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Place to stay... help with work... Tok, Alaska Options
emulkahi1
#41 Posted : Monday, September 26, 2005 4:27:01 PM
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Posts: 134,494
LOL Pookie--We have DSL here in the little ole town of Roundup, MT too!! :o)

Nantinki--

Wow!!! What an odyssey it sounds like your journey was!!!! You said you were journaling it? I imagine that would be a priceless thing for Sugar to read when she gets older! What a lucky little girl she is to have the opportunity to grow up in such a place! Imagine how different her life would have been growing up in FL...Not bad. But different, for sure.

You can hear the wolves calling every night?! WOW. I once heard wolves howling in Yellowstone. We are lucky to have befriended a gentleman and his wife that spend their vacations wolf-watching in the Park. Through their spotting scope, we watched a lone black wolf sit on top of a rock outcropping as he threw back his head and howled and howled. It was a surreal sound...One I almost remembered somewhere deep down, even though I''d never heard anything like it before. Maybe it was a touch of what the quote in my signature describes. I often think the wild things that share this planet with us still have a place in our consciousness. Some have an easier time burying it than others, I think.

I hope that you enjoyed your glass of wine and your view of the mountains and auroras (is Tok very mountainous? Or is it a flatter part of the state?) You sure have earned your time to reflect. Please keep us posted as you settle into your new Alaska home! We are so glad that you made it there safely!!

Erin
nantinkir
#42 Posted : Friday, September 30, 2005 3:07:42 AM
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Posts: 134,494
Oh, I have just been going like crazy. We put up 4 cords of wood already.
Back to the tale of the Alcan.
Anyway, the people in Canada were so nice, so help full and obliging. They did so much to help. They also give excellent directions. Except for the restaurants.
When we got to the USA border it wasn’t much because we are citizens. We did chat a little. They loved my little Sugar.
As soon as we got here I tried to find my house. It was dark and near impossible to find anything, finally I asked directions, no help there so I took sugar and we spent our first night in our new home not in it. The next day was a bit easier. I called the realtor and she had someone show me the way.
When I got here we almost drove bye the place. I yelled that’s it and the lady bringing me didn’t think it was the right house but we stopped and the key fit. It is 2 times nicer than I expected. O it needs work but it is nice. The water comes to the house only, enters into the bathroom, so called, and goes to two places. The toilet and the tub that hold all other household water. The stove is made from a huge old air brake pressure drum from a locomotive. It will hold a 3 foot and 15” log. This worries me. (I must be needing one heck of a fire). I got so concerned that All I have done now is cut wood.
We poured water into the sink in the kitchen and it immediately went onto the floor. No plumbing and no bucket. There are only two windows that open on the first floor. More on the second though. It’s so the bears can’t enter uninvited. I am the proud owner of 3 sheds in the front, one sauna, 2 sheds in the back, 2 ladders, some equipment, don’t know what for, one shed complete with another barrel stove, one full of junk, a dog sled on the roof of one of the sheds, 20 empty barrels, 20 or more tires, wood everywhere, a strawberry bed, some raspberries plants, an old enamel pea green tub in the back of the house, an outhouse badly in need of repair, and a son-in-law that will babysit for me and that’s it. Not to much on the manly labor there. I am very satisfied with the babysitting. Nothing else matters. I still have no idea how long he will stay. He doesn’t carry wood, put it in the stove, no carrying water there either, no washing of dishes, no cooking, yes, some whining, some complaining, some of the “I can’t stand the smell of wood smoke” every time I have to open the front of the thing, it rolls out a little when I open it only.
Just really good about the babysitting. He loves her as much as I do and he is the God-father. Wonderful to have him, I get so much done. I had to take the car to the garage, it is costing a bundle here, labor being 79. an hour. To get it winterized was 284. Argggh. We have had some nice days, some rain, some clouds, some northern lights, and some snow. Just a little. We missed hunting season so I will buy meat for a little while. A new neighbor gave me some king salmon. I love it. Taking a bath in a bucket is no different than it was when I worked on the ship and water was short. I love the constant heat, and am settling in somewhat.
I will tell all about the house and some of the things that are cool about this town, and the people soon.
Nantinki, pooped out and going to bed worn and wasted soon.
zoebisch01
#43 Posted : Friday, September 30, 2005 2:33:16 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Sounds like after a while it will be a wonderful place to live! My brother moved to Maine and in his first year ran out of wood. He and his family were living in a Yurt. Now that must have been a rough winter for him getting wood in the snow! I think your priorities are absolutely in order. Keep us posted, it has been a good read. Just like life, with its up''s, down''s, villians and friends.
turtlehead
#44 Posted : Friday, September 30, 2005 7:46:43 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Nantinkir,
I am amazed and your flexibility and resourcefulness. It sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you, and also a fabulous life.

