Nadia was awed by the sights

plane wing and view of glacier

Nadia’s first small plane ride. She was scared, excited, and in absolute awe all at the same time. ~Photo courtesy of Lee Austin

Tuesday, June 29, 1982—up early and went to Dan’s to move a fuel tank. That was a heck of a job too, but we got it moved to a new position. The women helped, just like we did.

Nadia called from Seattle. She’s coming up to see us. Dan flew Patti, Sylvia and I to Fire Lake at Birchwood to meet Nadia. She came in on the plane and a lady (Billman’s relation) picked her up and drove her to Fire Lake to Dan’s plane. After Nadia got here, Dan took off with the plane. He wanted to show Nadia things on the way. It’s over a 130 miles of flying from Fire Lake. He showed us moose, swans and salmon, the trap cabin, and Old Boot Lake. He would have flown us up the Nelchina Glacier, but as he rounded the corner to go there, he met winds that he did not want to fly in. As a smart pilot, he did not go there. We then went for pizza and had Dan and Patti with us.

Wednesday, June 30, 1982—went to Dan and Patti’s and loaded the stand for a gas barrel and moved it from their old place. This was a 500-gallon one. We moved it down to their new property and put the tank up on this stand. Then we went to KROA and then the Ranch House and had supper. We came home early. Really a nice evening, we sure enjoy having Nadia here.

Thursday, July 1, 1982—slept late and then loaded the dredge, went to Cache Creek and I showed Nadia how the dredge is set up and worked and how to pan gold with it. We ran the dredge but didn’t get much gold at all. Then we went to Ken and Jackie’s for supper and to see how the pump repair was coming along. It’s a real nice day and Nadia had a good time—and we with her.

Friday, July 2, 1982—up early and took Nadia to Anchorage for the plane. Sure wasn’t much traffic on the streets of Anchorage at 3:00 a.m. Did lots of research for prospecting at Coghill while in town that day. Got some parts, gas and grub, got home at 8:30 p.m. and went to Dan’s and called Ken about the Cat pump repair.

Fish wheel at Copper Center

a red fish

Red (sockeye) salmon

Saturday, June 12, 1982—rested most of the day. Sylvia helped with a spaghetti party to raise money for the Glennallen hospital. Bob Schmidt asked me to go to Chet’s fish wheel tonight. Bob and he are good friends and Bob likes to get salmon out of the fish wheel. Good of him to invite us along.

Sunday, June 13, 1982—left for the fish wheel. We stayed in a cabin there and went around the town of Copper Center. Bob got permission to use another fish wheel from a fella he knew. About 1:00 a.m., we got about 200 red salmon, all first class fish. One of the salmon was a king salmon. It was one of the first fish we got. All the way home from there, we gave lots of fish to all the neighbors. We offered them all they might want. Then Bob and Sylvia and I shared what was left. We got our share all cleaned and were sure tired that next evening. But it had been a very good day—the small mosquitoes were out today.

Monday, June 14, 1982—Sylvia canned salmon. She really is good at that, and likes to put up meat and food. I went to Dan’s for a while.

Wednesday, June 16, 1982—got a fairly late start, but got seven loads of gravel loaded and hauled to Dan’s. Fairly heavy rain. Went to see Hoffmans for a while.

Thursday, June 17, 1982—got up early to a light rain. Loaded and hauled gravel for Dan all day. Prospected in the evening. Found some very interesting gold in Cache Creek. Saw a moose swim across Snowshoe Lake.

Friday, June 18, 1982—it’s raining, but we prospected anyhow. We got farther up Cache Creek and found more gold. Tom came for his dog that had been staying with us.

Saturday, June 19, 1982—got up early, then cleaned the cabin and made more bookcases. Rodney Borders called with farm business. Andy Boyle called about a commercial fishing ad.

Sunday, June 20, 1982—got some things ready to prospect Cache Creek. Dennis, Sally and son Chris visited. Dennis and Bob Schmidt and I celebrated father’s day at KROA.

Monday, June 21, 1982—Dan and Patti Billman, Sylvia and I staked four 40 acre claims on Cache Creek—really tired tonight. We had a good fish supper.

Prospecting at Coghill and bear at Coswell

Outline of the state of AlaskaMonday, June 7, 1982—go like hell getting the rest of the gear ready to go to Coghill Lake. Windy here. Watching the weather, hope it will let us get there. Dan with his 185 Cessna will fly his brother Denny and me to prospect in the Coghill River and Lake Area.

