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Sunday, February 4, 2007

One Crazy Week

It seems that Molly brought a whole lot of bad luck with her when she came, but I think we have survived the worst of it. First the water went out, causing school to be cancelled twice and let out early once. The school supposedly has a reserve water supply that can get us through a day without water, but this wasn't working which is why school was cancelled. Thursday and Friday it was finally working. Although, we can't drink that water and have to wait a couple weeks after we stop using it before we can drink any water at the school. This means that we have to have paper cups and jugs of water all over the school for drinking and use as little water as possible for cooking lunch. Craziness!

The water finally started working at home yesterday so we can take showers, cook, flush the toilet, etc. What a relief! One week without water is a pain! Luckily it has been unusually warm (near 40 degrees) so we have been filling totes of water up from rain running off our roof. . . It's pretty clean. I think there are some pictures in the archive of Molly filling up the toilet so it can be used. It's been like living in the Boundary Waters.

Now the downside of warm weather. Most people would be happy to have 40 degree temperatures in January, but not me or many Alaskans. Nearly all of the snow has melted, 7+ feet of it, making everything very wet, mucky, slippery, and it doesn't allow for easy snow machine travel. I want to be out on the tundra trapping!

Before all the snow melted I took Molly out to check a couple of traps. We had to drive across patches of snow-less tundra and across lots of slushy puddles, but for the most part it was OK. We found one trap with nothing in it because it had fell about two feet because the snow melted out from under it. On our way to the next trap we got a bit stuck in a fast melting drift, but it wasn't bad and we got out easily. Then came some more of that bad luck. We tried to cross a dip that had some water flowing off the tundra to the river. It didn't look too bad and it wasn't, but I didn't know how to water skip so we went too slow and I got stuck. The water was about knee deep under the snow and we couldn't quite get ourselves out. We may look in good spirits in the picture at the top of this entry, but we hadn't walked three miles across a slushy tundra yet!

When we were nearing home Oscar stopped and asked me where my snow-go was. I told him and he said he'd help me a little later. His machine, which is twice as powerful, flew across large ponds on our way out. When we felt the machine sink into the water he would open up the throttle and we would seemingly catapult out of it and skip across the water the rest of the way (water skipping). This is what all of the kids do for fun during break-up. I was pretty sure I was going to fall off the back end into a deep hole. . .I'm still here. Once there, I dug out the snow in front with a shovel, we lifted the back end onto fresh slush, and I shot right out. I ordered a shovel yesterday that I can strap to my machine at all times. Hopefully this will help me in the future. I also got my VHF radio in the mail yesterday so I will be able to call for help if I am in a serious situation.

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