The Big Butte Burn

I returned to my Jackson Hole cabin in August to build a driveway monument to mark my house number.  You might recall that lawyers and developers snitched about 400' of my property when I was in Antarctica in 2004/5 which ended up in court.  My drive is now 30' east...

Netshed II

My net shed is woefully full of junk and the siding need replacement. I've stockpiled lumber that I cut on Mitkof Island and it's taking up the space that I need to fix up old boats. Time to roll up my sleeves...... Harry never threw away anything and neither have I....

Return to Kupreanof–2019

After leaving the Tetons--spectacular Spring weather here on the road up to Jenny Lake--my old haunting grounds--it's back to Seattle to get the Alaska homestead back up to snuff. I stop for 5 days in Seattle to the new Ranger Doug's Intergalactic Headquarters and...

Winter Respite

Arrived late December in JH and this what greeted me.  A view from the front porch.  Not long ago, this Ridgeline was virgin territory but Jackson Hole is getting divided up especially among the wealthy.  I built my cabin in the mid-1970s with a chain saw and a horse....

The Great Phytosaur Femur Recovery

After my Phytosaur femur assembly (see three blogs back), I could not assemble the proximal and distal heads of this particular bone which demanded a field trip back to the site. I can't be too specific where this is, but one can get very lost in country like this. My...

Mile High City

Always heard about Denver's Mile High Capitol Building whose second step was exactly 5280' above sea level.  With sea level rising and this capitol building sinking, I got curious on my current PLA conference (nope--not a terrorist organization--it's a National Park...

Metoposaurs and Aetosaurs

Matt, the Curator of the museum collection here at Petrified Forest shows me the likeness of a Metoposaur on each side--an 8' long lizard/salamander type of critter that lived about 220M years ago.  This is my next project. This appears to be the left clavicle based...

PeFo Phytosaurs

After a ridiculous 35 day government shutdown our National Parks are finally open so I hurry up to Petrified Forest National Park from Tucson where I've cooled (?) my heels for two weeks.  As a former NPS ranger, and now also retired from 35 years of dentistry, I'm...

Boot Hill & Botched Borders

Boot Hill was established in 1878 according to this monument and was closed just six years later in 1884 because it was full; one hundred seventy four are identified in a brochure guide--admittance is $3.   It was a segregated cemetery with different quarters for the...

Jackson Hole Airport

I'm back in Jackson en route to Tucson (where I'll make a presentation to the Historical Society and elsewhere) but my first stop is Jackson Hole where I've visited now for 52 years. I am driving but many people fly in and out.  The Jackson Hole Airport is unique--it...

Katahdin’s Final Trip South

It's been a great summer in Kupreanof and by mid-August, I make the final jump off the dock with Katahdin and point her south after 16 years of enduring rain and freezing winters. She's a bit weary from lack of paint and some rot looms in dark corners.  I spent a...

Katahdin South

  Time to haul the Katahdin out for the fifth time here in Petersburg.  I'm taking her south for perhaps the last time on my watch after 16 years of Alaska cruising. There is always the expected bouillabaisse to be found so we pressure wash her underbelly to...

Ranger Doug’s Intergalactic Headquarters

After my NPS Centennial Roadtrip, I had to move my poster business out of a private home and into a real warehouse.  I bought this sight-unseen.  It was originally a machine shop in the 1970s with 400 amps of power at 480 VAC!  Perfect, except for the ugly mural on...

Ranger Doug goes to Washington–Trip 5

It's been awhile since I've posted so it's time to fill you in on my wanderings (I'll fill in the hiatus over the next few months).  Here goes: It's another trip to Washington for Ranger Doug--my fifth and the mission is the same--to make positive changes to our...

Grand Canyon History Symposium

From Santa Fe, it's back on the road to Moab, Grand Canyon and Zion national parks.  At Montecello I find another roadside attraction with a fantastic boutique ice cream parlor.  Screech!  On Doctor's orders (mine), I sooth my sore throat with big dollop of...

Malala, Mountains and More Parks….

An early fall morning in Jackson Hole gives me pause...it's time to head south in the Ranger-Doug-Mobile, my 1948 (serial #3) Airstream.  The annual American Dental Association is in Denver this year and even though I'm retired, off I go to hear the guest...

Mt. Lassen & the Reno Air Show

I decide to climb Mt. Lassen with an old friend Rich, who like me, just turned 70.  Rich (on right) just retired from UC Berkeley where he was Dean of Chemistry.  Joining us are two colleagues, Ezra and Leila.  And off we go! 2500 feet later, we're on the summit with...

Rocky Mountain High

Once again, I leave Jackson, Wyo. threading my way south through Flaming Gorge, and out onto the Colorado Plateau.  First stop is the "Wall of Bones" in Dinosaur National Monument.  We've done a bang-up job with our WPA-style poster design here. At my talk in Rocky...

The Big Event–NPS Centennial

One Hundred Years ago (August 25, 2016) Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act creating the National Park Service.  Today, under the Roosevelt Arch, a Centennial celebration begins.  I run into SOI Sally Jewell for a big "high-five."  Sally opened my WPA-NPS Poster...

Waterton Lakes National Park

OK--this isn't Waterton Lakes National Park, it's Yellowstone--at the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, site of the upcoming NPS Centennial celebrations on August 25th.  A town of about 1000 will host another 6000 to hear all our leaders expound upon America's Best Idea....

Westward Bound–Acadia to Teddy Roosevelt National Park

After a circumnavigation of New Brunswick, I re-enter Maine at Calais (pronounced callous) and wander down the Maine Coast photo-oping in front of all the cute buildings.  Here's one that I can't resist--not sure of the architecture style--perhaps a cross between...

