A lot of people ask me what people do out in "the bush" for fun and I really don't have a stellar answer. Maybe because for us it is just life and it is best explained by living it or experiencing it. But for your sake I will try and put some words to this unexplainable phenomenon. In our own way we experience a subsistence life style, with a year broken down into chapters with titles like "wackin down a forest" or "the day the reds returned", or "climb and shoot". Actually those are kind of lame titles but the gist is that life and survival and play are closely related. For me some of the elements of survival add more vigor and vitality to my life.
Some of the best days this past winter were spent alone in the woods with a chainsaw, thirty below zero, in a light jacked sweating like a mad man (so much my hair froze and I couldn't wear my hat because the frozen sweat would give me a brain freeze) chopping up the biggest trees I could find. After slicing the logs into sixteen inch sections I would wrestle them into the sled and race the snow machine home so I could get back to get another load before dark. Then when I did finally return for keeps split some of my hard earned blocks of wood into pieces that would fit in my stove to warm my toes by the fire after a long day.
Another day our friends from the big city came to visit and wanting to be good hosts we drug them around the country side careening across vast stretches of frozen lake to a island only to have dinner over a fire and shoot guns into the inky darkness. Dave and Kristine Estrem being willing and able for anything we followed it up with a dinner theater put on by the school kids and the following day a snow machine ride took us to this lake where it seemed like a great idea to launch a canoe into the open water and paddle around the ice chunks.
On quite another day my wife along with her fearless compadres decided to go for a walk about only in Alaska we call it a ski about in the winter. Actually I've never heard that before but that's what they did. Like a nervous father by friend Seth Kroenke flew these crazy mountain mommas up to the crest of a glacier infested pass and flung their gear into the snow. My wife along with Anna Burrows our fearless neighbor and my daring and handy cousin Kristin Vantrease donned their skis and descended three thousand feet and traversed thirty miles of barren and exquisite back country of our back yard right up to our back door.
Three days after leaving our cozy cabin tucked away in the woods they returned with a story, memories and an experience few would dared to have. My wife is quite the lady, with the least skiing experience and admittedly the worst skiing equipment of the three she gutted out the miles with her husband nervously, anxiously waiting at home for his bride to return.
So there you have it, just a couple of the things us bush rats do to fill our long boring days out here in the middle of no where. Thank you Russia for selling this great piece of real estate to us!