McCarthy Summer Camp 2015!

Summer camp 2015 is in full swing! Summers in McCarthy, Alaska feel like summer camp because most people leave for the winter, and in May we all meet again, excited about another amazing Alaskan summer in the Wrangells. The same people return every year, and there is always some new blood – summer workers from all over the globe. Scott and I shut down the studio in Anchorage for two weeks, and arrived to McCarthy on May 13th. This year summer came about two weeks early. The trees already have leaves, the ground is free of snow and dry, and the weather is incredible. There’s no rain in the near forecast, and the hot sun beats down on us all day long. I haven’t seen complete darkness in days.

We’re going back to Anchorage on May 29th to get ready for Scott’s upcoming solo art show at Midnight Sun Brewing Company in June. The next trip to McCarthy won’t be until after 4th of July. June is one of our least favorite times to be here, because the mosquitoes are horrendous, making life extremely frustrating. Plus we like to spend time with our Anchorage friends and family camping, fishing, etc.

Our list of tasks for this trip is short, but each item requires a lot of time and work. While people in Anchorage are going on bike rides, to barbeques and Farmer’s Markets, we’re working on improving our property during the day, and visiting with folks in the evenings at their cabins, or at the Golden Saloon.

Here’s what we want to accomplish on this trip:

1. Finish fire-wising our lot. This is a huge task, because we have about a million black spruce trees on our lot that need to be thinned out to mitigate fire danger. Luckily we bought a new chainsaw. This will take most of our time and energy.

2. Install sill logs for the roof on the cabin. We’re almost done with this task. Here’s a photo of the ones we installed yesterday on the West side. We’ll bring out roofing materials in July.

Alaska Cabin3. Continue painting and posting online Thirsty Thursday beer-themed paintings. We have to keep the art business alive from a distance, so Scott paints in our bug tent. Someday we’ll build a proper painting studio.

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4. Remove as many stumps as possible. Scott has been removing about three stumps every day. We have many!!!

5. Enlarge the new driveway. Although the truck can drive down the new driveway we punched in last summer, it’s a bit difficult to maneuver through it, so we’re going to take down a few more trees.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to accomplish all these tasks. Taming the Alaskan wilderness is hard work, especially for two frugal people who don’t have heavy equipment. I consider this time to be my fitness boot camp – this is a great way to lose that extra winter weight. My arms are already sore from peeling logs yesterday.

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