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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Socks..... the best for outdoor and winter living

All you wilderness people know how important Socks are.  If your feet are cold you have trouble even before you start.  
Bryan always used Icelandic Wool Socks in the 1970's and 80's and paid 12.00 a pair then when people were used to paying 2.00.  His logging crew used to pull the socks up over their wool pants and use Duct Tape to hold them up during the long work day on sidehill.  After a couple of years they became thinner and thinner.
BUT THE REDHEAD LIFETIME GUARANTEE ALL PURPOSE SOCKS FOR MEN  Wool blend socks blow any other sock away.  These are only available through BASSPRO.COM for  9.99 US or 12.00 in the Canadian branches of the store.  Bryan picked us up some when he was visiting his daughter in Calgary at the Basspro Store there.  
They never fall down, don't need to be duct taped.  They are really extremely thick even after years and years of use.  The MOST important thing is ....they are so warm. 
We use them summer, fall and winter when out in the bush.   
Vikki buy's the men's medium (and puts a piece of coloured yarn on them to keep them easy to sort) and Bryan the men's XL.  He has size 13 boots.
Manufactures do not make any women's socks that are worth buying.  You will freeze your feet off in almost anything made directly for women.  The manufactures believe a women is going to be on the ski hill for half an hour and then in the ski chalet for 4 hours.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Freeze up is coming fast this year

 Freeze-up is about 10 days earlier than normal.  Even listening to other trappers on the SBX at night we can hear they are experiencing it early also.  "BeaverCrow" said it's the earliest he can remember.  "Jack Pine" said he was out in his canoe and the Swans were on the lake and the next morning it was frozen solid.  We all miss not hearing Don Taylor on the SBX.  He died last month of lung cancer at 80.

The wind came up this afternoon and the clankering of ice pieces is really loud.


Bryan came back on Sat. night exhausted.  He had been gone 6 nights.  Monday 200 feet of new cut trail, Tues. 720 feet,  Wed. 600 feet, Thurs. 420 feet, Friday 360, Sat. 120 feet.  He had to come back to base camp because he was out of chainsaw gas and he also know Vikki was not feeling too hot.  On her right side there is something wrong (appendix????).  
Bryan stayed til he know Vikki was feeling better.  (At one time she was getting packed to go out by helicopter).  So off he went at noon today to try to make the last 540 feet to where we can travel on the sand bar.  Light snow is expected tomorrow but hopefully will let him stay down there the 2 or 3 days he needs. 
Bryan told Vikki it was as terrible as it gets for trail making.  Lots of vine willow, High bush Cranberry, Devil's Club and large fallen dead trees, some of them piled 5 feet high.  
Bryan told Vikki of the Spiders.... weather had been about -10 to -14 Cel all week.  
Because there is no snow yet also the traveling is only 2 miles an hour on the quad and also the sun was right at the horizon and it highlighted what he was able to see, just like when you see air borne lint in a sunny window.
Zillions of spider webs so thin you could hardly see them..... 90% heading straight down.  A few a little sideways.  Every rose bush had 50 or more spider webs hanging straight down,  also very low tree.  Condensation sparkled on the little webs.  These spiders were going down to hide in the leaves and cracks in the ground for the winter.
Spiders are so important.   Without spiders we would be over whelmed with insects.  Why humans spray insecticide so indiscriminately.... is so short sighted.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spirit Walkers

 -13 8:30 am Dawn breaking.   The 20 to 30 Km winds from the East are wicking the warmth out of the lake.  Large columns of misty fog are flying west, some of them 100 feet tall.  Usually we see "the spirit walkers" slowly proceeding across the lake but now they are being driven.  The narrows are 10 days early in starting to freeze.  This wind will either set it up faster or blow out the thin ice crust.

 Vikki usually makes Sauerkraut in a big plastic bail but this year she found a way to make smaller size containers.  Found it on   These are 1.5 gal jars.  
We will find out in 3 or 4 weeks it this works...

 Our friend Gord from Alberta made this Garlic Masher for Vikki when he visited here with Vic in 2008.  It worked great as a cabbage bruiser.
 After 24 hours Vikki removed the cloth and leaf and added more brine and placed a small glass bowl on the top.  

Below Vikki is trying Roasted Garlic from The Boreal Gourmet by Michele Genest.  A big bag of Garlic will not last long before starting to sprout and so this is a good idea.  The olive oil preserves it. 
Vikki also tried canning some of the gloves.

 Now we saved lots of the Moose fat and the birds will sure enjoy it now that it is getting cold.  Vikki tried putting chopped up fat into her Vita-Mix but it didn't work.  So she cooked the fat on the wood stove and then put it in the Vita-Mix along with some ground up grain, and it worked.  After added some bird seed and finding a plastic container to freeze it in.  Nothing gets thrown away here.

Cut the bottom 2 " out of this Chocolate Milk jug which was a treat for Bryan when we went out this summer.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ishi the Fearless Mouse Killer

Down at the Line Wall Tent last week Bryan said a really funny thing happened.  He was laying on the bed reading his Kobo and there was a candle on the small table.  Bryan became aware of movement.  There on the table was a mouse.  
Bryan nudged Ishi beside him and pointed...   Off went Ishi faster than crazy.  Bryan was amazed.  Ishi ran round and round the wood stove (Bryan all the while thinking it was going to be nocked over....  then Ishi had the mouse in the wood pile and was pulling the logs out with her teeth.  Finally she started to pounce over and over again with her feet.  Bryan went over and there was one dead mouse and Ishi looking at Bryan out of the corner of her eyes..... "Did I do well????

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Harvest Time, Trumpetors and Mountain Goat

 Bryan's been gone now for another 4 days.  He's pushing the trail while he can.  -13 Celsius last night.  The ice is starting to form around the shore and in the narrows.  10 days earlier than last year. 
 These three Trumpeter Swans landed on their trip down south.  Also Vikki saw a Mountain Goat just behind the cabin on the hill.

Steaming Turnip Greens for Canning.
 We plant a big garden in late May and then leave it on it's own with no watering, no extra care.  It is always amazing the good things that are there waiting for us when we get back here in the fall.  This year we harvested over 450 lbs of Yukon Gold, Russets, and  Prospector's Pride Potatoes,  150 lbs of Carrots, 3 lbs of Beets (failure) but lots of Beet Greens.  5 lbs of Turnips (failure) but again lots of Greens for canning.  150 lbs of Tomatoes, 25 Cabbages, and lots of Chives and Dill.
 It takes Vikki about two weeks to store or can and put it all away in the crawl space.  Bryan had already dug up most of the potatoes and washed them and put them down stairs.
The Roma Tomatoes are dried on the wood stove and when pliable put in Olive Oil.
The Chives are cut and dried and used all winter in food like Bannock with cheese, or soups. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wolves Come Right to Fence

 Vikki went out to cut wild hay for the winter trapping and the chickens and found that the Wolf pack had come right up to the electric fence.  It's a big pack.  
Talking to Bryan on the SBX radio last night he also said the Wolf pack howled for 2 hours yesterday afternoon within a km of him.  He kept on telling Ishi..... "That the Boogie Wolf"