Time has flown once again. A busy winter of northern lights tours has come to an end. While the last snow is melting in Two Rivers, there is still snow piling up on the Herbert Glacier. Much of Alaska has been snow starved during the past season, South East Alaska not being an exception. They did receive above average amounts of precipitation, most of it as rain. How high up was the transition to snow? That was the big question!
A reconnaissance flight provided the answer. There seem to be 2 very distinct snow lines, one at about 2200 feet. Below that is virtually no snow. And one snow line at about 3200 feet, where there is a lot of snow above. Our main camp sits at 3600, and is looking to have more snow than we had last year. That is good news.
Setting up the glacier is a huge undertaking. I have to admit each year it is a daunting task. We decided to build all new doghouses for the dogs, as well as some custom made overnight boxes for the dogs to sleep in, during strong rains, that is for the dogs who do not crowd our tents anyhow. Last year there were 2 beds for dogs and one for myself in the tent. More than once I gave up and sleep on the floor. Patrick and Tim have been building since mid march.
Sleds, doghouses and most of the other dog yard gear are up on the ice. Today is an off day for everybody before going back to the packing game tomorrow. The dogs will be arriving next weekend. I sure have been missing them. It looks like good old Inuk will be my boat dog this summer. He deserves the break, while BoatMike has developed into too nice of a leader and he has to go to work up in camp. Inuk is the last of my old dogs from my 2009 winning Yukon Quest team remaining. Skunk and Finn have just recently retired to the couch at Bonnie's. Erik is taking care of the gang in Two Rivers. My vehicle troubles have been continuing, got some real bad fuel in my trusty old dodge and the Benz's rear axle is acting up still. I wonder what adventures are awaiting when we bring the dogs down. Gut feeling tells me to best leave real early.
It is nice to be back in South East. Orca Burger is swimming and I finally got to spend the night on the boat, sleeping nowhere as good as on the water. In about a week from now, May 4th the Tours begin. We are looking forward to show many people a part of " our unique lifestyle " on the Herbert Glacier. Till then, lot's of work has to be done.