Tuesday, June 8, 1982—up early, left Snowshoe Lake late, got to Coghill Lake and made camp. It rained with some fog. It was a great trip over the glaciers to Prince William Sound. We saw five black bears near where we camped, one was a monster! When we landed the plane there, we found a rubber raft that a bear had bit and put holes in it, leaked the air all out. We saw lots of ducks and swans and lots of beavers. We prospected most of the night. It got real late.

Wednesday, June 9, 1982—we prospected several creeks and got a small amount of gold. It will take a more expensive effort to see if this is worthwhile. We saw another black bear from the air. It’s still raining. The first night, Dan tied the plane up along the shore. He slept in the plane and Denny and I each had tarps. We crawled in our sleeping bags and wrapped up in our tarps. These were really tall trees and it was rainy. In the morning we discovered that where Denny had chosen to sleep, the darned water had run in underneath his tarp and he and everything in there was wet. Dan tried to start a fire but we couldn’t get the wood to burn—it was all too wet. Dan would drain off AV gas and we’d try to pour that on the wood to get it to burn, but it just wouldn’t burn. After a few failures like this, we got in the plane and flew over to near Coswell Lake and we got ourselves in to a forester cabin over there. There was dry wood and we got a fire going and got dry. Then we went out and got more wood and brought it is so it would dry out overnight from the heat from the stove. Denny, he chose to sleep up in the loft. This cabin was an A-frame and there were bunks on each side of the a-frame against the outside of the roof.

Thursday, June 10, 1982—I woke up looking a big black bear square in the eyes at two feet with the window between us. He was reared up with paws on the window and was looking at me. When I saw him, I yelled, “Bear! Get the hell outta here!” Dan, he heard that and he happened to be faced towards the side of the A-frame. He rose up so quickly, he hit his head on the A-frame. Then he had to flop around in the bunk and in the sleeping bag to get rolled over so he could see something. His brother Denny, up in the loft, slammed the door shut and stood on it so the bear wouldn’t get up there at him. (These two guys were thinking the bear was in the cabin.) But when they looked around, they saw there was no bear inside. We got all dressed and went out and we could see where the bears claws had gripped the edge of the porch (this is an overhanging lip over the porch) and the bear made a leap off of the porch and it was about 3.5 feet to the ground—he landed on all four feet, 18 feet—six big steps from the porch. You could see where he went running out through the grass and brush and stuff.

So we had breakfast and then Denny and I took guns and went out looking for the bear. A bear that time of year would make awfully good eating. We walked around and we saw paths that the bear had made walking through the grass and stuff. It was trying to rain all the time, but it was easy to track him. But we couldn’t get up to him. Finally later in the day we decided we would go to Whittier and out over Portage Pass in Anchorage. Dan is a pilot and he knows the ways and just how and where to go safely.

Marking land at Old Boot and Satiety Lakes

whale blubber and skin, looks like sushi

The Dimmicks served us a traditional Inuit/Eskimo meal

Saturday, January 23, 1982—messed around here, read and had a great night’s sleep. The Northern Lights were fantastic—sort of yellow and looked like a gently curving river flowing in the sky.

Sunday, January 24, 1982—split wood, visited Blake and Jackie. Paid them for feeding and caring for the dogs while we were in Minnesota. They gave us two moose t-bone steaks. Boy, were they good.

Monday, January 25, 1982—went to Tazlina for a few hours and came home at 7:00 p.m. It was -41°.

Monday, February 1, 1982—my birthday, Sylvia fixed a good dinner. I don’t feel good today. Worked on a large knife scabbard for James. He’s building a very large knife and I’m making a scabbard for it. It was cloudy and warmer today.

Wednesday, March 31, 1982—loaded some gear and went to Darrel’s and loaded the snow machine sled. Darrel and I went to Old Boot Lake and fixed up our camp there, looked over our staking problems and spent the evening reading regulations and making decisions and plans. It’s been a real nice day, a little windy here. A small herd of caribou was near our camp as we drove up.

Thursday, April 1, 1982—another nice day, very windy. Saw four caribou and ptarmigan while we were making Darrel’s back property line. We got lots of measuring done today.

Friday, April 2, 1982—we’ve been working the last few days trying to get the land we’re claiming on Old Boot Lake lined out. It’s 40 acres and I have to cut trail around it ¼ mile by ¼ mile, by ¼ mile and we’re having a lot of trouble with the back lines to get through the brush and keep it straight. I snowmobiled out to feed Darrel’s dogs and came home for a few things we need. Nice day, but it was cold.

