having all the fun hauling most everything I need to my property. Thanks Dave, you are a great friend.

Start of breakup

It has been snowing for 2 days but, it has also been pretty warm. I am talking high 40's to 50. This combination is a sure sign of breakup. Personally, this year I am ready. This morning had a cool sunrise and the squirrels are coming out. I spent the day burning garbage and took a ride into the village for mail. I am getting real ancy to get up to property and build that new cabin.

Monday, March 21, 2011

THE BEST COOKIES EVER

I discovered these cookies one summer when I worked as a campground host for the Forest Service. Some campers who took a liking to me brought these to me and I gobbled a dozen in one night. Try these and you will see what I mean.

Snickerdoodles

They may have an unusual name, but these rich cinnamon-sugar cookies are great for the holidays or anytime you want a tasty cinnamon treat.
 
PREP TIME
40 Min
TOTAL TIME
50 Min
SERVINGS
4
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About Concordance™

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or unbleached flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. 1 Heat oven to 400ºF.
  2. 2 Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
  3. 3 Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. 4 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I found this interesting

For River Mike Cranford, isolation is in-tent-ional
by Reba Lean / rlean@newsminer.com
Feb 20, 2011 
River Mike Cranford talks about living the remote lifestyle at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
River Mike Cranford talks about living the remote lifestyle at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
slideshow
River Mike Cranford soaks up the sunshine on an otherwise cold afternoon at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
River Mike Cranford soaks up the sunshine on an otherwise cold afternoon at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
slideshow
River Mike Cranford, right, points out a newspaper article to his friend Markus Mager, left, during a visit by Mager at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
River Mike Cranford, right, points out a newspaper article to his friend Markus Mager, left, during a visit by Mager at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
slideshow
River Mike Cranford spends much of his time producing carvings and signs at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
River Mike Cranford spends much of his time producing carvings and signs at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
slideshow
River Mike Cranford s wall tent camp is seen from a distance along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
River Mike Cranford's wall tent camp is seen from a distance along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
slideshow
River Mike Cranford refers to a plastic jar hanging from a small tree he uses to send letters via passing boaters as his "Blueberry", joking "I need to get more apps for my Blueberry," at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
River Mike Cranford refers to a plastic jar hanging from a small tree he uses to send letters via passing boaters as his "Blueberry", joking "I need to get more apps for my Blueberry," at his wall tent camp along the North Fork of the Chena River about two miles off of Chena Hot Springs Road Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Cranford, who has lived the remote tent life at his current location for over six years, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
slideshow
FAIRBANKS — When life gives Mike Cranford black bananas, he eats them on oatmeal — much like someone would make lemonade out of life’s lemons. Cranford, or River Mike as he prefers to be called, has had to make the best of many tough circumstances in life. Black bananas are some of the least of his troubles.

The Sourdough Life

If ever there was a man who came to Alaska to get away from it all, it is River Mike. He lives in a wall tent year-round with his 6-year-old malamute husky, Matty. On the East Fork of the Chena River, Mike finally has the life he wished for when he left Oklahoma about 26 years ago.

“Before I came to Alaska, I had never heard the word ‘sourdough,’ but I knew I wanted to be one,” he said. Now he knows the term doesn’t just refer to pancakes, which are a major portion of his diet.

Living on his own in a two-layer canvas tent among the spruce trees and a fresh water supply gives Mike a sense of freedom he didn’t have for the first 40 years of his life. Now he’s 65 and he plans to finish his life where he is.

The term “off the grid” holds a certain meaning for River Mike. It doesn’t necessarily mean that one doesn’t exist on paper or isn’t reliant on others, but that one is disconnected from modern life.

Mike’s only connection to modernity is a radio on which he listens to talk shows and Trapline Chatter on KJNP-FM every Monday and Tuesday. He is diligent about listening to the radio hotline on those designated days because it’s the only way for people like Markus Mager, to get in touch with him.

Mager is a computer scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He came from Germany about five years ago and is River Mike’s most trusted friend.

Reaching River Mike

Visiting River Mike is no easy task, but Mager tries to every couple months. He brings special treats for Mike and drops off Matty’s dog food by boat in the summer.

In summer, the trail is longer because people have to avoid the river. Mager brought his parents one summer, and everyone arrived at Mike’s camp with soggy feet from the tundra. The winter trail is nicely groomed from heavy traffic, and visitors can walk along the river ice.

More than 40 miles down Chena Hot Springs Road, Mager parked his car in a driveway. He loaded his sled full of goodies, including newspapers, sausages, ice cream, cheese and bread — enough to last Mike a couple weeks. On what started out as a 30-below day, Mager began hiking on a snowmachined trapline to his friend’s home. About a mile in, a snow-shoed trail breaks off from the trapline. Mager followed the tracks behind his husky, Cheery.