New York, New England, New Brunswick, New Places

Two years ago I published a screen print of the Statue of Liberty at the request of Eastern National Bookstores so thought it about time to visit the Statue and the bookstore below.  It's quite a monument.  I trained down from Connecticut in about 45 minutes, then...

ELDA Revisited

My journeys take me back through New York State and I simply must stop to visit my great uncle's old estate in Ossining.  He, and all of his siblings, were inventors and David T. Abercrombie was no exception having founded Abercrombie & Fitch in 1892.  This...

On to Washington

Instead of following the whole Blue Ridge Parkway, which rattled out my trailer, I decide to take the parallel roads and visit many of the small towns north of Boone, North Carolina--which also rattled out my trailer. My first stop north of Boone was just outside of...

More Roadside Attractions–Graceland to Boone

Enough of Graceland.   I'm heading where it's warm and sunny and that means Florida and Georgia and Southern Appalachia.  Driving south through Alabama is interesting. I pass this building for about half an hour and wonder what purpose this huge building...

Graceland & Garbage

Next stop on my tour is.........Graceland!  I'm so close driving through Memphis that this is one place I can't resist.  Since I just spent $33 on a hot bath in Hot Springs Arkansas, I'm ready to get fleeced again!  But, let's camp first; I find this campground right...

Big Bend, the Rio Grande, and Chinese Trinkets

After Balmorhea Springs State park (where I get a great soak, albeit in 40F weather), I head south again through Fort Davis where there is this Snake Museum.  I don't want to pay to see a rattlesnake--I stepped on one once and that was enough. Alpine, Texas is the...

West of the Pecos

Lots of Cowboy Churches here in the North Panhandle of Texas....and lots of wind, which I guess, go hand in hand.  I can't say I'm warming up to the Texas Panhandle--it's windy, cold and.... .....kind of desolate.  Where are all the trees?  I'm camped here at Monahans...

Alibates Flint Quarry

After Santa Fe, I head out east to Tucumcari in the NE corner of New Mexico.  The geologist is coming back to me, so I'm heading to the Alibates Flint Quarry just north of Amarilo, Texas.  This is one of the 410 National Park units and well worth the visit. After...

Petrified Forest, Santa Fe & the CCC

From Tucson, I drive north up State Route 77, then east on I-40 to Petrified Forest National Park.  The Painted Desert Inn is a must stop/must see.  Built in 1928, it was remodeled by the CCC in 1933 when they covered the petrified rock with adobe.  Today it is a...

The Tuscon Gem Show & Saguaro NP

My next talks are at Saguaro National Park--I give four in two days.  Saguaro is a wonderful place east and west of Tucson (now a huge city).  The Eastern  park was the original one but the cactus were dying off so the western addition was added in 1961 by President...

Chollo’d Near Phoenix

Phoenix is next on my world travels--enroute to Tucson actually--and I stop to visit Rich and his son Chris who take me four-wheeling.  I've never been four-wheeling and it's kind of like race-walking or seeing who can whisper the loudest.  And it hurts my back which...

Death Valley

Next stop is Death Valley.  This is the best time of year to visit--January, February and March where it's a cool 65.  I was here in October right after the floods which devastated Scotty's Castle.   The highest officially recorded temperatures ever on the planet were...

Joshua Tree National Park–Where Two Deserts Meet

Palm Springs is not for me, but the open road is.  The drive out of the LA basin takes one northward to a granitic uplifted and very weathered area we call Joshua Tree National Park.  Last time I cruised by this road it was 114F so I kept going.  This week, I spent...

NPS Centennial Post #3–So Cal

Morrow Bay, California on Christmas eve.  And right on the beach.  I'm heading down the coast from Seattle after house-sitting my house-sitter in Alaska.  It's nice to be back in the sun. There are huge fires raging around Ventura so my route takes me east to...

Western Design Conference and Beyond

  It's time to get this trailer out of the shop and on the road.  The interior is complete, she's polished up and road ready for a 15 month tour of the National Parks for the upcoming NPS Centennial.  Here I'm rolling in to Jackson Hole--where I was a seasonal...

The Big Roadtip–NPS Centennial 2015-16–1st post

  My first stop was Prairie Creek Visitors Center--built by the CCC in 1934-5 and featured on my new "See America" Redwoods National and State Parks poster.  I gave a talk at the amphitheater below:   Sequoia/Kings Canyon (General Grant) was my next...

Naust–Part III–the roof

The roof is on--I ordered 81 sheets needing 80 but thought that one extra would be a good idea....in case of damage, so to speak.  Sure enough, the top sheet was damaged, but guess what?  They only shipped 80.  They gladly shipped another sheet up to me (this is not...

Naust Part II–A Barnraising

The first job is to assemble all the parts--ultimately fastened with wooden "trunnels" or tree nails. They're 7/8" diameter hand carved oak dowels, 8" long. The deck is not fastened--we'll do that this fall when the lumber shrinks a bit more, then pull out a 6" and...

The Naust (boat-shed in Norwegian)

Our warehouse and gazebo are full of boats--no place to store them--so it's time to build a traditional Norwegian boat-shed, called a Naust.  Looking in the opposite direction you have one of the most beautiful little sloughs in Alaska and a perfect place to launch...

Back to Totland

After spending all winter in Munich, Cody Wyoming, Utah, Georgia and Florida, it's back home to Totland on the AK ferry Columbia.  This is the only boat that does it right--white table cloths, waiters and a good cold beer.  The AK ferry system has closed all the bars,...