Saturday, April 3, 1982—it’s a very nice day up early, went to Dimmick’s they were not home. Went to Darrel’s and we all went to Old Boot Lake. We got a lot of work done this afternoon.

Sunday, April 4, 1982—we worked on the property lines at Old Boot and Satiety Lake. Got the corner posts and lines in on my 40 acres. Saw a spruce hen. Some really nice trees here. I had a burbot set out, but didn’t catch one. Came out to the road in the evening.

Tuesday, April 6, 1982—visited Henry, called land office and went to Dimmick’s. We ate muktuk, a traditional Inuit/Eskimo meal of frozen whale skin and whale blubber, dried seal, fish and seal oil, then visited Dan and Patti Billman. It was a warm day.

Sunday, April 11, 1982—up early, drove the snowgo to my trapping cabin, got things all done there then went to Old Boot Lake and took pictures of the corner posts. Cut up some trees at a ditch on the seismic trail near the fifth line on Old Boot Lake that Henry stakes. Saw moose caribou, bear, fox, martin, tracks. Parked the truck up to Jay’s place and got to see him and his wife at mile 16 on the Lake Louise Road. Visited Max and Irene Hoffman and did a lot of odd chores around here it was a pretty nice day.

Monday, April 12, 1982 through Tuesday, May 4, 1982—No entries. (This is unusual because Norman always writes in his journal, even if it is about mundane things.)

Wednesday, May 5, 1982—went into Old Boot Lake and painted Henry’s stakes. Saw moose caribou, bear, fox, and marten tracks. Visited Jay and his wife at mile 16 on the Lake Louise Road.

Thursday, May 6, 1982—took canoe behind Ski-Doo into Old Boot Lake. Trail is soft. Darrel went with us to Glennallen. Stopped to visit Dennis and Sally at Tolsona Lake.

Going outside, driving the Alaska Highway in winter

snowy road

Icy, snowy conditions along the Alaska Highway

Thursday, December 17, 1981—finished fixing the truck, shopped and went to Nelchina, unloaded supplies, then to Tazlina and unloaded more. Lost a hundred pound propane tank. Stopped to ask Blake to feed the dogs and pack for the trip to Minnesota. Friday, December 18, 1981—picked Darrel up and started out at 12:30 a.m. Arrived at Hanes Junction late in the morning. Whitehorse, we had supper, Watson Lake, we got there at midnight. The roads are snow covered and ice under the snow.

Saturday, December 19, 1981—we arrived at Dawson Creek at 6:30 p.m. and ate supper. The roads are very bad. Darrel took turns driving my pickup. Sylvia sits in between us. It’s not comfortable sitting in the middle, this truck has a gear shift, it’s not automatic—but she’s not complaining.

Sunday, December 20, 1981—at 6:00 a.m. in Edmonton, the roads are very bad and it’s blowing snow. It’s tiring to drive.

Monday, December 21, 1981—we got to Saskatoon at noon. The roads are still bad and blowing snow. We kept on going and ate supper in Winnipeg.

Tuesday, December 22, 1981—Arrived in Fargo at 5:00 a.m., dropped Daryl off at the bus station where he met a friend to drive him to South Dakota. We went on to Motley and then to Cushing and stopped at the real estate agent, then to Little Falls to sign the sale papers for the west 80, then to Minneapolis to Darrell and Nadia’s. The kids came over to visit us. I slept a lot, trying to catch up.

Thursday, December 24, 1981—here at Nadia’s, lots of visitors. Visited Kevin’s relatives in the evening.

Friday, December 25, 1981—nice Christmas day with the kids and friends.

Saturday, December 26, 1981—it was snowing, we went out shopping and then we went out again for supper.

Sunday, December 27, 1981—went over to Beverly’s for supper and a movie.

Monday, December 28, 1981—went to the farm and visited some people and got some things that we had in storage over at the chicken house on the east farm. Got back to Nadia’s late.

Tuesday, December 29, 1981—did some shopping and visited Beverly, Kevin and Vanessa.

Wednesday, December 30, 1981—we did more shopping and played with Vanessa and it’s snowing and warm. We have plans to go to Theresa’s for supper this evening. Had Minnesota venison for supper and a good time.

Thursday, December 31, 1981—had goose for dinner and a nice visit all day. Went to Paul and Ruth’s in the evening.

Friday, January 1, 1982—visited with Paul, Ruth and Steve all day and had a good time.

