Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hiking the ghost of forest past

Today we were invited along with Allan, a local Pt. McNeill resident and retired logger. He wanted to show us his trails he'd been working on for locals and dog-walkers from the harbor.
They were rough-cut out of second-growth and through an occasional clearcut, and we'd have gotten completely lost without Al as our guide. Note Chance keeping an eye on the cookie pocket.

Chance loves posing with deadly Amanita mushrooms. "First you see stuff - and then you die", they say.
Al's two Rat terriers "Rascal and Cricket", were a lot of fun to try to photograph and kept Chance in line.

Not having claws on their paws, the old loggers used an interesting approach to gaining traction on slippery log bridges. This "z"-shaped cast iron wire was stapled down to give trucks some bite.
We loved the walk - about 3 miles total was all but it felt like 5 with all the twists and turns. Thanks Al. We really enjoyed the guided tour. Blain mapped them with his Garmin - just to stay in practice... Maybe one day the town will embrace these walking trails as a facility that improves quality of life. Right now they are too afraid of the goblin of "liability" to consider even putting them on a map.

Last night was gorgeous and calm, so I took the camera out and about.

I like the composition of this shot - and the TV in the fishing boat's window.
Oystercatcher's ready to go - if we could just figure out the hydraulic steering, she'd be ready to take us out again.

On another hike - Marble River - we enjoyed the big trees. The really big ones were all hollow - evidently burned after hurricane-force winds blew through and created deadfall that eventually caught fire and burned. I'd bet Canadians can't get natural disaster insurance policies on their houses in this area.

Looking straight up the charred remnant of a massive cedar.
At the end of the trail a big black bear was fishing for salmon in the river. A perfect hike and highly recommended.

Trying to escape Pt McNeill's evil grasp

Skype ROCKS! These are screen grabs from Skype sessions.
We got to call Peter and Laura, and Chris and Rita. Anchorage and Wash DC, respectively. They were cool and have webcams. Sooo 2006, but we're jealous. Our contact name is blain.n.monique.anderson. Get Skype and look us up.
Then on to the news.

We've been fixing and upgrading boat stuff for a week in Pt. McNeill. Soon after, a major storm blew in and had us stuck. The inital repairs were good: new propane sensor, voltmeter, three new batteries, oil and transmission fluid change, etc.
And then we got to the steering system.
An aged hydraulic system that's starting to be leaky. We bled the lines and added a gallon of fluid. The process is a real exercize in patting your head and rubbing your stomach, except we have to coordinate it in separate parts of the boat.

This is where the inside steering unit is. Having three of these on the boat is not all that wonderful. But we wanted the inside steering. We thought.

We felt we had it filled and all was good, but we took off on a shakedown cruise and turned back. The steering was all over the place and we weren't going to get anywhere. So we tried to bleed the system again yesterday with no luck. Today (I'm writing this at 4:30am) we'll try again. Mo has let me know she's about had it with boat repairs for a while, so it had better work.

More later