Days 10 & 11
Friday February 19/Saturday February 20
Rain/Snow...Too dang warm
Weíve decided that, based on the weather forecast, weíll wait out the next two days of the heat wave. Skinning, tidying up the camp, mixing gas, cutting wood, making minor snow machine repairs, and just generally have a good time while dealing with the snow, rain, and thawing conditions.
As we eat our morning meal, we watch the steady drip of water from the roof. This Friday morning has started out the warmest yet, but relief is on the horizon. By Saturday night the lows should get back into the single digits, and the highs should stay in the teens.
Instead of troubling Curly to fly in and taking the wolverine back to his freezer, we decide to try a new product that Ken has brought in. Itís called Stop Rot, and is designed to do just what itís name implies. It is also reported to make fleshing significantly easier. It is a clear liquid that can be brushed onto the hide before fleshing, and used with or without salt. We apply the product as directed to the wolverine, wrap it back up in itís plastic bag, and then sandwich it into a pail of snow. Hopefully this will hold the hide through the warm spell.
After a late night of skinning, Iím down to the previous dayís catch, as well as two marten left from earlier in the week. I know Iím slow at skinning, and granted I am taxidermy skinning everything, as well as trying to do each one perfectly, but I didnít realize that it would be so time consuming. I spend the afternoon and part of Saturday getting completely caught up. So far I have managed to keep the four marten boards Ken has in near constant rotation.
As bad as I hate to admit it, time is no longer on my side. I realize that I have to start looking forward to the date of my departure. It seems like Iíve just gotten here, and at the same time, itís like Iíve been here for months. Ken and I start looking at when would be the best date to begin pulling the lines. Iíve brought Ken a calendar as a present, thinking he may not have one at the cabin, and hoping he could find this one useful. I donít know if heís excited to get rid of me, or if he just wants me to believe he likes his gift, or maybe heís just a really busy guy. Whatever the case he certainly spends an inordinate amount of time studying that calendar.
Ken also apparently really enjoyed the gift that Hupurest had sent along. Iím not sure which I spent more time sharpening, the skinning knives or his crayons.
While gathering water on Friday we pulled the beaver set without having made any connections. I can tell Kenís disappointed, but I tell him itís fine by me. I donít want the OlíBlister upset with me for catching her favorite furbearer. Ken tells me that she really enjoys chipping through the ice in pursuit of these critters. I donít want to be the one responsible for disappointing her! We do manage to slip away from the camp work on Saturday morning, while the snow has a decent crust, to ride over the creek line we had recently set up. We figure we will avoid the section of the Northern line where the canine sets are, even though they may have a significant crust over them, we figure itís best to let them lay undisturbed until we pull that line on Monday. Contributing the lack of animal movement to the weird weather, we check the creek line with no success. The snow has put a nice touch to our sets, hopefully the next time through we will need two sleds to carry back all the fur.
Ken put a fresh moose roast on Thursday. I think the roast was probably ready to eat on Thursday night, but I had to suffer the torment of smelling it cooking until Friday night when Ken pronounced it ready. Moose roast and rice, moose roast and noodles, moose roast poíboys on homemade toasted rolls. I always wanted to kill a moose to put on the wall, now I just want to kill them and eat them.