You got 4 cords of wood already? I''m curious... how did you do that? The chainsaw we have is so heavy. I can lift it and carry it okay but I couldn''t control it. It would be too dangerous for me.

And did you split the wood yourself? We are so pitiful (desk jobs all our lives) we forked out the bucks for a log splitter recently. At least we won''t be cold.

You just blow me away.
nantinkir
#45 Posted : Friday, September 30, 2005 9:08:05 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Turtlehead,
A response from the inhabitant of Tok Alaska. Lol
I feel like a termite chopping away at the house basement. When I got here the first thing that I felt necessary was food. After that wood. Just as soon as I made the trip for supplies I attacked the wood problem. The office of Natural Resources is right here in town. They allow 10 cord of wood to be taken off Sundog Road or near the old airport. OK, I will find these places. That was the hardest part of getting the wood. The easy part is that the forestry department has cut the trees down and stacked them in piles of a cord. All I have to do is cut them into length I can handle and then load them onto the pickup. A cord just fits. Next I made the garage become a woodshed. When the doors are closed for the winter I will crawl out the bathroom window and throw the wood in. This will save me lots of heat loss and be much easier than carrying an armload at a time around to the door. I have found out already that the stove is nowhere near as voracious as I had first imagined. I did ask neighbors how much I would need and was given very many different answers. I figure about 10 cords will be enough and even if it isn’t the effort to get this wood isn’t bad. If I have extra wood for the next year I will be happy about that.
I am not terribly sanguine about some of the things I have to do so I am doing this first because it is something I love. It is from childhood memories.
When little we used horses to drag the logs down to the skid. One time when I was told by my grandfather not to run the horses because of snow on the ground, as soon as I was out of sight it was the first thing that I did. Well, the logs slid around, hit a small pine tree, caught hold, stopped us dead, dropped the horses down to their knees, and I flew off the log I was riding like a rocket. Fortunately I didn’t break the horses legs, or mine, and just collected a few scrapes and bruises. My grandfather when he saw me, the tracks from the whole mess in the snow, my cuts, etc. never said a thing. But I saw the twinkle in his eyes, the slight smile, and I realized he had let me do this to learn a very important lesson. I always loved him for not saying anything..
Nantinki
nantinkir
#46 Posted : Sunday, October 02, 2005 6:25:28 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Yesterday was such a challenge. The wood was so hard to get. I must have handled 4 cords 3 times in order to get a cord. My hands are killing me, my whole body aches, and the Sugar hates me. I had to leave her in the truck with some toys, music, and attitude. What should have taken a couple of hours took 7. Arghhhh. The miracle was that I got the last cord that I need; the day was so beautiful that I worked in my shirt, actually got hot, and then last night it snowed. I really don’t like to get wood in the snow, it freezes, I usually have to kick it so hard my feet hurt, it gets heavier, and it is slippery. Ssooooo, it truly was a madcap day, especially for Sugar, but we did the wood. Done.!!!!!
Now all I have to do is split and stack it. It was a stupid idea for me to take so long to do this. A feature now needed is a splitting maul and an axe. I am feeling great trepidation about this because of swinging a maul once and missing the wood, hitting my chin on my right leg and limping for a very long time. Sometimes this makes me really nervous too because if I get hurt no one will know for probably hours, I do get Medicare now though so that’s good anyway.
The snow is still coming down. it’s really beautiful. It’s the first time that I have seen snow in years, Sugar never has, and Mark is complaining again about it already. He wants to go skiing.
They (neighbors) have already been here or called, offered Sugar home visits, (some kind of pre-head start thing)some elderly program and senior citizen stuff for me, (I don’t feel elderly yet) and what ever. The proposed things and the people are such a nice greeting but we are not really ready for any of it yet.
Woops, I am still upside down, time to go to church. It’s so much earlier here. Still snowing. Yes!!!!!
Nantinki
crownlady
#47 Posted : Sunday, October 02, 2005 7:27:37 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Glad to hear you have made it safetly to your new home..now some
Mom thoughts to you.

If you get stuck way out there alone how are you to handle it. If you are ill or hurt will you be able to crawl out the window for wood? Is there any place you can put "emergency wood" in the house? If you need help because of the baby..how will that be taken care of?

They do have something you can wear around your neck that alerts the police of your predicament. I think medicare would pay for one for you. You can make it I know but little Sugar might need some assistance.

Just my cautious nature kicking in.

Do be careful.

