Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Elk Beans

The cabin is our escape.  Not only from the city, but from the chaotic schedules and day to day monotony.












We arrived Saturday morning, Saturday evening was filled with some *ahem* well mannered frivolity.












Sunday called for relaxation. I decided to find some "LOVE" at the cabin.  I went around and looked for the letters, L,O,V,E, in nature around the cabin.  The result:
























While I was getting my amateur photographer on, Brad, Zach, Logan, Dale and Dawson all went ice fishing.  The rivers have broken up, but the lakes are still pretty solid because they do not have running water underneath.  They took the quad down to the ice and set up shop.

 You need 2 inches of ice to walk on it and I think 4 or 6 inches to drive on.  Where the boys were fishing they were measuring the ice in feet, so they weren't worried.  All was going well despite the fact that the fish weren't biting.  Upon leaving, they got on the quad to drive off, Zach was walking on the ice and Dawson (who was on the quad) could hear the ice cracking.

Zach made it to the shore no problem, but Dawson and the quad went in.  Logan, riding on the back on the quad fell in as well.  They were close to the shore and Brad and Dale were right there so everyone was safe.  Still, they now had the quad submerged in the water and had to pull it out.

I have begun to realize that everything at the cabin is an adventure.

They went back to the farm and got a tractor.  Hooked it up to the submerged quad, thanks to Brad who volunteered to wade into the frosty water to connect it up. THey got it out, no worse for the wear.  Surprisingly, the quad started right up.

Monday it was gorgeous weather, so we went on a hike.  There is always interesting finds in the woods.  We found a couple deer skulls.













We also found an abundance of Elk scat.  There is a pretty big Elk herd that wanders around the cabin.

I have to take you on an aside here.  I love the reality show, Alaska the Last Frontier.  I just identify with it for some reason.  On one episode, the patriarch of the family makes Moose Beans, which are fire starters made from moose poop aka scat,

Moose and Elk have very similar poop, so I figured, that we should try it.  That singular idea turned into a whole day event. Zach got into it collecting all the elk scat he could find.  Logan was less than enthusiastic about spending the day collecting poop. Where is your sense of adventure kid??

After collecting a fair amount. we then dried it out over the fire, although it is pretty dry to begin with.  It's almost like picking up acorns.












After drying it out,  you have to soak them in paraffin.  Upon looking we didn't have any handy, so I texted my friend Courtney to see if she had any at the farm.   Courtney had never heard of our little craft idea, but it is a testament to my friend that she didn't even question it.  Brad drove into town  to find some wax. We melted it over the fire and soaked the newly labeled "Elk Beans" and laid them out to dry.

Who would have thought, but it actually works!  It takes a little bit to get them lit, but once they do, they burn quite well.












If we had just the one tray it wouldn't have been a large undertaking, but Zach found bucketfuls and wanted to do them all.  We have enough Elk Beans to start campfires until 2020.

It was a great long weekend.  Wish I could have stayed longer.





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