Off to the mountains...

Tension is high. Be back August 1. Wish me luck.

Birds Chasing People - Denali

Mind you the last part was my last day in the haze, I admit I was a little strung out from no sleep.

Dude, this is lots of work.

Much more than I expected, bulk and work. But, it's done and I can finally breathe. From here on out it's a matter of unloading, unpacking, cooking, and eating. Lots of weight off my shoulders... next step is to fend the goods from bear and squirrels at camp site. Here's around midnight.

at 3 AM.

Power nap.

Before.... After.... After 12 hours of purchasing, loading, transporting, unloading, organizing, packing, and loading again some $5,000 in groceries (total) everything has been locked into these and several other pantries onboard the yellow submarine. Forgot to mention that around 4 AM when I was loading one of the boxes a one gallon jug of italian dressing decided to undo it's lid and spill all down me and onto the tent stakes. That stuff is like motor oil, it doesn not come off clothing, skin, hair, furniture. I reek of it, almost as bad as when I got sprayed by the skunk in Canada. Never will I eat Italian dressing again.


Limestone Gap Purchase & Pack

Here's what I bought today from Sam's Club. Only took me 3.5 hours.

A half hour just to get everything in the van. In the back of my mind I'm thinking about the dairy and meats, we have to get them to a cold place within 2 hours. It's about 80 degrees outside and I'm not liking it, so I compile all the colds together on the floor in hope the stay cool until we get back to the truck.

We made it back in an hour. I just finished unpacking, which took 2 hours solo. My next task is to organize, pack, and label all the goods by 5 PM tomorrow. Thank goodness I got 10 hours of sleep last night. Looks like tonight is gonna be a long one.

Stevo, Girl, and Dog stopped by to see what's up.

Then back to labeling all the fruits and veggies. I stocked heavily on parsnips, yam, potatoes, cabbage, onions, apples, oranges, and melons... long lasting produce. The climate we are going into is dry and cool, which will naturally enhance produce lifetimes, nice.

All the meats are packed tight into three coolers and a freezer. I'm freezing 6 one gallon milk jugs which will act as cooling devices for the camp. They usually take 4 days to thaw completely. That will give me plenty of time to be at peace of mind knowing the meats won't spoil too quickly. There will be two frozen milk jugs per a cooler, 3 coolers in total to go onto the plane, and I'm hoping to get some dry ice tomorrow. The only thing I'm really keeping an eye on is getting the chicken and ham frozen by the time we leave, which is 6 AM Sunday morning.

It's a big mess right now. A cool mess. A fun mess to organize. When I look at it I see like a million dishes to be made. Whatever is leftover will go to the students and faculty. No waste.

Yah buddy, the biggest catch yet.

This is the final challenge... 20 people, 20 days, 2 camp stoves, 3 coolers, a bunch of totes, hungry squirrels, hungry bears, and a mountain of rocks to sleep on. I'm gonna rock this Limestone Gap.



One of the students just dropped this off at my desk, too cool. 4 lbs. of moose.

Field Denali Photos by Prof. Margaret

Preparation and Reports

It's been two days back in town and I've been getting my beauty sleep. Loving it. Today I'm working on the shopping list for the 17 day Limestone Gap expedition. The details of this journey are:

1. No ovens (unless I construct a solar oven)
2. Water is inported from glacial streams via gas pumps and will have to be treated
3. Burn all trash
4. 5000 feet above sea level, thus cooking times should be shorter
5. Two camp stoves, with 6 burners in total
6. Stevo is working on a brewing operation - Limestone Gap Ale
7. Squirrels are the greatest threat to my food supply. Squirrels on skewers will be appetizer if they mess around with me.
8. Food is to be organized prior to departure and will be dropped off weekly via bushplane
9. Our transport is by truck southward near Anchorage to an air field, from the air field we fly one person at a time to the mountain site. Each person will need to carry a few food items with them just so we get everything there, hopefully.
10. This will be a primitive camp setup. Tent, camp stoves, folding tables, treated water, a few totes of food, sleeping bag... guitar.

Looking out the window, the haze is still hanging around.

A note on the elevator for the baseball living on the same dorm floor as me. Note the 'see Santa Clause' towards the bottom. Santa Clause is up here 24/7 - 365 days a year.

This is what I've stocked up on and have as leftovers. My goal during each previous shopping venture was to pick up bits and pieces of the bulk items I will need for Limestone Gap. There's more than what I expected to be leftover, which is a good thing because now we're ahead on the purchasing. I just need to get to meats, canned vegetables and fruits, bread, dairy, coffee, tang, cookies and a few other basic items. From there I have to package them up in 2' x 1' boxes and label them. Another challenge is that I have to plan out a menu with all this food stuff. Give me whatever and I will make something delicious. That's my challenge over the next 24 hours, I'll probably stay up all night doing it because this is fun and well I don't sleep in this city anyway. I've had my beauty sleep, now let's rock it out for another 3 weeks.

Our water system.

Right now we're getting about 1 gallon per hour per water filter. 4 gallons in 1 hour. I will be the waterboy this time around.

The students are working on their Denali reports.