By the way...who is Mark..lol. I know he is a son in law but not Sugars dad???



nantinkir
#48 Posted : Monday, October 03, 2005 12:40:10 AM
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I may have needed that reminder Crown,
Sometimes I feel more capable than I really am.
(shin not chin) Anyway, from now on I will let people know where I am going when I do these things.
Some wood is already in the mudroom. It is right off the kitchen. When it is possible I will add to the pile but if not I will manage somehow. I just hate cell phones; everyone reminds me that I should have one.
I think that the big issue here is that if I was 45 or 50 no one would think another thing about me but it’s that old age barrier. Or at least when they take their toddlers out not a soul says, “do you have a cell phone? Or what if?” But when one hits the ole’ 65 then it’s oh my gosh, will she survive that? Or worse than that: (she must be nuts)
As soon as I get the time I am going to start running with a pack, small at first then gradually I will increase the weight. I want to be on the Indian firefighters list. I have already applied. The minimal requirements and the secondary requirements are a cinch but the maximum is more than I can handle yet. 40 pounds, three miles, in 45 minutes. I can do 5 miles in an hour easily but the pack thing would slow me down. The secondary was 20 pounds, two miles in 45 minutes or something close to that. I will look it up or go back to the BLM. It’s right down the road. They had no problem with me signing up. That was a pleasure, to be treated as an equal.
Thanks for all the concern Crownlady. It is much appreciated.
Erin thanks for all the lovely letters. Time is so short now with winter coming that I forget my manners, don’t answer or go to bed so exhausted and worn that I just don’t write.
Soon I will tell you all what a magnificent journey into the fixer-upper lovely old log cabin house it has been so far.
The priest’s assistant came after church and offered his chainsaw for our use. I was blown away. I met him at the dept of forestry and we were discussing the size of mine. His is somewhat bigger! How wonderful of him. He had it in his car and offered it right after mass.
Tok people are soooo great.
Nantinki
.
crownlady
#49 Posted : Monday, October 03, 2005 3:43:56 AM
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Posts: 134,494
Nantinki please do not think I even brought age into my concern for you and Sugar. No not at all.

This was my thinking...she is all alone with a small child, she has to crawl through the window to get wood, she might get flu and not be able to make that little trip through the window, they could freeze without the wood.

Never once did I think, she is old or she cannot do it..no never.

My only concern was your being all the way out there an alone. If you were 22 I would have been concerned with those circumstances and said the same thing.

I am very much admiring of you and your trek, adventure, lifechange. I say you go girl and I think I have told you that already. I would never dishonor you by thinking you cannot do this after all you have already accomplished.

I am so interested in you and Sugar and wish only the best for both of you. I tend to say what is on my mind at the moment..I must learn to think before I speak.



nantinkir
#50 Posted : Monday, October 03, 2005 5:20:19 AM
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Posts: 134,494
Oh Geez,
I am so sorry, but, it wasn''t you Crownlady, I was just rambling on. Something else set me off. Sorry, you are not the least offensive to me. Please don''t let me make anyone feel badly. I would never intentionally do that.
Nantinki
Now, Mark is really my ex son-in-law. He was married to the babies mom for 11 years. He has pined for her ever since then. He loves her dearly and when he saw her baby, (not by him) he just loved her so that he goes out of his way to see her and to be with her. He is her God father and the only father she will ever know.
Nantinki
emulkahi1
#51 Posted : Monday, October 03, 2005 11:44:31 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Nantinki!!

It sounds like you have your work cut out for you there!! But then, I think you were expecting (looking forward to?) that? Poor Mark--LOL. Sounds like he is not so accustomed to "roughing it" (as my Mom always says)[:p]. Maybe the place will grow on him, over time. If not, well, at least he has had the chance to share in your (and Sugar''s!) adventure as it began, yes?

What an experience it must have been, driving up to your house for the very first time!! What was your immediate impression, as you first laid your eyes on it? Maybe just relief to finally be there? I am sure there will be days where all of the projects get to be too much. (Haha--speaking from experience on that one [;)]), but you will have a comfy home before you know it[:D]!!

I wish you, Mark and Sugar all the best as you settle in to your new life[:D]! I enjoy reading your stories, and will look forward to your next update!!

