Progress Update on the McCarthy Property

We’re back in Anchorage after a very productive two weeks in McCarthy.  The weather was amazing, but a bit hot for the kind of work we were doing.  Thinning a spruce forest in 80 degree heat was uncomfortable for these two Alaskans.  We came back to Anchorage with nice tans, and many mosquito bites.

We wanted to accomplish five major tasks during our trip, and I’m happy to report that we did!

1. Finish fire-wising our lot.  Done.  This was the most challenging, daunting, physically taxing, and time consuming project that took about 13 days.  We cleared everything (including stumps) within 30 feet of the cabin.  Then we thinned spruce tree clumps and parked out branches within 100 feet.  Scott used his trusty forest axe to cut down trees, and then used the chainsaw to buck logs and cut down stumps.  I wreaked havoc with a sawzall and loppers.  This significantly improved the appearance of our forest, not to mention fire safety.  The VFD chief came to inspect our property and was really impressed with our work.  He said he could easily bring a large water tank, and set up a sprinkler system around our cabin.  I think this is better than having insurance — money wouldn’t replace all the hard work we put into our log cabin so far.

2. Install sill logs for the roof on the cabin.  Done.  On our next trip to McCarthy, we’re going to bring out all the roofing materials, so we finished the log work on the cabin by installing sill logs for the roof on both sides.  They were the largest and heaviest logs we’ve put on the cabin so far.  I think we’re done peeling logs for a while.

3. Continue painting and posting online Thirsty Thursday beer-themed paintings.  Scott did paint two oil paintings for his Thirsty Thursday series and we posted them online using the vastly improved Internet connection compared to what we tolerated last summer.  He worked inside our bug tent, which also doubles as his summer art studio for now.

4. Remove as many stumps as possible.  Stump removal was a gradual task.  Scott’s goal was to remove one each day, but he ended up doing three or four when he got on a roll.  My human backhoe husband did all this work with his trusty pulaski tool.

5. Enlarge the new driveway.  Done.  The human backhoe completed this task in one day (I helped by picking up branches).  Now we can safely drive the truck to the cabin.  Basically, we killed a lot of trees on this trip, but we do have enough firewood to last us for about a year.

We finished everything with one day to spare, so I built my very first garden, and planted squash, cabbage, carrots, and radishes.  A big thank you to our neighbor Mary Convey, who is going to water our garden for a month while we’re gone.

We have completely shifted gears now that we are back in Anchorage.  After recovering from culture shock, unpacking, doing five loads of laundry, and moving two couches, we are settled in and are gearing up for a busy month of work starting with a First Firkin Friday art opening at Midnight Sun Brewing.  Here are the event details, and we hope to see you there!

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