These are the times that try CabinDwelling souls.
I speak, of course, of spring breakup, which coincides with the season of thousands of muddy paw prints indoors -- making it even more clear, if the dog hair dust bunnies hadn't, that dog ownership is frequently a messy, gross affair.1
The weekend was wonderful, melty in an entirely good way, and something of an eye opener. I moved into this particular cabin in November, back when it was dark, cold, and snow covered everything. This means, of course, that I moved onto the property sight unseen.
Having lived out here in The Valley for a while, in several different cabins, I've grown accustomed to finding all sorts of weird items2 come springtime. With the melt upon us, I've been wondering just what the hell is out there.
Quite a bit it turns out, and some of it is pretty strange even by local standards.
Apparently, someone who lived at the cabin prior to me felt compelled to nail caribou heads to a tree. In the front yard. It's the first thing anyone who is driving up is gonna see. Which, and I've been wracking my brain on this one, conveys exactly what?
But what to do with them? I can't just leave them there. Oh, I'm not against the ubiquitous Alaska decorating-with-antler motif, but this is just disrespectful. Taking them to the dump would just add to that, even if I were sure that it is legal.3 Plus, I really don't want to have five thawing half-rotten caribou heads in my Soob. I mean, people, authentic Alaska points be damned, there are limits.
Of course, I neglected to notice this garish display for months despite it being directly overhead from where I take the dogs for their morning poop. Further investigations in the yard turned up:
- a set of antlers wired to a tree
- a bike tail light hanging on a branch
- a grocery bag full of ~ 15 pairs of unused rubber gloves
- a used roll of wire fencing
- a spade shovel in reasonably good condition
1And, despite my annual springtime vows to do better next winter, it nevers fails that breakup reveals an astounding amount of poop I failed to clean up back when it was frozen and easily disposed of; let us speak of it no further.
2Found elsewhere during previous spring breakups: an electric toiler (at a residence with a perfectly useable outhouse), baseboard heating units (under a waterless cabin), hardcore pesticides, cutting boards, various tools, extension cords, blue tarps, bikes, garden boxes, 55 gallon drums containing god knows what.
3The sign at the waste stations cautions Squarebanksans that "you may consider your animals trash, but you can't dispose of them here." Or something to that effect.