Our Molesworth Airstream

Well, you all know about the 1948 Airstream Tradewind we found in California last year.  We towed it up to Montana and then on to Cody to get a new interior.  It's a peach--and the third one built.  It's currently parked in Cody Wyoming where I'm putting in a new...

A Stikine River Mushroon Expedition

For my birthday, Martina treated me to a river trip up the Stikine again; this time to pick mushrooms.  On this Google Earth photo, we live in the upper left hand corner near Petersburg (yellow dot).  I drove down to Banana Point and jumped on a jetboat with 12 other...

Norwegian Naust

Our net shed is full of stuff, mainly boats so I decide to build a traditional Norwegian "naust" or boatshed.  You can see what one looks like here. There is only one way to do this--take advantage of the annual Alaska "personal use permit" for lumber.  I fill out a...

Home Again

We're home again and what a beautiful arrival with full afternoon sun and Devil's Thumb greeting us across Frederick Sound.  All passengers were on deck when we docked. We schlep, schlep, schlep about a dozen boxes up the beach, then go back for more.  How can we...

Ranger Doug goes to Washington–Part III

This is my third trip to Washington and this time I get the royal treatment from the Department of the Interior.  My 20 years of republication of WPA National Park posters and contemporary works are now on exhibit at the DOI Museum.  I am elated to finally get to tell...

The Algarve

Our last stop on our 5 months overseas is Portugal.  We rent a car in Seville Spain and drive 2 1/2 hours to Lagos on the SW coast. The coast of Portugal is serrated by folded sedimentary rocks once connected to the Grand Banks Newfoundland.  This is wild place during...

The Street Mimes of Spain

The trains in Spain speed mainly on the plain......  Spain's Renfe train system is one of the best in Europe.  While we could only travel 2nd class, it trumped first class in most other countries.  Buying a ticket is another issue--we waited in three lines to purchase...

Alesund & Kristiansund

Alesund is one of the prettiest towns in Norway.  Built out on a narrow spit between mountains, there are no ill perspectives.  Climbing behind the town to a restaurant gave me a view of all the islands nearby....and all connected by under-sea tunnels.  This is some...

Bergen, Totland and Faerings

Bergen has grown a lot since I last visited almost 15 years ago but not this classic waterfront.  Oil has brought prosperity to Norway and the outlying areas are now all connected with bridges and undersea tunnels and the like. If you love wooden boats, like I do,...

Oslo Norway

In my last blogpost I asked the question:  When you buy a Eurail Pass, what’s the best route from Bordeaux to Lagos, Portugal?  And the answer is..... Norway. The Eurail Pass is not what it used to be and we've already spent over $400E for reservations to both first...

Bordeaux & Beyond (or Wines & Wallstreet)

Bordeaux--an old and beautiful city of France.  Our hosts in Provence have family plans over Christmas so Doug and Martina decide to create some of their own with a visit to SW France.  We camp out on the east bank of the Goronne at an Air B&B, La Maison Bastide,...

Le Degoutaud—Land of Wine and Truffles

Martina and I return to one of our favorite places--Le Degoutaud--a 100 acre B&B in Provence France.   You can find them on the web here.  We stayed here last year during the fall harvest and here is that link.  If you want that perfect place in Provence, you...

Turkei

I know I'm going to catch hell for dissing Turkey but these two-week vacation packages are not for me.  Within two days, we both woke up with plastic wrist bands on and sick as dogs--we thought we were in a rest home or hospital.  All the food is served buffet-style...

Oetzi and Sud Tirol

The Dolomites are a World Heritage Site and for a good reason.  I won't elaborate here but the first place we headed for was here after leaving Karlstadt.  Unfortunately, it was foggy but we had a wonderful hike.  I skied near here a few years ago and will return yet...

Amsterdam & Munich

Now it's time to cross the big puddle and we save up all our Alaska Air miles and splurge for First Class.  It's actually called Business Class on Delta, but to me it will always be First Class.  My feet can't even touch the chair in front of me!  But an old lady...

Our winter respite–Eastbound

Well, after the outdoor kitchen project, I'm ready for a break so Martina and I jump on the Alaska ferry and our first stop is Saxman Village just south of Ketchikan.  It's one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  We walked around for a couple hours while our ferry...

Outdoor Kitchen

We need an outdoor kitchen and this is the place.  I'm tired of the barbecue blowing off the porch and the bears slapping it around. Besides, fish cooked in a one room log cabin leaves a lot to be desired..  I stake out the four corners and get to work digging the...

Hazy Daze of Summer

      We usually start the day with home made waffles with fresh fruit and of course whipped cream (and hot coffee).  Summer is in full force.   We've sunshine almost 15 hours during the summer solstice which contributes to our solar input--9 KW on...

The Fireplace

Remember the fireplace I built 8 years ago?  Well, we've burned our winter fires with a hanging chain screen and our precious "Searsistan" rug was burnt up--actually it melted since it was largely plastic.  It's time to add glass doors and move the chain back a few...

Polar Bound

Meet the Polar Bound.  She wintered over in Petersburg while owner David Cowper returned to Scotland.  This boat is incredible--fabricated with three layers of skin, frames, stringers fully welded aluminum and tested in both Antarctica and the Arctic--six transits...

BVI

Time for a vacation. Four classmates from our Dental School class of 79 and I head down to the British Virgin Islands.  We're ready to sit down over the local beverage and discuss thirty-five years of our profession......and retirement! First, we rent one of...

Coast Redwoods

Several years ago, we visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks but not the Coast Redwoods.  After our annual NPS trade show meeting in Portland, Redwood National and State Parks invited us to visit and perhaps make a screened print to fit our series. Here's our...

