Feb 1, 2012 Baranof

34° RAIN, 33° RAIN & SNOW   2” SNOW

According to the weather log (which we continued after John’s departure), the January snowfall totaled a whopping eighty-nine inches, roughly seven and a half feet!  And it keeps coming!  The overcast, rainy day made for an icy mess.  The general store’s roof was the first to shed and create a massive snow pile.  The force of the snow drop had racked one of the boardwalk railings, but we were able to jostle it back in place. Word came over the VHF radio that the plane was planning to arrive after nearly two weeks delay.  Tired of wondering and talking about whether it would ever come or not, we had pushed it to the back of our minds. Even when we heard the plane overhead en route to Angoon, we failed to believe it would actually touch down here, but hoped it would.  The arrival of a bush plane is always an exciting event, even more thrilling when the plane bears gifts. All were awaiting fresh food and our friends in the bay were expecting Christmas presents.  Suddenly, the plane kissed the treetops over camp, flew right on by us and headed for the lodge. This last part was a bit anti-climatic.  Apparently the pilot didn’t see fit to arrive at our float plane dock even though we had taken such care to clear it for him every day for the last two weeks, in case he should come! We later found out that the airline had decided to land at the lodge dock for the rest of the winter.  Whether this was based on previously icy conditions in the bay (which they’d seen from overhead in past weeks) or the poor condition of our dock, we did not know.

Dave & Anke wrapped up a skiff-load of boxes in a tarp and motored over to our dock in the pouring rain. They helped us to move the boxes onto dollies and we hurriedly moved about camp to avoid soaking them. Pete & I wondered what condition our nearly three week old food would be in.  After delivering Christine’s boxes to her hydro shed, we headed up to the cabin to tear into our boxes.  For nearly $100 worth of goods, there was little to show.  We had paid inflated prices to begin with and the tardy delivery had cost us money in produce gone bad. Among the produce, there was limp, yellowing kale, a few rotting limes and lemons and partially salvageable parsley.  The spinach was a real winner, still looking quite crisp.   I acknowledged the lack of control that’s part of living in the bush if you wish to rely on outside supplies.  The variable weather makes flights completely unreliable.  Weather aside, however, we had a hunch that the flight company had put Baranof on the back burner.

The weather stayed nasty all day long. The rain is eating away at the snow, revealing green again! Only sporadic clumps of snow still cling to the trees. Although I’m lamenting the loss of the winter aesthetic, I certainly don’t miss the shoveling. John’s hot spring fed hose comes in handy to help the melting process along. As part of the continual battle against the snow, Pete sought set the hose up to melt out a wider gap between the cabin and the encroaching mounds stacked next to the picture windows. It had become a bit cave-like in the cabin.  We had a relaxing evening and a fire to properly dry out those hats and gloves that seem forever slightly damp. I’d been craving carrot cake and baked a pan in anticipation having Dave & Anke to dinner tomorrow night. Come evening, there was a definite change in weather. The wind stirred up. Driving rain turned to snow that blew like a hurricane. The roof sheds like crazy all night, bombing the boardwalk below.

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