Sunday, July 15, 2007

Insane Summer Roadtrip #2: Chitina for Sockeye

I'm fresh back from Chitina, the favorite Fairbanksan destination to pursue salmon, but really the only thing fresh is the cooler full of fish. I'm stinky, exhausted and even more farmer tanned than before.

It's like my hands and legs belong to two different people.

So, the first time to Chitina with our merry band of Goldstream folk was quite a success - we all got our quota including the king. Not that I'll claim it had a lot to do with us. With dipnetting, timing and location are everything, so frequently you'll hear about someone getting skunked and another person fishing a short time before or after them going home all ready to finally buy that Foodsaver.

Yay! I finally had a reason to get one. At 2 a.m., however, we had to resign ourselves to leaving some of the fish on ice and continuing to process it this evening.

This urban subsistence thing is new to me and from what I can tell, it means you drive a really long way to try to get the food and because of the time spent enroute, you have to do it at a frenetic pace before you pack up the Soob and drive back in order to get back to work at the wage slave job.

Pictures, you ask? Ha. Someone entrusted me to watch the camera. We no longer own a camera, thanks to me, and I hope whoever found it enjoys the pictures of our fish and the ginormous king that the S.O. caught.

Thus far, we've stocked the chest freezer out back of the cabin with clams, halibut and salmon. Quyannakpak! Next up for our crazy summer season: berries! It should be a good year for them as they've gotten plenty of rain.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Musing on the CabinDwelling Life: Part VII, Yard Art

Stockpile of handy items or junk yard art? You decide.

It's been a long while, my peoples, has it not? Besides clam digging, gardening, beer-drinking and cultivating my farmer tan, damn, I've been working crazy hours. I finally had three days off in a row this week and spent most of them working at home. And, I must add, waaaaaaaaaah.

Bong hits for Jesus.

So, I decided that I'd had it with the totally junky look of the yard and borrowed Flic's pickup truck for a few dumpster runs. Gone now is the accumulation of mattresses in the driveway, along with the unsalvageable plywood, assorted wiring found under the cabin, the busted up garbage cans and rolled up carpet scraps.

My greenie friends can relax, not everything went to the dumpster. I gifted a 1970s era Fluke meter and an oscilloscope that I found under the cabin to an electronics enthusiast (nice term for geek, isn't it?) friend who thought them a great new toy.

However, I found myself in a unique situation when it came to the pile of cabinet doors stacked next to the cabin. Cabindwelling folk are, shall we say, thrifty. Scavenging is widely practiced, sometimes of entire buildings at once, as is its close cousin, dumpster diving. One of the previous occupants of my cabin had found 10 perfectly useable cabinet doors at the transfer station. Useable for what? I don't know, the kitchen cabinets already have doors.

But they were there, waiting, just in case we had an emergency requiring the application of cabinet doors.

Call me wasteful, call me uncreative, but it was time for the cabinet doors to return from whence they came. Back to the transfer they went, a little more weatherbeaten but still in perfectly good useable condition. I hope the nice people who picked them up give them a good home.