Erin
nantinkir
#52 Posted : Wednesday, October 05, 2005 6:23:37 AM
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Posts: 134,494
All I have ever heard was about the weather extremes here in Tok. It is a glorious day here and snowing in Billings Montana. Lol (Erin)
My private log home is like having a little piece of heaven/hell all at the same time.
Our home is located on 7th avenue, except that it is only about 150 yards long and the man that lives down at the end blocks it off with all of his junk cars. No thoroughfare here. We don’t have a street sign and people just can’t find us. The traditional way of telling people about this little twist is over. We need to make maps. We are so private that although we are only one mile from town no one knows where we live, even people that grew up here. I like that a lot.
There is one lounge in town or they call it that. I call it a bar. There are about 20 churches and they all flourish on Sunday. Our new church has a congregation of at least 60. lol. I am very happy about this. I find it very friendly. Just about everyone here has dogs, sled dogs, and is a musher of some sort. They all take kids to school, go to the store, just go for a ride, or whatever when the snow flies.
There isn’t an adjective anywhere that describes the beauty of this little town nestled in the valley surrounded by all these mountains. It is awesome and breath taking. The dept. of natural resources is right down the road, they are going to make me a copy of their logging and off road roads. They also have topographical maps that they are going to copy.
There is some kind of madcap helicopter going back and forth with something long, like a log, and they have put fins on it to keep it from swinging all over the place, looking for gold by looking for magnetite. They are doing this whole grid. I am torn between wanting them to find it and not wanting them to find it. It’s now become my small world and I am not sure if I want it to get to commercial or be a boomtown. At least not yet.
People don’t move here by accident. They either want to be punished by the environment or they are sports minded and have families that they want to protect from city life. Tok is a funky, fun, old-time town that looks for all it’s worth like a quick gas stop. The famous Tok four corners crossroads have nothing but a few motels and gift shops, and your average gas station stops. All of the houses here are on lots, usually about 2 ½ acres or more. No one can see their next door neighbors. I haven’ seen any horses but I awake to chickens and roosters every daylight. I wonder if the roosters will take long naps in the winter, cause if they do I will need an alarm clock. There seem to be a few dominating families, most of the old originals, that came with a tent and a shovel that now own most of everything. They really do live together harmoniously. That’s beautiful. It is what makes me think Tok is so great. They all greet everyone so nicely, even me, the one that everyone is talking about now. The one restaurant that will stay open for the winter, (Fast Eddy’s) is fantastic. Really good. Because the town is so small in size I can see why there is only one.
We are so off the beaten path I am wondering about snow plowing? We just have to wait and see.
I stood motionless the other day for what seemed like an eternity. A busy little squirrel was building the most gigantic nest I have ever seen. When I moved it started hissing and complaining about me being there. He shook his head at me, I swear.
The fishing is still good in some area’s of the state but I have no time to go. Maybe when the waters are at there coldest I will fish for Burbot. (poor man’s lobster.)
Well I am fast becoming one of Tok’s worst kept secrets. I wonder who will stop by tomorrow.
I am still being pretty lazy in the evenings, didn’t hear any howlings yet tonight, maybe I will go look for a moon and maybe I won’t.
My bones are getting sore, I have a hard time when I get up, everything is being so well used that I have to go slowly.
I think I have lost weight.
I keep thinking about this new home. I really must write about it.
Nantinki
crownlady
#53 Posted : Wednesday, October 05, 2005 11:06:27 AM
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Posts: 134,494
Sounds like you might have found paradise. I love reading about your adventure to your new home. I am sure the newness of the place is very exciting. I was suprised to hear about one restaurant and one bar and 20 churches. Sounds like the churches draw them in from quite a distance.

I wonder what the weather will be like in the winter. I am worried about our Indiana weather and wonder what you have to look forward too?

I bet you are interesting to the locals. You are interesting to us and we know your story. lol

I wonder if the fellow on the corner might plow you out in the winter. You just never know. They irritate you and then they come through with something nice like that.

How is that little Sugar adjusting to Alaska. I bet she soon has rosie cheeks.

Do you have a local store and however do you winterize a car in Alaska.

This is quite a journey for all of us. Like I said before when I think of Alaska I only know of Igloos, Eskimos and cruises. Nothing more.

By the way are there any Eskimos in Alaska or are they like the American Indians mostly invisible.

It has been unseasonably warm in Indiana. Here we are in October and many are still running air conditioners. I expect a cold winter as the squirrels are gathering and there are tons of acorns and nuts falling.

The neighborhood cat has had a new litter. She spent yesterday moving her newborn kittens across our lawn to a new hiding place. I think they were just born. She is black and white and has rid the neighborhood of most of the chipmonks and the rabbit population is down.

She sits most afternoons in a sunny spot on the drive way of a man that is in a wheelchair. He sits out in the garage. I think they have found each other and like what they see. It is comforting to drive by and see the two of them out there.

I have been pulling out plants and gathering seeds for next year. I will package them and share them in the Spring.