Winter Solstice & Otter Slides

Tomorrow is the winter solstice--which is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.  These panels are located at 56.8027° N, 132.9935° W, the sun rises at 8:26 am and sets at 3:14 pm for a 6 hour and 47 minute long day.  Google Earth just put up a very...

Provence

In Europe the best way to get around is by train--and we take the ICE train from Frankfurt to Paris.  This train reaches peak speeds of 315 k/h!  And wait til you pass on oncoming ICE train--wow!  We're in Paris in about 5 hours. Paris was overwhelming--we spent a...

Octoberfest

In mid September Martina and I decide to revisit Bavaria and to partake in the local customs there--namely Octoberfest.  If you haven't been to Octoberfest in Munich, you haven't enjoyed beer.  Off we go via Iceland--pictured here is Reykjavik's huge church built in...

South Kupreanof Yacht Club

Guests drop in for dinner at the South Kupreanof Yacht Club--of which I'm Commodore so I must make a good impression.  Yet our headquarters is a bit shabby.  Time to rebuild! First is the weathered front of the net shed.  This building is perhaps 100 years old and...

Thomas Bay

It's time to get the Katahdin away from the dock--it's been about 5 years since we have taken her out for a cruise.  Last summer we buffed her out and polished up the engine so let's go!  There are three large bays on the mainland across Frederick Sound:  Farragut...

Orcas & More

On our way across the narrows last night, we encountered a pod of Orcas--hunting for dinner.  We stopped the engine and watched.... They circle around Buoy 56 marker support.  We discover a frantic sea lion trapped in this "cage"--imagine another horizontal brace just...

Springtime in Alaska

Once again Spring arrives in Alaska--or it tries to arrive.  It's mid-June now and it's still no more than 55F.  We've planted our greenhouse with tomatoes and cucumbers and the usual root crops outside, but they are growing slowly.  The ferry Matanuska rams Ocean...

Nome and the New Gold Rush

After visiting the Iditarod start in Anchorage last month, I just must see the finish-line (shown here) so I call up my good friend Fred in Haines and we meet in Juneau for an exciting trip to Nome. With the price of gold skyrocketing, miners are pouring into Nome to...

Islands and Iditarod–our winter respite

It's time to warm up again--February is always a good time to consider alternative lifestyles in Hawaii and our good friends in Kona invite us down.   There is now a direct Alaska Air flight from B'ham to Hono-town (hate this place) but we hop over to Kauai, pour a...

Drunk History: The South Pole….

Drunk History: The South Pole from sandwichgirl on Vimeo. As many of my loyal followers know, Martina and I spent the summer 2004/5 season in Antarctica (visit our posts beginning here).  This year is the 100th anniversary of the race to the South Pole by Amundsen and...

Inshore Craft of Norway–Faerings

  Remember the rowboat race this summer?  Of course you do.  Well, I foolishly purchased three half-completed Norwegian faerings (traditional rowboats) last year and it's time to get down to business and fix these up.  You can see  one of three faerings just...

Of Gaps, Knobs, and Hollows—An Appalachian Adventure

Our Fall roadtrip begins again in Orlando where we pick up our trailer and immediately head for the Blue Ridge Parkway enroute to Boston.  The fall colors are supposed to be fantastic and we aren't disappointed..... Before leaving  Orlando, we got clobbered with a big...

Maritime Scoundrels

A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE LAWSUITS SURROUNDING THE WINAMAC AND KATAHDIN. In 1988 I purchased a 54 foot tugboat named WINAMAC, built in 1909. She had been extensively neglected and required two years of restoration. I sunk (literally) $93,000 into her only to see her...

More on the Mercury Lemon

Think you've heard the end of the Mercury story? The Petersburg Harbor Board purchased two Mercury 225 hp outboards from this same jerk that screwed up my engines and here's there story as told by the Petersburg Pilot: (to be posted)

Le Conte Glacier

Every year, we host a Rainforest Festival here in Petersburg and one of the events this year was a tour by Breakaway Adventure Tours of the Le Conte Glacier which is a tidal glacier.  To get you oriented here's a NE Google view--the yellow line is the Canadian border...

Katahdin Part III–The Engine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_KOzlJlXgE So as not to let down our most ardent fans--here is the next chapter in the refit of this 112 year old tug.... OK--we've painted the upper and lower house, plus hauled out on the marine rail and cleaned & painted the...

Katahdin Part II–The Haulout

Now it's time to haul the Katahdin out of the water and clean the hull.  I have to tow her with our skiff and can do this only at high slack.  Problem is, that everyone else moves around at high slack--including this skiff, two seaplanes, a fuel barge and a ferry so...

Katahdin Part I–The House

This is what 10 years in Alaska will do to a boat.  Actually, it's about 6 years--the amount of time we have spent rebuilding our homestead across the Narrows.  Now it's time to turn our attention back to the Katahdin--my first home here in Alaska.  The "Kat" was...

Net Shed

Our last major project is to rebuild our net shed; aka warehouse; aka barn.  It's pretty tired and probably dates to the the founding of Petersburg in 1910.  It was once a gaff-hook factory.   It's 20' X 40' and two levels built on creosoted piers with the tidal edge...

Manna from Heaven

With oil prices climbing, it's time for me to climb, too.....climb trees and remove limbs to install a solar system.  As you remember, two years ago, I tried to harness the hydro capacity of our creek only to be met with thousands of dollars of fees, federal and state...

Little Norway Festival in Petersburg Alaska

It's Syttende Mai here in Petersburg Alaska--where the locals don't forget their culture.  The day celebrates Norway's Constitution Day in 1814, because the Norwegians thought they would get their independence from Denmark, who had allied themselves to Napoleon....

