Sunday, May 10, 2009

From Break up to Green Up

The ice continues to flow down the Yukon, with the tail of the ice reported to be at or near Steven's Village, a few miles upstream of the Dalton Highway Bridge. According to the newspaper there was some associated flooding in Fort Yukon and water is up to the highest building in Steven's Village. Some friends of mine with property in Rampart are trying to fly out there tonight to try to secure as much as they can against possible flooding there.

Three days ago I noticed a hint of green in the birch trees around my place of employment. Yesterday there were little bitty leaflets starting to show, and today they are minature leaves. Green up has started and is proceeding at its typical frantic pace. I'm always amazed at how quickly green up strikes here in the Interior. It won't be long before I have to fire up the lawn mower.

Today it's overcast, with rain and snow showers, and a bit on the chilly side. Even though we are in the midst of the green-up process, the weather reminds us that the wide gardner doesn't try putting plants into the ground until June - sometimes the second week of June.

Black bear hunters are already out in the woods, waiting for the right bear to show up at the right place at the right time. Although I've hunted bear in the past, I haven't actively done so in the past several years. I'm more than willing to accommodate a black bear should he decide to commit suicide, but I just don't feel like I can spare the time it takes to do a proper job of it. Black bear hunting demands a lot of time just waiting in the woods, and time is not something I can spare.

This coming R&R is going to be a busy one. I have two days of training right off the bat, including my annual firearms qualification. Then I'll be loading the Nor'West Company trade store into the trailer for a trip to the Chena River Flood Control Project and an American Civil War reenactment encampment, where I hope to sell lots of black powder and trade goods. Next Monday I'll have a visit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to ensure that Nor' West Company is in full compliance with all the applicable regulations. That's not a big deal (I'm diligent about obeying the laws), but it does take some time.

During the middle of next week my truck needs to be serviced, studded tires replaced with summer rubber, and some wiring that proved irresistable to puppy-teeth needs to be repaired. Then I'll be packing up the trade store for a road trip to Talkeetna for our annual Memorial Day Weekend Historical Rendezvous. From the rendezvous, it will be a mad dash back to the house so I can prepare to return again to my place of employment.

From the looks of my calendar, the entire summer is going to be much like this. Too much to do, and not enough time in which to do it. Before you know it it will be time to start fall training again.


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