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Land and Cabins

More Material and Heat

John : April 18, 2012 10:22 am : land and Cabin

One last trip into the cabin for this season. hauled the wood stove, a bigger generator, the metal roofing, and more electrical materials for Sean.


Hauling in material and getting the furnace working.

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The cabin near Hurricane, a summary of decisions and progress.

John : December 30, 2011 3:06 pm : land and Cabin

I figured I needed to do a summary on how we got to where we are and all the trips and work done so far to get a cabin built in the woods.

So back in Jan 2009, my buddy Dean and I decided to check out 5 acres of land east of the Parks Hwy at Mile Marker 169. This was the land advertised for sale that my wife Trish discovered one day and that Dean and I spent a day trying to locate, but could never find the corner markers. Of course it didn’t help that there was 10 feet of snow on the ground the day we tried to locate the property corners. But it did help to convince us to buy the place as a great get a way for riding our snow machines.

Summary Of Hurricane Cabin

Photos from my summary of the Hurricane Cabin building, Feb 09 through Dec 2011

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Another Cabin Weekend

John : November 17, 2011 8:49 am : land and Cabin

It’s the 2nd week of November and we got our first real snowfall, so Tyler and I drove to the cabin to get some work done. Plan was to get the furnace and fuel hauled in and then work on running the electrical wiring for the lights and wall plugs. Sean, Melissa’s boyfriend, or un-husband as she calls him, came down Friday night to help, as he’s an electrician I figured we would make short work of it. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.


November trip to the cabin with electrical materials and furnace

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Cabin Update and the Moose that wasn’t

John : September 29, 2011 1:39 pm : land and Cabin

Dean and I had scheduled time to head down to the cabin and get the roof on before winter hit it full force and the snow started to fly. We drove down and parked the RV’s in our usual spot near Hurricane Gulch. The first day was spent working on the creek crossing and laying down some more railroad ties to keep the trail in usable condition. Not an easy job with all the rain we had this summer. I think I’m going to name it the BO crossing.

09_2011_ Cabin_Status

Setting the rafters and sheathing the roof.

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First Snow and More Cabin Building

John : August 8, 2011 2:41 pm : land and Cabin

Drove down to our camping area off the Parks Hwy Wednesday night after work, Tyler decided to stay home and it was a good decision on his part, almost wished I did the same.
It was a nice drive down with some sunshine and low traffic, in short all the summer tourists were already camped for the night and not on the road. So I arrived at mile 171 around 9:00 PM and set up the RV for four days, Dean arrived about an hour later. I was surprised he was a head of his usual midnight arrival time :<) Some photos of last weekends adventure getting up the last wall and starting on the roof. [flagallery gid=74 name="Gallery" skin=StylishGrey] more »

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4th of July Weekend

John : July 5, 2011 4:39 pm : land and Cabin

Was quite and enjoyable, no kids or visitors, just me and Trish. I did brush the property lines on the White Mtn Land Lottery Staking I did last year, as required by the lottery terms.

Jake, my friend and neighbor on the mountain got some good firewood out of the deal. A couple a large Spruce trees fell across the property line so he got the wood since I can’t use it and I saw no reason to let it rot.

The vid is of the north property line and trail back into the White’s. Lots of burned out trees, the south line has a lot more timber on it and a spring and is where the trees were that became firewood 🙂

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Mt Ryan Foundation, Phase II

John : June 27, 2011 11:38 am : land and Cabin

So we figured it was time to get back to Mt Ryan and get busy on the foundation for Dean’s cabin. We drove the truck up and camped out near the site at about 6.5 mile, the mosquitoes were the worst I’ve ever seen them out there, I think I donated a pint or two their survival. We did take a great ride down the Fairbanks-Circle Trail and the views along the way were fantastic.


