North Nikiski at
Boulder Point, 1985 to 1993
My daughter Gail and her husband Gary lived on a Homestead eight miles back on the tip of Boulder Point. If you stand at Arness Dock and look to your right the land that juts out into Cook Inlet is Boulder Point.
She has lots of stories about homesteading that are fascinating! Some cannot be repeated! They walked into their place at times or they plowed themselves in and plowed themselves out of the homestead at other times. They were stuck more times that can be counted when it came to break-up in the spring as the mud in the trail turned to Jell-O.
Sometimes Gail walked in and out on a short cut trail in the middle of the winter with a backpack to get groceries. Coming back from such a trip she had a sheepskin cap on. All of the sudden something hit her from behind and knocked her into the snow, face first. As she tried to roll over to see what happened, her big backpack was so heavy it pinned her down and she had to wiggle out of the backpack and then roll over to see what hit her. A large white owl had swooped down and tried to carry her away in his talons. She had a big rip in the sheepskin cap and a story to tell.
Another time she took a shortcut across a lake to get home. She had snow shoes on and was carrying a long pole “just in case.” The long pole saved her life. Her snowshoes broke through the lake and she went into the icy water up to her waist. By using the pole she finally wiggle herself out. She stated that she was never cold but her Carhartts froze as she was walking home and by the time she got home she was taking little tiny steps.
She planted beautiful, bountiful, large gardens. We all benefited in the large quantities of green broccoli and kohlrabi which Arleigh called “cabbage apples” and other produce. She also tired her hand at raising mushrooms. She had a horse, a goat and pig (a birthday present from me and Bob one year) and chickens for eggs. Later in the year she butchered them and we canned them. Oh my, what nice big-big tasty chickens they were! And she was always on the lookout for bears and moose. (But that is another story!)
She drove herself off the homestead one wintry January day in 1986 after she watered and fed the animals. Then she put chains on the truck to get out to the main road and meet Gary at his work place. They went off to Soldotna Hospital where she was Medevaced to Providence Hospital. She said the Air-vac nurse was airsick. Providence Hospital is where my grandson, Arleigh was born on January 6, 1986. He was placed in the very new, newborn ICU facilities. I am still in awe of the efficiency of the nurses. This teeny tiny baby was hooked up to wires and oxygen tubes in an incubator that was hooked up to a large unit of blinking lights, switches and wires. He was there 27 days. He was sent home hooked up to a breathing-heart monitor that made him look like he was a little robot for two years. His Mom did not get much sleep!
Now he is 28 yeas old and has built his own home. He is a truck driver and heavy equipment operator. Can you tell how proud this old grandma is!
You had a wonderful Happy Birthday Arleigh!