The Dog Days of Summer

29 July 2011           10.00 AM         62 F         Bright, sunny skies

We’ve been basking in an ongoing heatwave, it seems. There has been the odd day or two of rain, some of it heavy, but generally, it’s been beautiful, bright, sunny and oh so very hot. We’ve been hot, the dogs have been very hot and it’s not been until the cooler part of the evening, that they have started to play again.  I say the cooler part of the evening, but up here, that tends not to start until around 11.00 pm, when the sun finally drops below the trees.  Our dogs have been playing a lot between 1.00 and 3.00 in the morning. It’s as bright then as it is at those same hours in the afternoon – a fact that we still struggle with a fair bit. We seem to have more issues with the perpetual daylight, than we do with Alaska’s famed winter darkness.

The blog has been sadly neglected these past few weeks. Life has a way of filling the day and finding me other things to be doing.

Top of that list this summer has been playing the gracious host. We’ve had visitors galore and that always means days away doing touristy things, long leisurely meals and hours of just chit-chatting. Of course, the dogs still get all of their needs met too but it does mean there’s not too much time to be wasted, one finger typing on the laptop.

My Mother and  my 2 sisters were here for a couple of weeks. So, as is our way with visitors, we took them to Talkeetna, Sheep Mountain, the Matanuska Glacier and up over Hatcher’s Pass. Obviously, not all on the same day.

Mountain, lake, snow reflectionsLake at the top of Hatcher’s Pass, July 2011

Mother and younger sister headed off into the Interior to explore Denali and Fairbanks by train whilst my other sister stayed with us. She promised to paint dog boxes as the bribe for being allowed to stay an extra few days.  The boxes are still unpainted, but she managed to read all my new books !

Amongst our other visitors, was an old friend from back in my working life, along with his girlfriend. They’re on a 7 week tour of Alaska, camping, hosteling, hiking and avoiding getting eaten by bears. So far, they’ve done well with the bears, not so well with the mosquitoes. It was great to see Mikey again, and catch up on what’s been happening back at the old slave camp. Needless to say, nothing he said made me regret my decision to leave work and move here.

After all the drama and excitement of our wildfire, we re-evaluated our emergency evac plan. Plan A was alright, if we were both here, with both vehicles. We hadn’t really got as far as Plan B. Now we have……….

Dog truck and big trailerPlan B

A big enough trailer to squeeze all of our dogs in, in an emergency but still light enough to get towed by the Explorer, in the hopefully, unlikely event of lightening striking twice. It’s already been pressed into service, hauling up a load of wood to make our new dog houses and been used to bring home 4400 lbs of dogfood.

Whilst the dogs are getting to laze about, sunbathing and generally being dogs, we’ve been getting on with our “Honey Do” lists. Sad to say, my wife’s list has been completed and mine hasn’t.  I, of course, have good reasons, the less kind hearted might say, excuses, however I am getting there and a few hours with a paint brush should see another item crossed off that list soon.

The birthday girl, NadiaChatanika’s Nadia on her 9th birthday, 23 July

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