Spring….almost

We took a hike last Sunday with some friends up Petersburg Creek thinking that it was nearly Spring weather.  As the day progressed, dark clouds roll up the Narrows and a few sprinkles occur.    The sedge grass is just poking up and many birds are arriving on their...

Gators and Glades

It's that time of year when we attend the APPL park trade show--this year in Dallas.  We've now motored across from last year's venue--San Diego and are headed to Key West Florida.  Instead of paying the labor unions hundreds of dollars to roll my Bambi Airstream into...

January Storms

In case you're all thinking every day is like the Solstice photos (previous post), they aren't. Here the Kennicott Ferry pulls in at the Petersburg dock at about 6 degrees F. This is our ferry to Wrangell for a week clinic. We return home to find 18" of snow on our...

Super Solstice

It was last in 1638 that a winter solstice coincided with a lunar eclipse. Last night, 372 years later, we are treated again to such a spectacle and with clear skies no less--also a rare event in these parts. Martina and I set up camera tripods on our dock and began...

Texas this time….

We continue our annual road trips by picking up our car in San Diego, then driving along the southern-most routes into Texas....except it's about 114F in the Salton Sea/Indio California valleys so we head north into northern Arizona and camp at Prescott. I wouldn't...

Halibut Fishing

Martina and I decide to go halibut fishing. Enroute to town we encounter the Chugach--the last of a fleet of US Forest Service boats. I tied up next to the Ranger IX for about 5 years when I lived on the Katahdin in Seattle. The Chugach still patrols the coast here...

Gravely Tractors

Remember that old tractor laying about under the trees 5 years ago? Bet you forgot; not me. It's a 1961 Model L Gravely; a collector's item so I can't let any more rust ruin this 'Terraplane of Tractors.' Yikes! The head had been removed and water in the cylinder...

Sven Again

Remember the Sven? Two posts earlier. Well, I continue to put her back together. After removing the garboard planks (top oak ones), the boat starts to lose it's shape so I tie each frame with rope while I continue the project. Note the gunwhales/inwhales getting bent...

Stikine River

For my birthday this year, Martina arranged a trip up the Stikine River with a neighbor who has a jetboat. The Stikine is one of the longest, wildest rivers left in the Americas with a watershed of about 20,000 square miles. Here is the Wiki site which can tell you...

SVEN (Another boat)

Some people like taking in stray dogs and cats....me, I like old wooden boats.....lots of rot but classic lines are a must. Here is the dory off the St. Lazaria which had been sitting on the dock upside down for about five years. Her gunwhales have flattened out on...

Onkel Ole

Remember this boat? It was found in our net shed when we purchased the property. A double ender 14' Davis boat built in Metlakatla. They built hundreds of these and they served in the fishing industry here in Alaska at the turn of the last century. They are worth...

Ranger Doug goes to Washington

After 40 years, almost to the day, I returned to Washington DC to lobby for the Arctic Refuge. This ceremony took place at "the triangle" which is directly outside the US Capitol Building. Attending are Wilderness Society president Bill Meadows, Representative Ed...

Outhouses and Bat Houses and more….

Spring has sprung as you can see by this rainbow in our saltchuck. It's time to get working on more projects. First is the smoke house--Martina comes from Bavaria and many of the Germans here in Petersburg have encouraged her to start smoking meat.....and I want to...

NPS, APPL and HI

In February it's time to head back down to Palm Springs, pick up our trailer and drive south to San Diego for our annual APPL (Association of Partners for Public Lands) trade show where we preach the good deeds of the WPA-CCC artwork of our National Parks. We use our...

The Road to Palm Springs (or All Roads Lead to Mecca)

We begin our trip when Martina and I meet in Seattle--after her month in Munich--and pick up our new/used Toyota. Joining us are Mike and Jan whom we met in Antarctica. We start with a drive across the North Cascades. I cut my teeth climbing these towers in the 1960s...

Summer Project Summary

We had a great summer--nearly three months of sunny days with up to 80F temps. We're long overdue for some R&R--here is Martina and her niece Alex (visiting from Munich) canoeing in our slough at high tide. Doug's got that work ethic so he's off building projects:...

Lone Wolf and Lone Toad

Had to post this. This morning at 7:30am my neighbor rings and tells me a wolf is heading my way. I grab the camera, binoculars and rubber boots and run out to the point. This is the first wolf we've had since mid-winter. And here's the Lone Toad. It hopped through...

Totland Time Machine

Ever want to take a time machine back 100 years? We got that privilege when our neighbors gave us three large photo albums full of the history of our homestead. Above is a photo that came with the house taken sometime during the 1920s showing only the net shed,...

Flyover

We have friends over to see our garden--they read about it on our blog of course--and they suffer some serious garden envy but we have serious fish envy because they supply us with their fresh King Salmon catch. It's a very clear day--one of these spring days you...

Celery and Chopin (How to Build a Greenhouse)

It's finally spring (anything seems like spring after Barrow) and we plant our garden. I build racks that fit into the window frame so I can play Chopin and watch the Celery grow (Broccoli and Beethoven?). It's still below freezing at night so we start early. Martina...

Two in the Far North

We're off to the cold North for the month of March--Brrrrrr! The temps dipped to -37F and we flew 13 separate flights from our home in Petersburg to Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Barrow, Point Lay (left on this map), Barrow, Nuiqsut, Deadhorse, Barter Island...

Winter Wolves!

They're back! And this time we observe two wolves for about an hour and a half early Monday morning. They had taken down a small deer (to the right in this photo) and dragged it to the back of the saltchuck. We sat with our coffee cups and took about 60 photographs...

