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Land and Cabins

Cabin has battery power

John : November 17, 2018 5:40 pm : land and Cabin

Another 10 days of prep at the cabin for the move. Hauled in 8 Trojan L16P batteries, dang their heavy. 115 lbs. each and I being Mr. Macho figured I could get all 8 batteries, groceries and clothes in one trip. Ha, that was a mistake. It’d been raining all week and the trail was muddy big time. I made it about a miles, 1/3 of the way, and got stuck up to the axels, unloaded the tow behind, winch out and reload. Well I actually left 4 of the batteries on the side of the trail figuring I wouldn’t make it with all 8, heck I only made it another ¾ mile with 4, and again unloaded the tow behind, winched out and then said the heck with it.

I left the tow behind buried in a mud hole and hauled the batteries 2 at a time and other gear on the ATV, so it took a few trips. But I did get the batteries, groceries and some gear in by 7:00 PM that night as was a tired boy. I still had a load to haul from the truck, cabinets, 15 gal water, and some misc items I figured could wait.

So I built a platform for the batteries and a bunch of shelves in what will be the freezer/pantry room. Came out pretty good and was originally planning on these only being temporary, but maybe not

Cabin Work Oct 2018

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Cabin Sept. getting ready to move in

John : October 12, 2018 5:51 pm : land and Cabin

Another cabin trip after Moose season and getting ready for another trip down. This last one was mostly to finish up the he 2nd floor 2nd floor flooring and work on the well some more. Flooring went OK and 2nd floor sub-flooring is in, ¾ “ OSB, now to place the carpet. Yeah, being as it is the bedroom area I figured I’d carpet it, hate putting bear feet on wood in the mornings.

The well was different issue, brought a demolition hammer with enough down force to drive the well, but being a demo hammer, electric by the way, I had to borrow a cupped concrete cutter to use since I couldn’t find one in town. Well dang it, the guide bit broke, so I ended up using the splitting maul as a sledge hammer, worked, but I think I’d of done better swinging a maul 20 years ago. Made some progress but not enough to get water, yet.
Also purchased the first set of 4 Trojan L16P batteries, so I can now finish setting them up and see how running on batteries work. Long term plan is to have 8 batteries and solar panels, but dang at $375.00 each these batteries are spendy.

Just hope it’s not to diffacult to configure the Battery Monitoring unit, Inverter Control Panel (which I’ll need to configure) and then make the connection from Inverter to main panel for the cabin. Well I’m not an electrician but I’ll figure it out.

I did get to enjoy a nice little storm while there. I was sitting on the porch having a cup of coffee and saw this black wall of clouds that went from the ground to above the mountain top and it was moving fairly quick and coming right at me. OK, go inside sit at dinning table and watch this thing come tearing down the valley and it was moving, winds kick up and when it hit hail to make everything all white.

The white stuff didn’t last and the hail was gone in 15 minutes, but the mountain top got a good dumping of snow, a good start to winter I think.

Cabin, Sept 20th 2018

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Packing to move

bearqst : August 16, 2018 8:21 pm : land and Cabin

So the decision has been made to move to the cabin. Fairbanks is getting to controlling in its political view and lots of regulations that in my opinion are too restrictive and an undo amount of government regulation. I figure when the local gov’t not only tells you when you can and can’t heat your home and from whom you have to buy your wood stoves and wood, its time to go. Getting to socialistic for me.

Anyway, I also needed to get some fish for the winter so a trip to Chitna was in order and off I went. Netted 10 decent sized salmon and am now working on a brine. Think I’m going to try a new brine, the one at sounds good. If not I’ll go back to my Dry Brine from last year, it was pretty good.

The plan is to move around the first of December, depending on the weather. I want 2 feet of snow down to set a good trail to haul our household goods and gear. I am working on a Solar System for electricity and trying to drive a well in for water. Driving a well by hand is a bit of a hassle but I think I’ll get it. If not I do have access to year round water, just have to filter it. The solar system for electricity is easier just more expensive.