Saturday, January 2, 1982—went to Nadia’s. Darrell helped me get loaded and ready for the trip back to Alaska. We left there and went to the farm, and then from the farm, we drove to Fargo, North Dakota. The roads were snowy and icy. We got there at 9:30 p.m. and waited for Darrel to arrive. Soon, Darrel, Larry and Doug arrived at 12:30 a.m. We all visited for a while and then we left for Alaska.

Sunday, January 3, 1982—still traveling. Roads are better though, but it’s cold. It was -40° . More of the same, shopped in Fort Nelson—more cold.

Monday, January 4, 1982—when I we got to Watson Lake today, it was -56°. No one was shutting off their vehicles if they expected to drive them. Our truck is stiff, mechanically. For instance, the brake and the clutch feel strange when you use them. The doors on the truck have shrunk up and they rattle. The cold air blows in; the heater barely keeps it so we can stay in it.

Tuesday, January 5, 1982—blowing snow and icy roads and very cold. We had a detour from Jake’s, Corner to Carcross and then to White Horse. We did a little shopping and then had ice fog and snow and high winds and more cold all the way to the border. A distance before the border, in the night, Darrel was driving and I saw vehicle tracks that appeared to me that they went over in the other lane of the highway and gone off into the ditch. So I asked Darrel to turn around and go back so we could look to see if there was somebody in the ditch. We got back to this place and I got out and walked around and I had a flashlight. I could see where this vehicle had left its lane and left the highway, over the end of a culvert and into the ditch, over on its top and gear and cans of fuel and lots of stuff was lying around in the snow. The vehicle was destroyed; it’s a brand new Ford ¾ ton pickup. I walked the perimeter looking for tracks of anyone who might have been stunned and walked or maybe wandered out on the snow and brush—I found no tracks out there. We hadn’t seen a vehicle in hours. Those folks must have been really lucky that someone came along and picked them up—of course we’ll never know what happened to them.

Wednesday, January 6, 1982—we arrived home about 7:00 a.m. and rested all day. The temperatures here at home are running -40° to -55°.

Thursday, January 7, 1982—got up late and it’s still -55°.

Friday, January 8, 1982—unloaded part of the pickup, visited Jackie—Blake wasn’t home. Had supper with Bob and Margaret Schmidt.

Saturday, January 9, 1982—went to Glennallen grocery shopping. Mike P. and Ken K. stopped in and brought Judy back and told us of a dead moose along the highway east of us. We called it in to fish and game and they came out and looked at it and said I could have it for dog food. Henry pulled it home with his wrecker. That really worked well. He could winch it out to the road, and pulled it right down the highway into the lodge parking lot. When I butchered this moose, I found it was pregnant.

Monday, January 11, 1982—put a handle in an ax and visited with Sam.

Tuesday, January 12, 1982—cut quarters off moose with an ax. Dan Billman stopped by and we had a visit.

Wednesday, January 13, 1982—pulled two quarters of the moose to a place where I would be cooking it for the dogs. Lee Dudley and Darrel G. came to the lodge and we played cards and dice games and visited. We have a game called Ship Captain & Crew….We all like to play that.

Claiming land and Norman walks 3 hours in the dark to cabin

Iron traps

Common traps

Sunday, November 29, 1981—we flew into Old Boot Lake and got camp set up. We’re planning on staking and claiming some land in what the state has called Green Acres.

Friday, December 4, 1981—I got up early, had breakfast and gathered supplies, went to Tazlina and went to John’s place. Loaded the snowmobile and drove the machine back to Eleven-Mile Trail and then went 4 miles to the upper lake above Old Boot Lake. We have a tent camp there on Old Boot Lake. The snow was really deep and when I would come down the hills the snow would flow about six feet ahead of the machine. I’m going downhill that way and it flows out and along the sides. My heart in my throat, I’m hoping that I don’t get stuck. When I get there, Daryl and his dog, Rufus are doing okay. He had been flown in to the cabin site with this tent that is a military—army tent. It’s designed for winter camping.

Saturday, December 5, 1981—the days are really short, so we got what we would call a late start and it’s really cold. We got some compass bearings and paced off some land and shoreline. We did see over a hundred caribou yesterday, their tracks are all over. Saw two moose cows with calves and two fox track. When we get up on the higher places of these properties, there are some nice views.