Mexico and Manholes

It's been 6 years since we visited Mexico and it's time to head south again. Using our Alaska Airlines $50 'twin ticket" we choose Zihuatenajo--a beautiful mini-version of Puerta Vallarta or Acapulco. The Mexican government decided to build a resort nearby at...

Winter Bear Visit

Flash! News Story! I'm working in the net shed this afternoon listening to NPR and having a good time when I hear Martina approach with what I hoped was a cup of hot tea. But it's a baby black bear instead! It walks right in under my rowboat to within 7 feet of me and...

Feathercraft

Abandoned on our neighbor's beach we pass by this old boat on our daily walks--a 1957 Feathercraft The Feathercraft Company produced these boats in the 1940's-1960s. After World War II wound down, aircraft companies produced things like aluminum toasters, airstream...

Off the Grid

We're off the grid--meaning we generate our own power chiefly with fossil fuels. This is very expensive. As gas prices in the lower 48 have recently dipped below $2 a gallon, we're still paying $3.90 a gallon here in Petersburg. Further our only supplier, Petro...

Mercury outboards and Lemons

It's time to tell the Mercury outboard story. The beauty of the internet is if you google specific words, you can bring to the surface any subject out of trillions of bits of information. Consider the words Mercury Outboard and Lemon....now that's a strange...

Kupreanof Potato Harvest

  We're having a beautiful autumn here with the usual fall colors. Our garden, while mostly under construction, has yielded many potatoes and not much else. Here's the new bird houses and our local maples above the deer-fenced garden area. B   elow is a photo of...

Gazebo

Next in line is building our gazebo on the salt chuck (or slough as some prefer to call it). First thing to do is locate the position of the structure. We engage several mystics that utilize Feng Shue (just kidding)--we've already figured this out. Because the bears...

The Totland Dock

Our old dock has about had it. It's probably close to 100 years old and many of the beams are rotten, even missing. Also the crane/winch is unsafe and we're lifting 250 lb. propane tanks up out of our boat--not a    good thing to do with a faulty crane/winch. First...

Bears and Wolves….

Amidst all our Spring gardening, we get a visit from a wolf! We're sitting at our kitchen table when a deer dashes by--nothing but hooves and white tail. We grab the camera knowing something is chasing it: Martina takes about two dozen photos--this is the...

Earth and Lumber

It's time to get to work. We hire an excavator and buy a bunch more yellow cedar from Prince of Wales Island and roll up our sleeves. Our local landing craft the "RB" unloaded three batches of lumber for this project. Last year we hand carried each piece off--some...

Spring and Krill….

Spring wants to happen....although it keeps snowing, the temperatures don't cooperate. The deer are hanging out on the beach getting ready for birth events--we will wait another two months for the 'bambi's' to show up along with their proud mothers. Meanwhile, we...

Porch

This is our back porch--what a mess. Right out of an Alaska movie set complete with junk. I decide to take action in Martina's absence--she's off hobnobbing in Paris. No, I'm not jealous; I love to stay home and work--so might as well roll up my sleeves. After a...

More Winter and Wolves

I know it's spring, but I forgot to post this blog--this is the last snowstorm of the winter--got about five feet in Februrary and temperatures to 5F. Here's the house with the new roof!!! I had to prop up the eaves. Here's a typical winter commute--taken by my...

Ski Touring at Totland/Langlaufen in Totland

After three feet of fresh snow, it's up to the muskeg above our house--and the snow gets deeper as you ski inland! We're bonafide Bonna skiers--no cheap plastic imitations--here's a look at what happens when you take inferior equipment out in the bush.... Look at...

Alaska in January

Well, it's a bit drab at times. Here's a good shot of the Western Towboat's "Pacific Titan" towing an AML barge past our house at about 8am. It's getting lighter earlier now--we're about a month past the winter solstice. I always keep an eye on these tows--making sure...

Stairs

One of our biggest interior projects was building a safe stairway to the second level--we've been using a rickety ladder for the past two years which dates to the 1960s. It finally broke with me on sitting on the top step and thanks to our cork floor, I'd be in the...

Wolves!

Latest Update!!! Walking out of the house this morning, we find these wolf tracks within 30 feet of our house; jumping over our new boardwalk--the nerve! Because of last year's hard winter deer populations have plummeted and wolves have benefited. This year's hungrier...

Langlaufen (ski touring)

It's time to fill the woodshed. So we cut a trail up to the muskeg and began to haul out wood. After our endeavors, we continue to develop a ski track (langlaufen) to unlimited ski touring above our cabin.... when we stumbled on these tracks (two wolves!!): We have...

Boardwalk…..boardwalk

OK, the house is nearly done and we're tired of hiking through the mud--not to mention the mud to be removed from the house.... It's time to build a proper boardwalk--yellow cedar, cement footings and teflon coated screws. Yes!!! You can see what I mean--mud...

Under the Alaskan Sun….

It's fall here and the colors are brilliant but only when the sun shines. Here's an AML barge leaving Wrangell Narrows towards Frederick Sound, Juneau bound: And, we've had a hard summer of work buffing out this place but we're pleased with the results: After the...

House Logs–more exciting work!

Trouble with good weather in Alaska is you feel guilty for sitting on your arse. In mid August, we get a beautiful stretch of perfect weather--which happens when a high pressure cell stabilizes in nearby Canada. This guilt trip by mother nature signals us to launch...

Sauna Time

This is our Finnish sauna--it looks like it belongs on the Hobit Movie set. I grew up near Seattle where there were several hills notably Norway Hill and Finn Hill--I won't go into how these hills got names but there were lots of saunas built behind the main houses....

Year of the Roof

OK, it's time to get this roof done.  Last year was the wettest year on record and there was no hope to complete the roof.  This year, it's a little better so I just go for it.  First I have to tear off the old roof using a shovel.  After a month of this nonsense,...