Our North Pole home won’t be empty as I was originally planning it would be until sold, our grandson is going to move in and rent it from for a while. So for now its packing and yard sales. Going to moose camp in a couple of weeks and hopefully we’ll have full freezers of fish, moose and caribou before we move, makes winter much easier when I know the freezers are full for the year :<)

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The Cabin March 2018

bearqst : March 23, 2018 4:43 pm : land and Cabin

Made the trip down to the cabin on the 14th with Dean and Jake and the roads were terrible. Icy and slick and blowing snow to make it all so much fun to drive on. Well we made it down to the parking area around 1:00 PM. Oh yeah, Rose’s café in Healy has a great breakfast.

The trail in wasn’t broke open, so Dean as our fearless leader set a track in through a foot of nice powder. It really was a nice ride without any loads. After Dean made a pass with his Bearcat, Jake followed with the M6 and I followed him with my Bearcat, so after one run we had a nice track set, just a bit rough. Dean’s second run included a groomer we made and brought in to leave at the cabin.

After the trail was smoothed out we packed in the 2×6’s for the second floor, firewood, and barrels of fuel. Guess I should explain, the cabin was originally built with a 12 x 20 foot loft, however as our future plans have changed I decided to extend the loft all the way and make it a second floor. So we now have 960 SF of living area. The new area is going to be a great bedroom or maybe it’ll be the entertainment area for the TV and Inet J Not sure just yet.

We also had about ¾ of a cord of firewood to haul which we started doing on Wed and Thursday. Friday Dean and Jake began work on the loft extension and I hauled firewood, that’s a lot of wood to haul with an Otter sled, but it’s all in and stacked. Along with the 60 Gals of gas and 55 gal drum of heating fuel.

Friday and Saturday were construction days. Dean and I (mostly Dean) framed up the floor and Jake worked on the electric (that is getting a couple more lights working on the second floor) and tying in a new breaker for the new area. We originally figured a day to frame the floor, but as things go it took us Friday and most of Saturday, of course not starting until noon might have helped put our timeline back a bit, that and a small hangover.


Dean and Jake left around 9:00 AM Sunday, yeah I know, early. So I was now on my own and thought I’d enjoy it a bit and work on the trail to the water hole, a little spring about a mile away that has great water. Well it snowed all day with a 20 to 30 MPH wind and visibility was zero, so I decided to relax for the day and deal with it on Monday. Ha, it continued to snow all night as well and by 9:00 AM Monday I had another foot of fresh snow. Humm, so I’ve got to get a trail open to the water hole and the truck so I could make it to Wasilla Tuesday to get the materials to start our Renewable Energy System, i.e. solar power for electricity.

As it turns out Kim the local resident (den mother would be a better name) was thinking about us and getting to the water hole as well. So she calls and we agree to meet up and break trails. She’d start from her cabin and head to the water hole and I’d start from ours. She made it most of the way and then disconnected the trail drag she was pulling and left it on the trail. I meet her and we headed to get the drag and more trail broke open. Ha, she missed this one turn and got her Bearcat stuck, hey, no biggie, I’ll set a track next to her and will get her out. Dang it, so after I got stuck, right next to her we dug out the shovels and 45 minutes later we’re back in business.

So six hours later the trails are all opened and ready, well sort of, one small issue with the dog gone wind, still blowing 30 mph and filling in the trails. Kim and I tried to get to the parking area by going over the top or S pipe as it’s called. It’s the hill just north of the cabin and clear of any trees and yup blowing wind that turns into white out conditions is not what I call fun. About half way through I stopped and looked behind me, our tracks were gone as fast as we made them. OK, plan B, take the lower trail, yeah I have more than one way in and the lower trail works, it just adds a few miles to the route out. And the wind was still blowing but we got a track set, or so I thought.

Tuesday morning early, I have to be in Wasilla by 10:00 AM and it’s a 120 miles south and the roads are slick and the wind filled in the tracks set Monday, so it’s 6:00 AM and I’m headed out. The trail was OK, windblown but no biggie really as I could see the outline of the trail. The biggest pain was arriving at my truck and finding it and the trailer buried in 24 inches of snow. After getting my morning workout I took off and made it to Wasilla by 9:30, not bad.

