Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 1, Day 2 Ollie chases an eagle... and lives

The second day is usually much easier - and correspondingly less gratifying - than the first. Here is the summary of day 2 tasks:
1. Get the cabin ready.

That's about it. But it entails:
1. Pull off and fold up or otherwise reuse the towels and plastic bags that were used to cover the pots and pans, dishes and utensils, and everything else we didn't want to think about varmits skittering over.
2. Wash what dishes I must
3. Pull everything off of every counter and shelf, including the shelf paper, to try to start the summer mouse/lemming-poop free. (Yeah, this will end up taking more than one day.)
4. Replace the paper on 16 shelves, then restock them with the food that was left on them over the winter, plus the food that was removed and stored in plastic bins over the winter
5. Sweep and mop that floor
6. Bake the bread I started yesterday
7. Post yesterday's blog

Optional items:
1. Go to town to get milk for my tea and butter for the bread when it comes out of the oven. Mmmmm.

I love a soothing cup of tea. But, well, if it's black tea, then I love it only if it also has milk and honey in it. I left some of those little packets of half and half to see how they would hold up over the winter. The answer is: no. They seemed like little blocks of soft cheese. I tried them anyway - maybe they would melt in the hot tea? Again, the answer is: no.

Note to self: stock up on powdered creamer so I have it at the beginning of next season.

I'm pretty good about cleaning off the food shelves and replacing the shelf paper every spring, but it's so dang tedious. And, it turns out that if I leave sugar accessible to the critters, I can expect to find a pile of ... uh, processed sugar. Bleah! That must have triggered a total war on mouse detritus. For example, I've found myself extending the mopping from the middle of the room, all the way back to the walls. I think it's been about 10 or 30 years since I've done that. It leads to a lot of sorting and ultimately, some additional garbage.The other thing, though, that I didn't anticipate is that inside my cabin, it takes hours and hours for a mopped floor to dry. Everything already takes a little longer here and is harder to accomplish, but to add all that time drying...

So, what better way to use the drying time than to head into town for cream and butter. I had parked the truck out of the way of the tide about a mile away so I strapped Ollie into his orange vest and we walked to the truck, with me (and apparently not Ollie), keeping a careful eye on the sky.

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that the tundra is wet this year and Monsen Creek is substantial. Wet tundra means there's been rain which I think bodes well for our water barrels, and our washdown system, and for fishing weather. And it makes the tundra fires less likely.

We made it to the truck with eagles just flying away from us. Got the cream and the butter, then headed over to the canopy truck to look for a new protective vest I ordered for Ollie, called a Coyote Vest. I climbed through all the packages, found my knee boots and the rope I usually use for pulling down the stairs... but the vest must still be at the post office.

We just parked the truck on the high ground and came back down the beach with the groceries, once again running the Eagle Gauntlet with Ollie.

About half way between Monsen Creek and the cabin, we found this fellow perched atop the cliff. I'm including the picture of the cliff too, to give some idea of scale. It's a 30' cliff.

Oh wait, here's another indicator of scale. That's Ollie down there, running up to the eagle intent on giving it hell. And just in case that wasn't enough to provoke the eagle into launching an attack, how about if a couple of dogs frolic, unconcerned, right in front of you?

Eventually, the eagle tired of all the excitement and took flight. Thankfully, he headed down the beach rather than directly toward the obnoxious white dog in the orange vest.

We made it all the way back to the cabin with no talon punctures or even close calls. And continued straightening the cabin until late. Still haven't unpacked. Sigh.

I finished the day starting this post at my computer, listening to the critter scampering between the insulation and the plastic, and trying to get mentally ready for some home improvement that needs to be done this year. Last year, the leg of my chair went through the plywood floor. I knew it was soft and finally, it just went through. I'm glad Roger was here - he came in and patched it for me. But now, more of that same piece of plywood is soft and it's just a matter of time. The piece in front of the door is also soft and it seems that the front of the cabin - where the cabin meets the mud room - is sinking into the tundra, even though the floor still feels level. I think that's why the floor on this end of the cabin is rotting. I hope that the combined skills of this year's crew can help me fix it.

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