Alsace, France

Well, after this winter, it's time to sip some good Alsatian wines.  Martina and I pack up and hop on an airplane to Munich.  Udo lends us his 6 speed BMW and we hit the autobahn--and does this relieve the winter stress!  First stop is France (Alsace) in a 13th...

Another Big Storm

March 1st brings another three feet of snow with more dribbling in all week.  The deer are getting hungry--here is one taking advantage of all my hard snow shoveling.  We spot two minks bounding about and the birds are picking our feeders clean.  Another foot fell...

The big winter of 2006-7

Mark Twain once said: "If the thermometer was an inch longer, we'd have froze to death."  In November, we received 5 feet of snow and then the temperatures dropped to -4F for a week.  Actually, it was beautiful. Martina operates the camera as I slave away shoveling...

Birthday Time

First of all, it's birthday time--the big one and I feel every year of 60--especially after all this masonry work!  We are lucky to share this event with friends we met in Antarctica, Mike and Jan Eviston.  Mike is an unusual guy who likes to work at 6am every...

Summer rain

And it has rained all summer here in SE Alaska--perhpas the rainiest summer recorded--not just a drizzle, but hard rain.  We schlepped four containers to Totland from Seattle which included all the masonry for the heaters and fireplaces, not to mention the grand piano...

The fireplace…

Ever wanted to build your own fireplace?  It's a lot of work.  Here's where I started: Every piece of granite had to be carried from the next island (Mitkof) out of the woods through swampy muskeg to the car, driven about 10 miles to the boat harbor, loaded into my...

Tulikivi West

If you want to stay warm in Petersburg Alaska, you need a good heater.  First, cut a hole in your floor and pour about 100 sixty lb. bags of concrete for a footing.  Next, order a Tulikivi masonry heater from Finland.  This unit has a thousand soapstone pieces...

Fred Beckey still climbing….

To those of you who aren't familiar with Fred Beckey, he's still climbing at 85 years old--this time to Burkett's Needle with two young 'bucks' Dave and Micah who are attempting a new route.  I climbed with Fred from 1967 to 1970 doing many first ascents in Washington...

Beach Landing on Kupreanof

Another stealth operation in the night (except it's light all night)--an amphibious  assault on Kupreanof Island with 26,000 pounds of masonry, tools and 6 pallets (that's about 500 80 pound bags) of concrete--all hand carried off the barge down a ramp and stacked on...

Spring haulout in Petersburg

There is nothing like spring here in Petersburg--especially when the locals are complaining about the lingering winter weather.  I removed the tarp today on the Katahdin and.....what a beautiful boat!!!....and beautiful blue sky, white mountains, soaring eagles,...

Open Letter to Terry Worrell

(The Press Release originally posted here will be reposted on Tuesday as a separate link.  There were conflicts with the Word and Wordpress programs) Dear Terry: I just got a nice email from your former partner, Sam Ware, who wants to buy me a beer in Dallas.  I...

The Blimp

How would you like this right in front of your view?  Phase III kicked in today, Monday, with more signs, a visit to the local sheriff, newspapers, a land-use attorney and best of all--an 11 foot helium blimp.  It's tethered on the top of my house and I've set it so...

Battle of the Bulldozers

What do you do when you return from Antarctica and find that someone has built a road across your property? Take a look here--the left arm of the yellow symbol is our property corner and the right one is where the road footing starts--a full 10 feet!  Plus the road...

Totland Revisited

The junk pile daily grows with refuse that will be transported back across the Wrangell Narrows and then to the dump.  Makes one think seriously of recycling.  Ten acres of junk accumulated over 50 years is a bit daunting.  Buried in the heaps are 50+ broken axe...

Prince of Wales Island

Enroute to POW, I first fly to Wrangell, then Ketchikan (where I overnight), then catch the IFA ferry to Hollis and finally an hour drive to Craig and Klawock where the clinic is located. As I leave Petersburg, the Alaska Air pilots give us a very exciting tour up...

Around Petersburg

Our snow-dusted Toyota sits in the parking lot patiently as we ferry fuel and building supplies across the Wrangell Narrows to work on Totland. Our job this winter is to get the electrical system safe which means a new generator, batteries and a 4000 watt...

Top of the World

OK, we're bipolar. But after the South Pole, there isn't a better place to unwind.... We get the call to save the frozen north from tooth decay so it's off to Barrow Alaska. Barrow is located as far north as you can go without getting your feet wet (or frozen). This...

Totland

We're landlubbers!! After four years of searching, we've finally purchased a property near Petersburg--10 acres of the most beautiful shoreline we've found in our explorations of Southeast. Featured on the cover of Alaska Geographic (Vol. 5 No. 2 1978)... ....it...

Indiana Doug and the Ranger of the Lost Art

Our mission is to proceed to Mesa Verde National Park, whose Centennial is next year, to design a poster for the event. We are granted permission to visit Square Tower, shown above from the road, which has been closed to the public since 1940. Our descent from the...

Enroute to Mesa Verde

It's off to Mesa Verde via Salt Lake City to pick up our Bambi Airstream trailer where we encounter a Wyoming Road Hazard--ranchers driving their cattle down from the high mountain valleys. Five hours later we arrive in Salt Lake City and stay with my old Jenny Lake...

On the Road Again…

Our first stop is Mt. Rainier National Park--my favorite Park. I've climbed Mt. Rainier at least 4 times and spent two summers working on Camp Schurman in the early 1960s. Here we're hiking with our friends Rog and Pam--this is Martina on the Pebble Creek trail. We...

