Christmas was great, some of the family was here but so many were missed. I recalled the Christmas we had 22-people in our small living room. That was a lot of fun. We had an 8-hour blackout right in the middle of the morning and unwrapped presents to the light of an oil lamp. No fires. That was also a heavy snow winter with an estimated 14-15 feet of snow here in the mountain. The end of our driveway was beginning to look like the end of a tunnel.
Last night we received 8-10 inches of fluffy snow and a moment ago Chad and his loader just finished plowing our driveway. I believe this was his 5th trip in 3 weeks. We're expecting a major drop in the temperatures now, probably hit on Tuesday. Forecasts say we could see 30 to 40 below zero in Moose Pass, but after 50 to 60 below in Fairbanks, we can handle it. Long ago we had 82 degrees minus zero last for a week at Moose Creek, which is 20-miles east of Fairbanks. I had to walk to work as the vehicle wouldn't even turn over. But once I was attired in all my winter gear, I wasn't all that cold. You have to wear a ski-mask, mine was more of a hockey mask, made of hard plastic and my parka hood was closed up to keep the icy cold air from getting into my lungs. Most of the civilians took leave time, but we of the military still had to come in. After that I was already to try my hand at running a trap line- nix on the trap line. Found out you really needed a snow machine to check your traps everyday. Plus my wife refused to cook for me as long as I cooked up my traps in the kitchen.
Once the cold spell leaves us, we can expect another heavy snowfall. What's nice is how the deep snow covers-up my messy yard and some of the visitors I was not expecting. People should really call ahead, don't you think. Kidding. Well, the messy yard is there.
The lord really blessed us after the 1st of the year. We were again down to a couple armloads of wood, without current funds...yes, we heat with wood here, when one of my checks came in from the publisher. I have to tell you I was eyeing the furniture with thoughts of turning it into firewood. But we got the wood delivered and the house is warm. Now setting up for several chords of wood to be delivered in 13-foot logs, which should take us into spring. We're fond of wood heat, as burning spruce ha a nice smell to it, and with our beast of a woodstove we can heat most of the house. The deep basement remains cold, but we just keep the door closed.
This is what living in Alaska is about, stretching your comfort levels to just survive. But the reward is worth it. This is my 40th Christmas up here and soon I'll pass my 41st year as an Alaskan. I'm proud of that. The mountains that surround me just wait for me to come outside to bless me with a beautiful panoramic site, which I'd estimate is still 95% wild. The moose and bears, eagles and ravens roam my yard or fly right over to monitor my trash or an eye out for our 5 dogs. So, if you ever think about visiting Alaska- do it. I've seen a lot of land from the Mojave Desert, where I lived for 4.6 years, to Southeast Asia, where I met Vietnamese and Thai, to being raised as an LA boy of Southern California. I actually lived 30-miles from downtown Los Angeles, but that was 30-miles of city. So, come visit Alaska before the Chinese try to move in. See my book "A Coming Storm".
No news today. I had over 300 e-mails waiting for me and except for personal ones I deleted the rest. I'll end now and wish you all a blessed weekend. God Bless, BILL
Oh, "Arizona Rangers-Blake's War" is now in the hands of the publisher and will hopefully be marketed very soon.