Reality Check

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This sh*t is hard. We didn’t expect easy, but it is H-A-R-D.

Between there being no road to our property, to having the survey markers be buried under 40 years of growth, we feel like we can’t even start working on our property yet!

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Today we spoke to the realty company we purchased the land through and they put us in touch with a surveyor who helped us find GPS coordinates for each marker so we should be able to get up in the morning and find them easily. Hopefully. But the surveyor did say if we had trouble he’d come out and help us find them, so we will find our markers soon!

Once we find the markers then we still have to get everything out there. A 4 wheeler just does not have the towing power or weight capacity of a truck, so we may just end up driving the truck down the beach. We’ve seen plenty of people do it, but we haven’t attempted it yet. There is still frost under the beach so there are unexpected soft spots we have been hitting in the 4 wheeler and that makes me a little worried about taking the truck out.

For right now though, we are still camping at the lake, which is beautiful!

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We also did our first load of what I’m affectionately calling “bush laundry”. We will definitely be needing a wringer to go with our washboard for our next load!

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Also this week, Ronan found out what happens when you harass a porcupine! Link showed up at the pound we got him from with a face full of quills so he was smart enough to stay away, but Ronan must have actually tried to bite the porcupine because he had quills pretty far back in his mouth.

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Pro tip: clip the ends of the quills before pulling them out, it makes it much easier! Pliers like these ones make it a little easier. And also, train your dog to allow hands in his mouth. We didn’t have anything to knock Ronan out with, but he’s well trained enough with touching his face and mouth that he didn’t bite even though I’m sure he was in quite a bit of pain. We pulled quills from under his tongue, gum line, and his throat. Hopefully he won’t ever make this mistake again!

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After 30 minutes of pulling quills, Ronan was very happy to have them all out!

Kyle and I both have hunting and fishing licenses now, and I bought a .22 today so we’ll be able to hunt for some of our food. I’m honestly considering eating that porcupine if we happen across him again, they are supposed to be good eating this time of year.

Back to camping for now!

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Preparation 

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This week is all about preparation for getting out to our property and getting to building!

Our 4 Wheeler is at the Yamaha dealership being serviced and wont be done until Friday, so we are stuck floating around the area until then but….

Our crate finally arrived on the barge! We are very happy to have all our tools!

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We ended up renting a Uhaul to get everything out of Anchorage and down the Peninsula, then getting a storage unit (free with one way rental of a Uhaul right now, woo hoo!) so now everything is at least closer to our property. It’ll probably take us quite a few trips to get everything to our property as we don’t want to over load our trailer.

Hard to believe we fit our whole lives in this little box to move!

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We also picked up the shed kit we purchased that’ll be put up as a temporary home until the cabin is built.

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And we gathered a larger (legible) version of our properties plat map with surveyor notes to help us find the corner markers.

Now we will be checking out the local feed and animal store to price some chickens and rabbits!

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Isn’t Ronan so cute in his harness?!

(Purchase this harness here)

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Yup, We’re Crazy. And Also Idiots.

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Let me preface this by saying we saw our land for the first time and we absolutely love it! It’s thickly treed, level, dry, and a hop, skip and jump away from a lake, two creeks and the ocean! How much better could it get?

I mean, check out our beautiful 3 part driveway:

Part 1 takes us down 14 miles of beach

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Part 2 takes us up a very interesting hill that will need some work

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Part 3 is a nice level easy road

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We spent some time traipsing around and exploring, as well as trying to find the property corners (we may need to get some professional help to make sure we find all the right boundary markers).

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And now to the idiots part: we missed the tide! Access to our property can be done one of two ways, either by 4 wheeler on the beach at low tide, or by a 4 wheeler access road that follows the coast. We had been told the oil company maintains the 4 wheeler access road and it would be usable, but boy was that wrong! The whole thing was a boggy mess at every low spot!

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We got stuck quite a few times, thank goodness our 4 wheeler came with a warn winch attached! I’m not sure why we didn’t turn around after the first time we got stuck and just wait for low tide, but we kept on pushing. Eventually it got to dark to see so at the next dry spot we made a fire, plopped down with our shotgun and dogs, and slept on the ground for a few hours until it got light again (we did not have any gear prepared for this, did I mention we were idiots?). Thank goodness for those short Alaskan summer nights! At daylight we put out the fire and made it to the beach access, waited for the tide to go out and drove the last several miles easily along the beach. What did we learn from this experience? ALWAYS play the tide, and NEVER forget your emergency gear!
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Luckily we had on the right kind of wearable gear for this adventure. Warm layers, waterproof pants and these awesome Under Armor waterproof boots. Kyle and I bought the same boots because they were super comfortable and we knew we needed waterproof shoes out there. These boots kept our feet dry through all the boggy bits we walked through, and neither of us got any blisters even though this was how we broke them in! All in all, great boots and I would highly recommend them for hiking or hunting in wet areas.

(Update: Kyle returned his boots for Danners as the stitching had started coming apart on one boot. It might have just been a mistake on that shoe though, and I’m still really happy with mine!)

By the time we got out and back to town we decided to fork out for a hotel room so we could shower and nap all day. Even the dogs refused to get up once we were in the room! We’ll be staying here for a bit to rest, then headed back to Anchorage to pick up our stuff from the boat!

Bonus picture: Bear tracks!

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This Is Not Smooth Sailing!

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Yesterday was an awesome day. We made it to the trail head about 15 miles from our property so we could do some exploring of the area. We went on a hike and ran the dogs around and saw an absolutely gorgeous sunset at 10 pm! It was definitely one of our best days in Alaska so far. We spent the night in the truck at the beach. It might have been cold (especially without a heater like this) but car camping was free!

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And then…. We came to town this morning to look for a 4 wheeler and almost lost a tire!  Luckily we had heard some odd noises and pulled over to check. The vehicle behind us pulled over as well and the driver mentioned the tire was wobbling. Turns out one of the lug nuts holding our rear passenger tire on sheared off and worked everything else loose. Fortunately AAA was able to send a tow truck quickly and an awesome mechanic in Kenai was able to squeeze us in. He also spent some time talking with us about where to go to find the 4 wheeler we’ll need, as well as pointing us to a junk yard for new rim (where we found tailgate for the truck instead). We then notified the dealership we purchased the truck from since they had done a safety inspection. They asked us to bring the bill so they could pay for it. All in all not an easy day and it totally took us off track (literally) but it could have been way worse!

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(Click here for more about our adventures in this truck.)

Now we are back on the search for an 4 wheeler so we can (finally) make the trip all the way out to our place!

 

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One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

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So we’ve hit our first major snag in our timeline. Our stuff never made it on the barge to Alaska! Rather than arriving on May 2nd (the same day we flew in), now it wont be in Alaska until May 10th. This means we suddenly have nothing to do but wait since we don’t have any of our camping supplies, so our forward momentum has stopped.

Old timeline:

Buy truck, buy hand gun for back up bear protection (since we plan on using sprays like this), unload crate and load up the truck, buy a 4 wheeler and head to property and stay until we absolutely need to go to town.

What we did instead:

Spent some time to cursing, bought a truck (yay! something went right!), decided we didn’t want to spend another week in hotels, gathered supplies to sleep in the new truck, decided we would spend this week down on our property, go to buy a shotgun for bear protection, spend an entire day trying to get an Alaskan ID to purchase said shotgun (don’t even ask, I nearly cried), give up and go to bed, wake up with the sunrise and go get ID, go buy shotgun and get the heck out of Anchorage!

Now finally headed south to our property. Here’s hoping for smooth sailing for the next few days!

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Headed down the inlet to our new home!

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