Village Dental Route

Another Alaskan commute--this time around Point Gardner on our way to Kake--you're looking west with Baranof Island in the distance. We've just finished an 11 day clinic in Angoon and have stopped for a couple of days in Baranof Hotsprings to warm up. Here Martina and...

North to Alaska

Our trip north was thought to be peaceful with following seas, an extra two weeks of cruising with no deadlines. Weather was blustery with storms every other day and beam seas. We encountered 2 1/2 meter seas in Queen Charlotte Sound but made it to safe anchorage...

Back to Seattle!!!

Finally, we're reunited with our tug Katahdin. Before Martina flies off to Alaska for a quick month's work, we tow the "Kat" past her humble beginnings--the Foss Shipyards and tie her up at the best little shipyard in Seattle--Bakketun and Thomas Boat Comany below the...

Australia

Australia is my favorite place--one country and one continent--and lots of room. We meander up the coast from Brisbane to Cairns in our "tourist-mobile" seeking wild parrots and avoiding bugs. Every night we cook the local catch and enjoy local wines. After miles of...

Departure to New Zealand

After five months for Martina and six months for me, it’s time to leave Antarctica as winter approaches. We’ve made many good friends and hope to continue our relationships here again in Antarctica. We’ve accumulated a lot of stuff from the “skua” bins and likewise,...

South Pole Again

It’s time to go again. The South Pole is still 9300 feet above sea level (physiologically 11,200’)--in other words, hard work. My LC-130 is waiting for me at “Pegasus Field” under the erupting plume of Mt. Erebus. It was my luck to fix up a pilot the day before and he...

The Flying Antarctic Dentist

Hate these commutes.....don't you? If people would only brush their teeth! Seems that there are dental problems on the Russian Ice Breaker "Krasin," "savior of the American Antarctic Program," according to Russian news releases...... and there's only one man for the...

The US vs. New Zealand Rugby Match

After two weeks of blizzard weather, we finally get a sunny day and it's time for a hike into a new area--hut point ridge which was recently opened. The hike takes us about two hours since we're looking for rocks, the baby skua (like a gull), and stop frequently to...

Happy New Year–2005

At 28 degrees, we McMurdo-ites put on a rollicking rockfest called "Icestock" complete with chili cook-off and Hoola Hoops. Martina helps out by serving Dave and Tina's New Mexico-style chili and if you looked around the 20' steel container, you would find his...

Merry Christmas

  Santa finds his way south....Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from McMurdo, Antarctica Martina prepares for Santa's arrival Antarctic Road Kill--outrun by a Bombadier......stay tuned for New Years!!!

Fishing with Art

There is nothing so much more enjoyable than spending your sunny Sunday fishing with Art DeVries. He always catches fish (even has one named after him--Paraliparis devriesi) and if you are lucky you will see a seal snout or two. Art is reasearching glycoproteins in a...

Thanksgiving and Sir Ed

It's always an interesting week and this week was no exception here at McMurdo Sound. First a quick tour around our station. Above is Derelict Junction (meeting place/parking lot) with the galley off to the left and the housing on the right. Dead ahead are two old...

Cape Evans and Scott’s Hut

Robert Falcon Scott arrived at Cape Evans on January 5, 1911 and within two weeks erected and occupied the "Terra Nova" Hut--named after his ship. It was the largest and best built hut in Antarctica and housed up to 25 people and 17 ponies. Scott's plans were both...

South Pole

About 850 miles due south of McMurdo Sound is the South Pole--the object of exploratory fascination 100 years ago, and indeed, today. I am lucky enough to be the only passenger on a Pole-bound LC-130 ski plane and therefore get to ride in the cockpit. There are 10...

Discovery Hut

Discovery Hut was the first building built on the Antarctica continent by Robert Falcon Scott in 1902. The building consists of Australian jarrah wood and was based on a design used in the hot climate of the Australian outback. After being preassembled on the west...

Castle Rock, Ross Island

Three miles due north of McMurdo Station is a superb rock feature called Castle Rock. On Sunday with no wind predicted, Martina, Dan and I plan an ascent. We first check out at the firehouse, collect our radio and leave our itinerary with Firehouse Annie. We transit...

Ozone and Snow

Dr. Linnea Avallone, atmospheric scientist from CU in Boulder, Colorado invites me out on the ice to look for ozone in the snow. This is a big place and ozone exists only 15 parts per billion which sounds like our current national debt. To make their job easier, her...

McMurdo Sunday

It's a sunny McMurdo Sunday and a brisk walk up Observation Hill is in order after our 10am brunch. All Raytheon employees here work six day weeks, 9 hours a day so Sundays are precious--especially ones when the wind doesn't blow. We've just passed the Spring equinox...

Another Balloon Launch

Another perfect day with little wind gives our "balloonatics" another chance to launch an ozone balloon. An earlier midday launch yielded no data so we repeat the performance after dinner. Every day we've been having very nice displays PSCs (type II Polar...

Ice School at Barne Glacier

One of my first excursions out of camp--nearing Scott's first hut on Hut Point one can see the emerging solar presence after 6 months of darkness. In the very distance is Tent Island and the slope of the Barne Glacier.  Those of us who venture off base must take an...

LIDAR in the Sky

An eerie green glow is frequently seen in the dark hours here at McMurdo: that of the LIDAR or Light Detection and Ranging instruments emerging from Crary Labs. Built by Roberto Morbidini from Rome, Italy, this is one fantastic machine! More impressive than its looks...

McMurdo

I made it in one piece after some very long flights (not to mention the tugboat trip down to Seattle from Sitka). McMurdo is truely a different and serious place-and of immense desolation and beauty. I've been here two days and this morning, Sunday-our only day...

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