Sunday, December 6, 1981—it was a nice day, but pretty cold. Cut firewood. We’ve got 720 feet of land boundary measured. We’ve got a hundred foot steel tape that we used. Then we took some time and looked at building sites. Building sites must be a hundred feet set back from the shoreline of the lake. Saw a few rabbit tracks and a place where ptarmigan or a spruce hen had dived in the snow to sleep—it’s pretty warm under the snow. We sure liked the nice views from around here. Darrel isn’t feeling very well.

Monday, December 7, 1981—I’m sick and what we picked up, we don’t know, but I snowmobile out—woke up sick in the night, didn’t get much sleep. Both the carburetor and steering froze up on the snow machine. Finally got it going. I had a big heavy screwdriver on the snow machine and a hatchet and I would hammer on that screwdriver handle and chip the ice out so I could get the steering so it would move. I got to Jan’s about noon. Then went home and later went to the land office in Glennallen, and then shopped for groceries. After that I went to Mike’s with a message from Henry.

Tuesday, December 8, 1981—I’m still sick.

Wednesday, December 9, 1981—I slept late. It’s a nice warm day but I don’t feel good this morning. I decide to go back in and I’m pulling the sled. Broke more trails and set six traps. Got a red fox thawed out, skinned and stretched him. He had two porcupine quills in him—so they meet porcupines and get a quill once in a while. Got things ready for the trip out, saw two moose, had a camp robber and a rabbit in the traps. An owl ate the rabbit. I made one fox set, caribou had been moving around.

Thursday, December 10, 1981—we do some more measuring on Old Boot and also across the middle lake and land dividing it from Upper Lake and another part of that lake. This is the area that Darrel has chosen. We’re expecting a plane so we snowmobiled an airstrip on the lake. Made four, square posts with the chain saw to mark our post corners with.

Friday, December 11, 1981—chipped the ice out of the steering on the snowmobile again this morning. Took two stakes with us to Darrel’s 40. Rufus has died. He had some kind of kidney problem and Darrel wanted Rufus over on his 40. We put in the stakes and chopped two lines and flagged them. Then we went to my 40 acres and staked and flagged one line and measured my lakeshore. It was getting close to dark so we get in stove wood for the night.

Saturday, December 12, 1981—we looked at what would make a building site and evaluated the lines of the sides of the 40 and then packed up to leave. Chris came in on our landing strip to fly Darrel out just before dark. I went out with the snowmobile pulling an empty sled. Then we celebrated at Nelchina.

Monday, December 14, 1981—we unpacked the Green Acres gear and packed to go out to the traplines.

Tuesday, December 15, 1981—I had a tough time getting in to the cabin. The trail was not good all the way to Blue Lake. I lost the trail entirely— deep snow. I knew where Blue Lake was and I was trying to get there and I came up over a small ridge. Just as I got to the top, there was no place to go but a bunch of alders. I got stuck in them and then the darned Ski-Doo wouldn’t start. I tried to cut some of the alders out from under the machine so I could get going but the machine just would NOT start. There was nothing to do. It was right at dark, so I started walking towards the cabin. It’s probably two miles to the cabin from where I’m stuck. The bunny boots sure got heavy! Soon it’s dark, but there were stars shining. They gave enough light so I could follow the trail—especially when you know it. When I get here, the cabin is in fine shape. I had wood split and ready to build fire. I get a fire going. It’s been dark for some time, walking on the trail. I got here three hours after dark. Saw a caribou, moose cow and a calf and three ptarmigans today.

Wednesday, December 16, 1981—I got up early, had breakfast, walked back to the snowmobile and got it un-stuck and off of the brush. It started then and I went back to the cabin and ran some of the trapline. Got a nice marten. Then I got lost from the trail and came out by the highway by way of Old Man Lake.

Sylvia returns, Norman insulates the remote cabin

a pile of firewood

Plenty of firewood

Sunday, November 1, 1981—Sylvia called. It’s been a while since we talked over the phone.

Monday, November 2, 1981—Sylvia called to give me her plane arrival time.

Tuesday, November 3, 1981—went to Anchorage to pick up Sylvia. James went along and Jeff stopped at the lodge to visit.

Wednesday, November 4, 1981—we got some shopping done before we went out to Nelchina. The road was slippery all the way home.

Friday, November 6, 1981—cut up stove wood, built two dog houses, Rusty and I took the pickup to the wood lot and got one load. It’s a nice day this morning, -5°.

Saturday, November 7, 1981—cut and hauled a load of wood, split and stacked it, some other chores too. Of course, I’ve got the dogs to take care of every day. Went to Tolsona Lodge for the Polack party. They Monday,

November 16, 1981—it was -25°. Got up early and loaded the gear and the snowmobile on the truck and drove to the Eleven-Mile Trail on the Lake Louise Road. Jackie and Ken came twice and Jackie drove their truck back to her home.

