WE MADE IT!!!!!!! Here's everything the Beaver hauled to Shulin Lake, us included!
Our glorious ride that took us from the strip to the dock.
It turns out that 1 full load in the Beaver = 1 full load in a pickup...
Which ALSO = 1 full load on Steve's barge. At first we wondered why he didn't have a boat and had a part of the dock with a motor on it, instead. Then we loaded our gear on and realized this may be a genius way to transport stuff.
Off I go
Getting the barge off the edge.
Oh and I forgot to mention that part of his dock was not floating anymore. Winter had cracked a couple of his pontoon barrels so we were a bit tipped!
Nadine had heard that if you show a little leg you have a better chance of getting a ride. haha The neighbor lady helped us and we were on the last leg of our journey to the Lodge.
The dock, playing with rocks, Steve cooking his $100 fish.
Sometimes you meet a guy and think he's all serious and gruff. Then you get to know him a little and realize he's the sweetest, most loving man. Well, that's Steve. "Nadine, come out here and dance with me. Life's too short not to."
He has a FEW fishing poles!
This is the Shower/Toilet house he built.
The entry latch to the door is the coolest! He had it made by a blacksmith.
The indoor bathroom complete with running water and a hot shower.
This is the COOLEST gas stove I've ever used. Works amazing even if it is an antique.
Steve also had part of this salvaged stove made. He told me he was going to take my matches away when I made a nice big fire and he'd been working up a sweat outside. He walked in to a toasty cabin and lost it! "What, I'd been chilly." "Chilly?!? Are you mad, woman?! It's going to be 100* in here before you know it."
We took the barge out to see the mountain from the other side of the lake. So beautiful.
Give this man the outdoors and he is happy!
We decided to fly to Talkeetna for breakfast the next day. It was GORGEOUS out and super clear. Look at these mountains!
Mainly, Steve needed to get a new keg for his porch!
This town is picture perfect
We got coffee here and it was delicious!
The neighbors transportation to and from their cabin.
Eric and Steve tackled the project of building a door for the new guest cabin. It couldn't look TOO new so they beat it up to make it rustic.
Steve hooked up his keg in his keg-er-ater. This was a new word for me. Basically he turned a mini fridge into a keg dispenser. Worked like a charm.
Moose tracks in the woods.
We went down to the river to see if there were any fish yet
On the way home we checked out the Shulin View.
It was stunning! You could even see Mt. Squattape
This man has Alaska in his blood.
Home again, home again.
The beds have mosquito nets THANKFULLY and he hung them with lures.
Another one of Steve's yummy breakfasts.
The hatch door on the far left is one of the items Steve brought back from hiking into the PBY. It has 8 working latch pins. Very cool.
I noticed that they didn't have a sign anywhere that said Bent Prop Lodge. This prop is hanging where you walk up from the dock and I decided to make one. I had the guys cute me a board this size from some of their sawed lumber and went rock hunting. I think it turned out pretty cool.
Have you ever seen one of these?! I hadn't. It's a truck used to put float planes in and out of the water. They sure do look funny!!!
Flying back to Anchorage
We needed to drop Nadine off in Anchorage for her to fly home and Eric and I had decided to spend a few days visiting some friends. We ate at the famous Humpy's alehouse, downtown. It was as good as dad's always said it was. So glad we got to go there. We said goodbye to Nadine at the airport and Steve headed back out to Shulin. We headed to Mike & Sue Ross's.
We went to an AMAZING Italian restaurant and had an incredible pizza. Of course Mike was being Mike!
We also got to have dinner with Becca Cressell & Myrna Donell! It was so good to be back with 2 of my favorite ladies, again!
We knew we wanted to spend more time at the Lodge so Mike was nice enough to fly us back out there before heading back to work. At the airport we got to see this cat take off. One of my favorites!
When we got to Shulin I had convinced both guys that I just HAD to get Aerial photos of the Beaver. Mike was my pilot and Eric climbed in with Steve.
Here are just a few of the ones I got.
We were in a HARD bank turn and I noticed my shadow on the wing!
Eric and Mike with Mike's Maul.
Off he goes!
It wasn't long after we had some fun that we were back to work.
Time to fix that sinking dock/barge
Fire and Axe Throwing. Never done it before but we all managed to stick it at least once.
Steve busted out his harmonica which made the front porch sitting even better!
We decided to go and fish, again. Both guys held down the rocks for awhile while I read a book.
The next morning Steve whisper yelled at me to come quick. I threw on clothes and ran to the window, grabbing my camera on the way. I barely had time to snap these of a mama and her baby in the yard. It was so amazing to see.
Want to know what is NOT amazing about Alaska? THE MOSQUITOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They're practically hummingbirds. I'm lucky b/c they don't really bite me very often. However, their buzzing can make you go crazy! I made a makeshift mosquito cover to keep the buzzing a bit further away. Muffled, if you will!
Working on finishing up another project for Steve.
The short slats between the ceiling and the window timber needed to be filled in. Eric did a great job!
Steve had to run to town so we got a pretty amazing fly-by
Okay, so I already know you're going to say NO to this question but for the sake of being fair I'm going to ask anyway. Ever heard of putting chocolate sauce on salad, as dressing? No? Well, neither had I. Steve had been talking this up the entire time we had been there. He said it makes salad edible. He told me I HAD to try it at least once. Well, it was edible. Basically it just tasted like crunchy chocolate sauce. Not something I was repulsed by but also not something I'd do again, intentionally. Steve has some funny ideas! I think that's why I like him.
He also says he serves the coldest beer in Alaska. It's pretty much a slushy. He even goes and gets ice from glaciers and stores it for mixed drinks but he has to be on floats for that. Maybe next time we can go harvest glacier ice with him.
Oh, you know, just the neighbor coming home after a long day.
Loons on the lake.
On our last night Steve took us on a cruise of the whole lake. We piled lawn chairs and blankets onto the barge/dock and headed to pick up the neighbors, who joined us. It was a slow, relaxing and fun way to end our visit. He convinced me to climb up on this steep/high little island at the end of the lake and this is the view from the top. It was worth it...only because somehow my camera didn't end up in the lake!
A gorgeous ending to a gorgeous day.
Our happy captain
Saying goodbye to Lisa and Kyle.
The morning before I left the newest cabin was ready for pics so I took some.
Eric and Steve built 2 tables that morning. This is 1 of them!
The 2nd story of the cabin.
Our fearless leader. This guy is a kick in the pants. I'd call him my bff but he'd look at me funny and tell me he already has a best friend. Thanks but no thanks!
Steve flew us back to Anchorage on Saturday. I was NOT ready to say goodbye to him OR the Beav!
I noticed our spinner was a bit dirtier than my previous photos! Proof of a good trip!
They told me it was time to go.....
I REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We said our goodbyes to the Beav, spent the night in town and then Steve dropped us off Sunday morning. We had meeting in Anchorage and then headed home.
All in all it really was the TRIP OF A LIFETIME. I haven't laughed or worked so much in 2 weeks in all my life. We didn't know Steve and Nadine all that well when we left out of here but I feel like spending 2 weeks together on an adventure made us all close. If you know how someone takes their coffee, what time they wake up in the morning, what dressing they like on their salad and they let you sleep in the same room as them, well, that makes you practically family! These are memories I will hold close in my heart, forever. Thank you SO much for letting us tag along on this adventure.
ps. Consider us 2 VERY willing passengers the next time you find yourself with 2 empty seats. (Or even 1. Eric doesn't have to know)
pps. If you want to go to this lodge and hang out with Steve on an adventure go to https://bentproplodge.com and tell Steve I sent you!