Well keep on writing and telling us of your life in Alaska. I so look forward to hearing from you.

spiritwarrior
#54 Posted : Wednesday, October 05, 2005 5:16:01 PM
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Posts: 134,494
WOW!I enjoy reading about your path,and your daily climbs on the hills of life.You will make it.I feel it in my bones.I have always wanted to move to Alaska: but my husband is rooted to this Carolina soil.Thanks for sharing with us.You are a strong woman!I will enjoy reading more from you.Best Wishes to you and Sugar.
turtlehead
#55 Posted : Thursday, October 06, 2005 3:07:01 PM
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Nantinki,
You have a great ability to capture the flavor of a moment with words. Thank you for taking time to share your adventure with us.
crownlady
#56 Posted : Thursday, October 06, 2005 8:40:56 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by turtlehead

Nantinki,
You have a great ability to capture the flavor of a moment with words. Thank you for taking time to share your adventure with us.



I second and could not have said it better.

emulkahi1
#57 Posted : Saturday, October 15, 2005 5:04:58 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Nantinki--

I hope that you, Sugar and Mark continue to do well up there!! I just wanted to let you know...There was some sort of forums server crash a few days ago--All of the posts from last weekend were lost. One of the replies from your topic here actually ended up in the Reader To Reader forum, under the topic "Wow...The Whole Weekend Gone." Very strange...Obviously, after they got things back up and running, they were still experiencing some glitches. Things seem to normal again now, though. So I just wanted to let you know why some stuff disappeared from your post. I hate that we have gaps in your story now...But I am sure there will be many more tales to tell, and they''ll make up for the loss, right :o)?

Take Care!

Erin
nantinkir
#58 Posted : Saturday, October 15, 2005 6:24:24 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Thanks for the note Erin. I have been thinking that I must have done something wrong and that I better figure out what I did before I wrote anymore. I don’t want to do anything wrong. If I sent my address, (just a PO Box number) to the forum is that bad? It really worried me.

Nantinki
emulkahi1
#59 Posted : Saturday, October 15, 2005 7:00:45 PM
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Posts: 134,494
I don''t think so Nantinki (though I''m not certain)--If it is ok with you to have that on a public forum. You could maybe even put it in your profile temporarily, for crownlady (I remember her post about sending you some stuff :o). It wasn''t anything you did though, for sure!! The whole site seemed to be down for several days, and when it came back up, many of the most recent posts had been "zapped"!! I saw several mentions in the Reader to Reader forum about various things people had done--And they all thought the crash was their fault! So you certainly weren''t alone with your fears. :o).

Erin
nantinkir
#60 Posted : Saturday, October 15, 2005 9:20:25 PM
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Posts: 134,494
It’s all about the Sugar.
Finally, after much thought Mark bought me a maul. It doesn’t have a sharp edge on it. This was confusing but that’s the way it came. I have been beating the wood apart. Some bones and muscles that where under used got to be put to the task. My entire body was sore after the first 1 and ½ hours. Shame on me. I somehow remember the maul that we had as a kid was sharp! I don’t have a grinder anymore so I can’t fix that but should it be dull? Maybe we got the wrong kind?
Sugar, sugar, it’s all about the Sugar. She is mine now and I must do what I can to make a good life for her. I am thinking that when it starts to get much colder that I will have to try making her some presents for her birthday (November 17th and Christmas) but I am not so sure that I have figured out what they will be. My grandmother used cylinders from old oatmeal containers; they were made of the thinnest wood when I was little. They are just cardboard now; anyway, she would make us little tiny dolls, little quilts, and a pillow to match, and then a cradle from the oatmeal container. I wish I still had mine to follow what she did. She made us monkey dolls from old socks that had been darned to many times to use again, and would make us upside down dolls, Indian on one side and black or white on the other. When we flipped up the skirt they would change. She made us fudge, popcorn balls, and apple dumplings too. She did it all on the wood stove. We had our own cider too. It was made with a little press that my cousin now owns. Drat’
They house needs some insulation still, we have to do that before the real chill comes, it has other features that we need to shore up. I think that an animal lives under the house because of some digging but there haven’t been any tracks yet, not in the snow either, so I can’t tell for sure if there is or if it is down for the winter and asleep already.
I heat all of our water on the top of the wood stove for now because I don’t have time to get the pot and coils ready to do it right.
Sugar was 2 months later with her birthday to get into head start so I though that we were going to have to make her wait for the next year, but, they have found that she is very advanced and are going to let her in on her birthday when she turns 3. I am so pleased. She will be picked up with a bus and then dropped off too. This will free me up a little to do other things.
Going somewhere,
Back soon,
Nantinki
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