Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lake Affect, Snow, and Spring

The vernal equinox is before us and like last year we sit in mid march as snow orphans, neglected by winter in a way that has people talking yard work and boat maintenance instead skiing and snowpack.   Winter has been like a weekend spent waiting for house guests to arrive that never show.  We spent December, January, and February waiting, and we we are now at mid-March and all such longings have proved fruitless.  We are faced then with and easy spring and expect breakup will be only a brief pause followed by a flood of green as hillsides, lawns, and lake margins burst with chlorophyl drunk plants getting a jump on the brief subarctic growing season.  
Daylight has become  suddenly plentiful with the twelve hours days, and today for the first time this year I looked out at mid-evening daylight and felt the guilt of wasting daylight.   A summer frustration that comes to anyone to can’t play into the late evening like a twelve year old any more.  I remembered then that Alaskan summers are for kids, and those who think they are.
A week before the equinox we spent at Pear Lake where we have a remote cabin.  Yes, we have a linguistic anomaly with a House on Bear Lake and a cabin on Pear Lake.  Pear Lake is few miles west of the parks Highway south of Petersville Road.  And we go there to get away from the rat race at Bear Lake, Ha-ha.  We really go there to get way from home chores and bad weather or to find snow for skijoring.   We always end up reading a lot, talking to each other, and pacing our days at different rhythm.  
Pear Lake is about a hold mile long and get’s it name from it’s shape.  Our place is one the west side of the lake near the south end.  The cabin is small simple quaint log place with no plumbing, propane lights, and a cook top.  We built it our selves and part of the plan was for it be simple and aesthetically pleasing.  We get there by driving six hours north then fourteen miles after we leave the pavement.   In summer we park at Kroto Creek and hike a mile and half through the woods then canoe across the lake to the cabin.  In the winter, we leave the car at Amber Lake about mile ten and then skijor in.  We have found over the years that we spend more time there in the winter.  If the weather is foul or the snow is no good we spend more time reading and listening to to KTNA, the Talkeetna public radio station, writing or working on little projects to make things more comfortable or easier. 
Sometime we hike up the hill behind the cabin and monitor coyote and moose traffic and then later sit around birch campfires waiting for coals to form for grilling steaks.  -- Birch is great for grilling.   Aurora shows start after dark when the owls are singing and the dog team out on Kroto Creek sings for their supper.    

it is hard to define the effects of three days isolation in a cabin in the woods.  We don’t live a hectic lifestyle that we must escape in order to maintain our sanity.  Madelyn and I are semi-retired, but we’ve been know to bring work with us to add to the chores we do here like hauling firewood, shoveling the outhouse path and toting water from the spring at the end of the lake.  We call it pack-time for the dogs because they get be closer to us and have more freedom to romp in the woods without neighbors and and roads in the way.   But mostly we don’t do much but revel in the pleasure of being.  Perhaps that is enough.

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