I then spent 3 hours with 907Solar and the owner Coley, great guy and excellent service and help. He and I put the Inverter/Charger together and he walked me through the configuration of the system to add the batteries and solar panels after I buy them. This is a piece meal project, just don’t have the $9,000.00 to do it all at once. So Inverter/charger first for $4,000.00 then the batteries next and then solar panels. After I get the batteries, next purchase, I can use the generator to charge them and the Inverter to run the cabin on the batteries. Not the best solution, but it’ll work until I get the solar panels and reduce my generator use from 24/7 to about 2 to 3 hours a day at most, maybe even less.

A nice evening at the cabin watching the wind blow off the mountain tops and fill in the trails again. But it was a productive and enjoyable trip, wish I didn’t have to come back to the rat race. Soon, oh so soon until we move.

Next trip I’ll bring in the 3/4 plywood for the sub-floor and some flooring to finish up the second floor and move the bedroom up stairs.

If you look at the photos below you can see the wind blowing the snow off the mountains tops.

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It’s Spring

John : May 20, 2016 11:55 am : land and Cabin

So here it is May already and an early breakup and the temp are warming up. All the snow is gone, at least locally and nothing left for riding even in the mountains.

I did get two late season trips into the cabin, one with Jake and one with Tyler. Hauled in two of the three base cabinets for the kitchen and the counter. Just need to get the third one in so I can cut out the hole for the sink and place it. Sure would be nice to have a kitchen counter and sink instead of the bowls I’ve been using for doing dishes.

Tyler and I finished up the tongue and grove on the main walls and on the nest trip I plan to finish the back wall and if I’m lucky or motivated enough I’ll start on the ceiling. Really need to use up the material I have hauled in so I can get a good list going for next winter. I do have all the materials for an outhouse and that will be a priority, just as soon as I get a hole dig for it.

For work I’ve been working on my CCNA and HAM radio license. Got my HAM license,KL4GO, And can get on the air just as soon as my radio is installed in the truck this week.

Of course now that it is Spring. it’s time to get the ATV’s ready and rolling.

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Christmas with the Kids, cabin with Trish

John : February 4, 2016 7:37 pm : land and Cabin

We spent Christmas Eve with the kids at home and Christmas day packing for our trip to the cabin near Hurricane. This was the wife’s first trip to the cabin since the walls went up. She’d been there once before after we got the foundation and platform built, but it’s a big change from platform to walls, roof, insulation and such.

Christmas 2015

Christmas with Kids, cabin with Trish

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The Cabin Has Stairs

John : April 13, 2015 1:21 pm : land and Cabin

Took a few days off of work and went down to the cabin. I left around 5:30 in the morning figuring I’d get to the parking area by 9:00 so I could ride in to the cabin before the snow started to get to soft to haul any loads. It went pretty good, the temps were in the mid 40’s when I arrived so I only took one light load in the first day, most of my freighting was firewood, so I wasn’t worried about it “disappearing” overnight from my truck.

As I said it was a nice day when I arrived on Wed, cloudy but warm. After spending the day opening up the cabin and moving things around so I could get to the front wall it was dinner time, so I called it a night and relaxed for the evening. Moving a few things included taking down 4 sets of scaffolding and hauling it out to the deck and moving the firewood I was storing inside to keep dry out to the deck as well. So it took a few hours to complete.


Cabin has inside stairs

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Spring is in the air

John : March 23, 2015 1:40 pm : land and Cabin

So I made a trip down to the cabin for 4 days and it was beautiful.

50 above when I arrived at the parking at 4:00 PM Thursday. Still lots of snow and not to soft for riding on.


Chulitna in March

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Iron Dog Week 2015

John : March 8, 2015 7:57 am : land and Cabin, Sledding

After the Sweetheart run the week before I decided to make a cabin run and haul in some more lumber for the generator shack. Jake offered to come along so we also hauled in the new 7KW generator, which means I can run the chop saw again when getting the tongue and grove up on the inside walls.

Feb 2015, Cabin and Iron Dog

2015 Iron Dog and a couple cabin pics

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Hurricane Cabin in Jan 2015

John : January 21, 2015 9:15 am : land and Cabin

Finally made it in. We are definately lacking snow fall, but I did have a good 5 days :<) So you can see in the pictures below, what is considered low snow and how much I had to shovel off the steps just to get to the door. The others are shots of the tongue and grove boards I got on the first wall. more »

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