The trail took Mager through short black spruce trees only as tall as him. Then it turned into an ice-covered slough, with taller spruce and heavily frost-laden branches. He had to duck beneath some fallen trees. The heat seemed trapped in the woods, but the winter’s yellow sun didn’t do much to heat the clearings. The trail led to the East Fork, where fresh bunny boot prints from River Mike and Matty were scattered about. Still following the trail, Mager arrived at a slough off the East Fork, and saw smoke from a tent’s chimney in the distance.

Solitude

“The dogs are born killers and I’m crazy,” states a sign leading to the tent. “Good idea to KNOCK.”

It’s just a facade. River Mike enjoys visits, especially from Mager. When Mager pulled his sled up at the front of the tent, Mike rifled through the groceries as he asked about Mager’s last two months. They chatted about Mager’s trip to Germany and things Mike took note of on the radio. Matty was visibly excited to see Cheery, following the smaller dog around the campsite.

Inside the wall tent, Mager helped himself to tea that he brought on one of his trips out. Mike doesn’t drink tea. A fire inside a wood stove roared and heated the small tent quickly. Incense burned to cover the smell Mike has become accustomed to, he said. Shelves made from wood poles held food, art tools, cigarette tobacco and Mike’s books. Mike has read his few books many, many times.

His favorite is “Arctic Village” by Robert Marshall. The book is a portrait of the town of Wiseman in the 1930s. Mike called it “insight into how folks like me think.”

One thing River Mike has a lot of is time. He doesn’t hunt, trap or fish, so he has even more hours than people might think. He spends a lot of it thinking about one-liners he either tells Mager or writes down for his artwork. He writes the sayings in calligraphy on polished wood. He also spends time collecting firewood. His life is simple — it’s about survival. He jokes that the hardest decisions he has to make all day are when he wakes up: where to take Matty on a walk and what to eat when they get back.

“Solitude is probably the hardest part,” he said. Visitors are rare. If he needs something from the store, he bundles up, hikes the trail and hitchhikes to Pleasant Valley, about 20 miles away.

River Mike’s story

Mike is a former auto body mechanic. It’s what he did in Oklahoma before he moved north, and it’s what he did when he started out in the state.

When he first arrived in Fairbanks about 1984, he wondered why on Earth he was doing the same job he had in Oklahoma. He thought, “There’s got to be more than this.”

He began traveling the state. He has herded reindeer, handled dog teams and sold his artwork. Somewhere along the way he picked up his 1961 GMC, “Ole Blue” as he calls it. The car has a wood stove inside, and he claims it’s “the most photographed truck in the whole state.”

River Mike has a way with tourists. He claims he can sell them anything, including sand from the beaches of Nome. He loves to set up his camp in front of a tourist attraction and become the attraction himself. In Skagway, he spent a summer on Broadway, telling visitors from cruise ships about his lifestyle and enticing them to buy his artwork and other Alaska items.

Since tourists carry credit cards more often than cash these days, selling his artwork has become difficult. That, coupled with Ole Blue’s engine troubles, mean that Mike has had trouble selling his art. Mager recently found someone to fix the car, and Mike is excited about the coming summer.

“Matty and I can take a tour of Alaska one more time,” he said. He wants to make it to Chatanika Lodge, which isn’t too far from home.

He calls Fairbanks and the Interior the “romantic” part of the state. He says that while the Southeast is beautiful, Fairbanks has the cold, the dark and the northern lights. “This is Alaska,” he said motioning to the view from his tent.

“This is my last camp,” he said. “I’ve been everywhere, done everything I’ve wanted to do.”


Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - For River Mike Cranford isolation is in tent ional

GREAT SITE

I found this site by searching the Internet for Alaska Forums. After going into the site, I immediately liked what I saw. This site is done properly and very informative and I like it much better than any sites I have joined. There isn't a lot of activity on this site and not sure why but, I do encourage everyone to check it out and join up. This site is a wealth of information. Hope to see ya all there.
Frontier Freedom Forum
http://www.frontierfreedom.com/

Saturday, March 19, 2011

All in a days work...FUN FUN FUN

Today was such a warm sunny day, I decided to haul water and do laundry. Nope, you are not seeing things. It got up to 50 degrees today.


The tracks you see behind my sled were made by a wolf.

Laundry, the old fashion way
My portable washing machine

What a way to end the day. Ham, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery and Onion.

Last nights Moon

These photos were taken from my cabin porch. Very Peaceful and beautiful.
This one, I took from inside and that is a Birch Tree.