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NightTrain
03-03-2017, 10:43 PM
We're taking advantage of a great winter and superb ice conditions to haul up more material for the cabin... March truly is my favorite time of year. Blue skies, warm days and awesome snow conditions allowing access almost anywhere you want to go.

Lots cheaper and easier to haul in materials during the winter with snowmachines than using the boats in the Summer.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9754&stc=1

View from inside :

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9755&stc=1

Neighbor's cabin a ways away :

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9756&stc=1


Beer break :

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9757&stc=1

Sockeye Lake :
http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9758&stc=1

Elessar
03-03-2017, 10:51 PM
Ohhhh.....Damn You and your great photos!:laugh:

Kathianne
03-03-2017, 11:09 PM
When you said you were 'riding' a lot, I thought horses. Silly me!

Balu
03-04-2017, 04:07 AM
Great pics, NT! :clap:
Thank you for the pleasure. :slap:

sundaydriver
03-04-2017, 05:57 AM
Great pics as always! Makes me sad though as I see my snow blower gassed & raring to go, but just sitting all winter with only one usage.

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 01:16 PM
Just got back last night from hauling up lumber... man, I'm getting old! I remember doing this back when I was in my Twenties with no repercussions, but I'm mighty sore today.

Riding hard & pulling a heavy load is a full body workout. And this is a hell of a lot more expensive than a gym membership! :laugh:


http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9762&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 01:28 PM
Beer Break halfway up. I'm riding the old black one there with the stitched windshield - this is the oldest one in the fleet, and a perfect freight hauler because it has a steel body instead of the lightweight aluminum of modern snowmachines. If you tried to hook one of the new high-power low-weight snowmachines to a load like this, it would rip the snowmachine in half within a few miles.

This is the machine that I dropped through the ice into 5' of water while she was still running 15 years ago, and it sat overnight with a block full of water in zero degree weather. I was hypothermic with an internal body temp of 91 degrees after diving down underwater to lift it back up to the surface, so the machine was of secondary importance at the time. We pulled it to a heated garage the next morning and let it thaw for a couple of hours while we ate breakfast, squirted some WD-40 down the cylinders, pulled the ripcord to shoot all the water out of the block, added more WD-40, replaced the plugs and she fired right up! Absolutely amazing for that little aluminum engine to take that kind of abuse without consequence. She still purrs like a kitten to this day.

There's 20 sheets of 1/2" sheathing plywood on the freight sled, so a pretty good load for the old Skandic 377.

I have a new windshield on order from Amazon, but in the meantime, a drill and a bunch of tie-wraps hold it together. Ugly, but functional! We laughed about how silly it looks, but we got nods of approval from locals with our field-mod handiwork!

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9763&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 01:32 PM
Successful trip.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9764&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 01:36 PM
And now we have enough to enclose the new 2-story drive-thru shop.

The little Kawasaki 4-wheeler waiting in the shed for warmer months.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9765&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 01:46 PM
I'm pretty proud of that freight sled. We built that 25 years ago and perfected the design over many seasons of trial and error combined with 2,000 pound loads in bad conditions.

The beauty of it is the 4 independent skis and adjustable body. It's 1.25" square steel tubing and it can be adjusted to accommodate almost any kind of load you want in a few seconds. Simply pull the pins and extend the width or length of the sled, put the pins back in and ratchet strap it all down. For this load, I configured the sled for the 4' x 8' sheets of plywood. The maximum width and length is 6' x 12'.

Also, the front skis turn with the snowmachine and pivots under the front of the sled according to how the tongue directs them, so it tracks perfectly in line with the snowmachine. That means that it doesn't slide around corners and follows like it should, resulting in a lot less work for the snowmachine and stress on everything involved. That ability is critical to pulling heavy loads and navigating tight corners.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9766&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 01:49 PM
Alaska Flag and Happy Hour about to commence.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9767&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 01:59 PM
My niece and my buddy's wife trying to remember how to play Yahtzee as the rest of us geared up to go play up on Sockeye Lake up the mountain behind the cabin.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9768&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 02:01 PM
The solar panels I installed last summer doing their job!

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9769&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 02:06 PM
The fleet at rest... we had to dip into my gas stash - those 600s, 700s and 800s really rip through the gas when there's a bunch of snow to play in. The little Skandic, on the other hand, did all the real work and used probably 4 gallons total all weekend. Everyone had a great time though - while getting needed work done - and that's what it's all about.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9770&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 02:08 PM
The trail to Sockeye Lake up the mountain :

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9771&stc=1


Breaking out of the woods on Sockeye Lake :

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9772&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 02:10 PM
Beer freezes in funny ways sometimes... I set this down and this was the result 5 minutes later. Was about 10 below or so.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9773&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 02:11 PM
Couldn't find the lighter fluid to light the BBQ... so a propane torch was recruited.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9774&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 02:17 PM
Loaded up to come home yesterday afternoon :

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9775&stc=1



http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9776&stc=1

Waiting for the rest of the gang to catch up - I pulled both sleds with the Skandic so that they could all go play out in the snow.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9777&stc=1

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 02:20 PM
Loaded up and ready to roll back to Wasilla.