Line clearing and start on Dean's foundation at Mt Ryan Property

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Mt Ryan Foundation

John : March 28, 2011 8:14 am : land and Cabin

Since we got the materials into the 1st cabin site at Chulitna, we figured we might as well start hauling the foundation material into the Mt Ryan site so Dean could start work on his foundation there. This should be a cake walk, heck it was too easy getting the lumber into Chulitna, the trail was easy and the Siglin hauled like it was being pulled by a semi on a paved four lane hwy. We spent more time loading and unloading then on the trail. So the run into the Mt Ryan site should be easy, just a bit longer, 6.5 miles instead of 3.2 miles. Ha, that’s what we get for thinking.


Hauling the RR ties and 16 foot beams into My Ryan for Deans cabin foundation

We loaded up 8 Railroad ties for our first load, around 1000 to 1500 pounds, and the trail was OK for the first 3.5 miles, from the Hwy it was pretty windblown and some bare ground those first few miles along the top of the ridges, then it got better, or so we thought. More snow, better riding, yeah right, we rode on hard pack windblown to the consistency of concrete, and then you’d drop off 3 feet on the leeward side into sugar snow, a little gas and up again onto the next hard pack drift. Now as long as you could power up and get on the hard pack it was ok, but then every once in a while, like 8 times, the hard pack on the next drift would bust under the track, drop the sled into that sugar snow and there you were.

Every time the track broke through, the running boards would settle down on the hard pack. So you ended up sitting on top of the hard with your track spitting out all that sugar snow and getting no traction. Pull, yank, swear, nothing worked except to dig the hard pack out from around the sled and as soon as it settled back down she’d take off again. Had plenty of power, just had to get the running boards and tunnel off the hard pack and on the same level as the track. Never thought I’d have to worry about getting high centered on a sled, or maybe I should running board centered.

I mention all this as we figured it’d be a short and easy day. Left with the first load in at 11:00 AM, figuring we’d be heading home by 1:00, maybe 2:00 PM, NOT. We didn’t get back to the rig to get the 2nd load until 4:30 PM and at which point we were already pretty tired and just wanting to get the load in.

So we loaded up 8 Railroad Ties and two 8×8 16 foot beams, say between 1500 and 2000 pounds of material. No problem for the Bearcat to haul with that Siglin sled since we got the trail busted open, it pulled great. The problem started on the one steep downhill grade we had to traverse. We got to the top and Dean suggested we drop half the load and make two trips, me I just wanted to get it in and be done.

So off I go down this steep grade thinking it’ll be an easy downhill pull and it was until the Siglin decided to jack knife on me. Next thing I knew I’ve fallen off the Bearcat, which then rolls over me and keeps pulling the Siglin with rolls over me as well. Guess it wasn’t to bad considering. I was able to get up on my own power, albeit a bit sore and feeling like I was rode hard and put up wet, Dean said he was thinking it’d be a Medi-Vac call after he saw my head get buried by the Siglin. All I can say is thank the lord for helmets. I now have a 7 inch groove on my face shield right about where my right forehead, eye and cheek would have been. The skags from the Siglin just scratch right across it. Had I not had my helmet on I’m not too sure I’d still have a right eye and know I’d be sporting a nice long scare along my cheek and forehead.

Anyway, at this point I had to agree with Dean and we spilt the load up and hauled 4 RR ties and one beam at a time. So after two short trips we got all the material in for his foundation. We did decide that hauling materials into the Mt Ryan site was definitely a summer project and best done on ATV’s and figure we’ll get stingers and plywood in come May or June, after the snow melts.

I was pretty sore all day today (Sunday) and the bruising isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be and that gouge in my face shield will be a good reminder to always wear a helmet, even on warm days. I just hope the new windshield, hitch and mirror don’t cost to much.

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Materials are in….

John : March 22, 2011 11:43 am : land and Cabin

Cabin Site near Chulitna


Hauling lumber and playing in some great fields of snow, March 18 through 20, 2011

So we spent a few days down in the Hurricane area and hauled the last loads of lumber into the cabin site. It was a pretty good weekend actually. We hauled everything Dean and I had loaded on our trailers by dinner time Friday night and then spent a lazy Saturday morning waiting for Jake to arrive with the last trailer load.

