Living up here in Alaska, we kind of forget about the traditional family Christmas, where we used to have three generations of family get togethers. Nowadays, we just have a small dinner with a few neighbors. Meant to take a photo, but like most things now, just forgot.
But did get out for a walk earlier today, where it was near twenty below down in the valley, so took this selfie when I got back.
So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or whatever it is you do, just have good one.
Getting out during the solstice, it actually lasts for several days here as the low angle of the sun doesn't really change that quickly, you can see great sunsets...
But the real excitement this week was finding the bridge washed out.
Not a great photo, but what it shows is that the near side river bank collapsed and dropped this side of the bridge about 3-4 ft. So the next project will be trying to jack up the bridge end and then move it to a more stable location. Too much fun. It wouldn't be so bad, but had just replaced the deck and some of the cross pieces a little while back (All decked out...4/25/17).
While we haven't really gotten enough snow to switch over to the sled, the transmission on the 4-wheeler has started getting troublesome to shift and a quick check on the manual shows that to fix most anything there, you pretty much have to pull the engine and split the crank cases. Since that's not likely to happen anytime soon, decided to get the Ski Doo running and break out the sled trail. Now the machine hadn't been touched since last spring, but it usually only takes a little priming to get gas to the carb and it fires right up. Well not this time. So after several hours of futile work, priming, pulling and cleaning the spark plugs, and finally using starting fluid with no result, towed it down to the garage and let it it sit inside overnight. The next day proved to be more of the same, except now I was pretty sure that the emergency stop switch had been hit, shutting off the ignition, so it was way over primed and flooded. So let it sit overnight again, this time with the plugs out figuring with plugs clean and dry, it'd start the next day. Well it didn't, so after a few more fruitless hours, swallowed my pride and called a neighbor who also has an older Skandic. "Did you try new plugs?" he asked. "No, the old ones are fine" I said. "No, I'll bet they're not, that's your problem." After further discussion, he said he thought he had a spare pair, so I went over and borrowed them. And sure enough, it fired right up with the new plugs. Go figure, the old ones fired just fine when they were out of the engine, but apparently not enough spark to fire up the still damp cylinders.
The recalcitrant Ski Doo, sitting pretty down by the wood piles. If it could talk, it'd probably smirk and say "that'll teach you for not giving me a new set of plugs."
November was unusually warm throughout the state for the second month in a row. All recording stations reported monthly mean temperatures well above average. The highest temperature deviations were recorded at stations in the Interior and the Arctic. The average temperature for Fairbanks in November was 11.7° F, which was 9.1° above normal. The highest temperature was 29° on the 26th, while the lowest was -9° on the 16th. November precipitation varied significantly between different locations throughout the state. Coastal areas were generally on the wetter side this month, while stations in the Interior were somewhat drier. While Fairbanks recorded a near normal 0.68" precipitation, Delta Junction, just 90 miles away, was the driest spot in the state, at 11% of normal. Snowfall in Fairbanks was 13" for the month. (Alaska Climate Research Center)
With the (relatively) warm weather, reinstalled the splitter and got the rest of logs bucked up and split. Now have the rear blade back on the tractor again, so am waiting for some snow. It'd be great to park the wheeler and start running dogs with the sled. Until then, just wait and watch the sun sets...