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9778&stc=1

Abbey
03-06-2017, 02:35 PM
Well-earned happy hour!
If you want a second job or a retirement gig, you could make those snow machine trailers. Maybe lots of people could use them?

Black Diamond
03-06-2017, 02:42 PM
I need my big screen again. Looks fun on this baby phone. :)

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 02:48 PM
Well-earned happy hour!
If you want a second job or a retirement gig, you could make those snow machine trailers. Maybe lots of people could use them?

I've thought about that. The real problem with doing something like that is the big skis we used - those are from this :

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9779&stc=1

It's a Ski Doo Alpine, a huge monstrosity that had one big ski and twin tracks underneath. We had one, and it just wasn't a good design - it was a good concept, but it was incredibly heavy, very easy to get stuck, had a weak transmission and because of those twin tracks combined with a single ski, it just didn't turn... and once you went off the trail because you couldn't make the corner and ended up in the deep snow, you were stuck. Then we'd unload the freight sled, unhook the sled from the machine, pull them back up on the trail, hook them back up, reload the freight and lash it all down again... it was a major pain in the ass!

Anyway, Ski Doo quit making those Alpines years ago, so those skis are hard to come by... I'd have to find a good supply of really big skis like that. Oh, and I don't know how to weld... there's that, too! :laugh:

Still, people would definitely buy the freight sleds and there would be a really good market for them up here and in Canada too... I might do something like that down the road. I think I could sell them for $1k a pop as fast as I could produce them.

Balu
03-06-2017, 04:42 PM
Great pics, NT! Thank you!
Some of them look very similar to those of Siberian winter landscapes. :clap::slap:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/sXgRE736LCM/maxresdefault.jpg

http://dom-izba.ru/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/domik_v_sosnovom_lesu_zimoj.jpg

I wonder if there are in Alaska here and there the cabins with with stoves, tables, chairs and beds, with a 3-5 days stock of food and wood enabling to survive and have a rest for hunters and those who were lost like we have in Taiga? The belong to nobody and when leaving, they leave matches, a part of their food hunting trophies and collect some wood what may be vital for other occasional people.

http://geophoto.ru/large/pdkr212014372l.jpg

http://dead-v-life.ru/uploads/posts/2013-02/1359734387_132154803803005485.jpg

https://tvoytrofey.ru/uploads/images/00/34/23/2016/02/03/2fdeff40c1-small1.jpg

In 1971 when I was a student I visited my cosines in Irkutsk in January. Their student company and me we went to taiga. After 4 hours we disaboarded a country train and found ourselves somewhere in the middle of taiga there was nothing around. There was no platform, no ticket office there, only one column with a kilometer sign.
Then we walked for 3 hours through the forest to such a cabin the built a couple years before.
We spent there 5 days and that was a Great experience.

NightTrain
03-06-2017, 07:27 PM
Great pics, NT! Thank you!
Some of them look very similar to those of Siberian winter landscapes. :clap::slap:


I've never been to Siberia, but I understand that the terrain and weather is pretty much identical to Alaska. They're not very far apart across the sea, after all, so that makes sense.



I wonder if there are in Alaska here and there the cabins with with stoves, tables, chairs and beds, with a 3-5 days stock of food and wood enabling to survive and have a rest for hunters and those who were lost like we have in Taiga? The belong to nobody and when leaving, they leave matches, a part of their food hunting trophies and collect some wood what may be vital for other occasional people.

Yes, there are public use cabins all around Alaska, owned by the State. Usually people will coordinate with the State of Alaska if they would like to use one of the cabins for a weekend or whatever, pay a small fee, and they can use them.

We leave our cabin unlocked for anyone in need of shelter, and it has been used before in emergencies - people who broke down on snowmachines in the winter, or boats in the summer. I have about 6 months of food up there right now, I plan on expanding that to at least a year's worth after I get the shop built this summer.


In 1971 when I was a student I visited my cosines in Irkutsk in January. Their student company and me we went to taiga. After 4 hours we disaboarded a country train and found ourselves somewhere in the middle of taiga there was nothing around. There was no platform, no ticket office there, only one column with a kilometer sign.
Then we walked for 3 hours through the forest to such a cabin the built a couple years before.
We spent there 5 days and that was a Great experience.

Nice! It's a lot of fun to go out into the middle of nowhere and explore new areas. We've done stuff like that before for recreation, but usually we're working these days when doing into new areas like that - and I prefer to go recreate at my cabin & work on projects around there on my time off.