He got to our camp around 9:30 AM and we off loaded the trailer so he could head back to town and then spent the rest of the day hauling more loads in. Have to say I’m pretty impressed with the size of the loads we could get on the Siglin sled and with the Bearcat for hauling them, made it much easier to do. All though I didn’t get a picture of it, the largest load we hauled had 18 – 2x6x8’ and 11 – 2x12x16’ boards, that’s a lot of lumber to haul in one load behind a sled.

We hauled all but the last load in Saturday and decided to go for a ride and enjoy some of the day playing instead of working. The videos are of the trail into the cabin site and then our ride from there to Chulitna. It was a great day for riding, sunny and warm, a good spring day. Meet another neighbor on the trail to Otter Lake, nice man and helpful. Seems most all our neighbors are good folks seeing how we meet more of them on this trip then all the others put together. It was good to know most everyone is friendly and willing to be good neighbor, I was kind of worried about that after talking to a few last year. The Vids below of the freight trail to the cabin are broken down into two and half minute sections to easy up on the viewing time. The trail to Chulitna is broken into two nine minutes segments.

Sunday AM Dean and got the last load into the cabin site and then went and did some exploring. We both kept thinking that the west side of the RR Tracks looks pretty inviting and un-explored, so we explored them and glad we did. At first all you see are trees and snow, then after swirving through the trees a for a 100 yards or so it opens up into a hugh field of untouched powder. And not just one field but a dozen or more, we just kept riding and riding, through the trees and another field, ride that for a couple mile, more trees and more fields, it was endless or so it seemed.

Had to head back to camp by 1:30 to load up for the drive back to town, but next time we go down there I plan to explore those fields some more. I didn’t bring along the head cam, but here are some stills I took hauling lumber into the cabin site and of the fields we discovered in the trees west of the RR tracks.

A good end to a productive and enjoyable weekend.

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Chulitna Cabin Site in Dec

John : January 1, 2011 12:39 pm : land and Cabin

So I figured it was time to take a trip south and see how the snow was and what kind of shape the cabin platform near Chulitna was in. I had planned to start work on a couple trail options into the site so we could get ready to haul building materials in March.

The last two weeks in Fairbanks have been running between -30 and -50 below zero, not real conducive weather for snowmachining or driving a motorhome in. Tyler and I left Fairbanks on Wed AM and the temps were hanging around -10 below, not bad and warm enough I would have driven the RV down but hadn’t gotten it ready for a trip.

We got to the Hurricane Train depot around 1:00 in the afternoon and hit the trail. Had a nice day and a few flurries driving down but nothing to worry about. Game plan, decide which of the two trail options we were going to use to haul materials in and then start building a base by riding over it half a dozen times. The lower trail goes through the woods and has more brush to deal with, but in some ways it is easier. The upper trail which is our preferred route, assuming we could get over the snowberm on the hwy is the easiest and runs mostly above treeline.

Well the upper trail route was pretty hard packed and windblown and not a fun ride. So we rode the lower trail a bit and it was a better route, although it does have more turns and bends to deal with for hauling.


Trip to the cabin site. Just Tyler and I, we went to shovel the snow load off the platform and do a little playing the snow.

Once we got to the site and I looked at the platform, plans changed and we decided to shovel off the 3 feet of snow and ice on it. It was a good idea and we got it done as you can see, but dang-nabit, it snowed 2 to 3 feet while we were there. We didn’t ride out to the site on Friday, but I’ll bet it’s pretty thick on the platform again. Should be all right, the post are pretty stout and the snow load shouldn’t cause any damage.

We did get to do some riding, not as much as we would of liked, but a little bit. The drive home was white knuckle driving with 4 to 6 inches of snow on the road and occasional whiteout conditions.

Well, happy New Years everyone.

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