We unloaded my truck and trailer at Jan’s on Lake Louise Road. Ken and I then drove the snow machines and sleds to the end of the seismic trail, which was about six miles. Then we broke out our own trail to my cabin. We hung up a few times, especially on one steep hill. It was a heck of a time to get up to the top of that. It was getting towards dark and I felt the pressure of finding the cabin. I go in the general direction that I think the cabin is. Ken was breaking trail for me and I was pulling a real heavy load on my sled behind the machine. We broke out into a more open place and I recognized it and knew exactly where the cabin was. I tried to holler at Ken to catch his attention. He got to be about a hundred yards away from me before he stopped and I waved him over and pointed towards where the cabin would be and he started breaking trail in that direction. We got there just as it was getting dark.

Sure glad to have plenty of wood split an the cabin up. We were so grateful to have hot water to make coffee, get warm and I had Chili to thaw out so we could have something to eat. We were very hungry. We ate the first batch of chili. I could tell Ken was really hungry yet and I could use some more. The next package of chili filled us up. He thought it was a really nice cabin. The evening temperature was running -12° to -15°. Did a few things in the cabin and built a trap carrier for the snow machine. Today was a pretty day and it also had kind of a rainbow in the sky. Very unusual.

Tuesday, November 17, 1981—it was -10°. After breakfast, we got ready and I went with Ken halfway to the end of the seismic trail to make sure he got headed out on the trail with no problems. We said our good-byes and he went out to the road. His wife was to pick him up and take him home. I headed back to the cabin. When I got to the upper end of Blue Lake, I set two marten traps and I got a ptarmigan for supper.

Wednesday, November 18, 1981—Rested all day.

Thursday, November 19, 1981—it was -18° when I woke up and it was cloudy with some ice fog. I found I was really stiff and sore today. I got a slow start. I got out on the trapline and made an otter set and some fox and marten sets south and west of Blue Lake. Saw a few ptarmigan tracks and rabbit tracks but no spruce hens. Nothing much near here, only moose and caribou tracks and some marten and fox. Went hunting for bait, didn’t get anything. Ice fog setting in this evening and it’s -15° tonight. I could see the seismic trail from a high hill west of Blue Lake. I must tell Ken that would make a landmark to follow. Not enough snow for good snowmobiling, it’s really rough.

Friday, November 20, 1981—it was -20°. Slept late, need the rest. Lots of frost in the snowmobile gas, I suppose because of the foggy nights. Broke another trap trail to the north, then east, then south, then back home. Set four marten and otter. No fox bait with me. Saw fox and marten tracks and some caribou, otter and moose. Saw a beautiful small lake today. It was really nice out there. It’s -15° at dark. Fixed supper, read and rested. The Coleman lantern lights the cabin in the evening and I cook on the airtight stove. (A type of wood burning stove.) It’s a medium sized airtight. It’s a really nice stove for a remote cabin like this. I’ve got a big firewood pile that I put up last spring just before snow left. I’ll do that again this coming spring so that I’ll have dry wood to use through the winter.

Saturday, November 21, 1981—it got warmer. I made a short trail. There are no fresh tracks of any kind, so I put up insulation in the ceiling of the cabin. It only took 2 ½ hours, but it sure made a difference in the wood it takes to keep the cabin warm. I sharpened my knives here at the cabin too. It’s -10° this evening.

Sunday, November 22, 1981—it was -10° in the morning and 0° at noon. Very bright and sunny, no wind. Measured the ice on the cabin lake. It’s 13 inches with 4 inches of snow on top. I made two sets on the ridge back of the cabin. No new game or fur tracks anywhere. It was really nice all day, but it looks like snow clouds 20-30 miles to the north by east, I can see some really nice peaks from in the higher ridges. This country right through here has little high places. When you get up on them, it’s about 2700 elevation and often times, you get a real nice view. It helps keep track of where you are in the country too, once you learn what it looks like. The cabin stays lots warmer now and heats with less wood since I insulated the ceiling. It’s -10° this evening.

Monday, November 23, 1981—it’s 5° above zero with a light dust of snow falling overnight. It was 8° at noon. I ran both lines today—no fur. Did see a cow and calf moose though. It seems to be much warmer. There is a lot of overflow and water that comes up through the ice and soaks the snow. Plan to go out to the road tomorrow.