Unhinged Alaska: What’s next, Godzilla?

OK, I get it.

We needed a serious change in the weather to put a smack down on the Funny River wildfire and so when the clouds finally rolled in like a sky full of sprinklers almost everyone’s blood pressure and anxiety levels backed off a bit, except for my buddy Turk’s.

Although Turk’s little homestead wasn’t threatened by the conflagration, he had been more nervous than an IRS administrator waiting to testify in front of an investigatory subcommittee because of the tinder dry terrain surrounding his cabin.

His morale rose with the first light rains but then suddenly early one morning he called so torched that I thought the phone cord would melt.

“Yo Nick, I’m on my cell. Can you hear that scraping? That’s me shoveling &*^%$* snow off my deck and the wind’s so cold that my dog’s can’t do their duty because their sphincters are frozen shut. Where in the %#$* did this come from?”

I wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about other than there had been a righteous wind storm during the night and it had unloaded rain like a bucket drop from a helicopter on a hot spot.

I moseyed over to the front windows, drew the curtains, and stared out across the bay at fresh snow on the mountains that looked to be at around the two thousand foot level.

“Well Turk, you picked your place for its view. It looks like you overshot your perfect location by 1500 feet. What can I say? It’ll be gone before the day’s over.”

I heard a massive snort, a colorful litany of profanity that probably steamed the snow off his deck and then a long silence.

Finally, a very controlled voice suggested that I might want to get my butt up there and help him check the garden and green houses that we had been prepping or the only fresh veggies I’d be munching this summer were herbs from pots in our kitchen window.

It turned out most everything survived the freak storm and Turk had acutely overstated the condition of his mutts.

I must admit that Mother Nature’s decision to lay it on a little thick had our flowers shivering and people were mowing their lawns layered in long johns after a subsequent parching wind muscled through the area.

The arid rush of air turned out to be nothing more than a one day dry sneeze.

The next morning M.N. emptied her Jacuzzi on us with a hint that, if we got surly about it, she’d follow up with a serving of thunder storms along with a side bucket of super sized hail. We didn’t. She didn’t.

Enough said.

Before closing out this month’s discourse, I want to convey something that happened over the weekend that was critical cool.

I was cruising the Homer Spit gathering tips, tales and catch information for my weekly fishing report series when I spotted very familiar motorhome that I haven’t seen in years.

It was my old friend John Bubba Billy Joe Langtree and his bride of forty years, Buela.

They use to travel to Alaska from Moot Point, Ark. every summer after Bill Clinton moved out of the state and they were comfortable enough to leave their 18-something daughters home alone.

Their housing-complex on wheels was parked adjacent to a viewing platform and looked much the same except it now sported two satellite dishes and an expanded south wing.

Unfortunately, they weren’t at home but a ton-of-fun Rottweiler was and it made it very clear to me if he was able to get out, he would turn me into the consistency of a pile of unprocessed Yummy Chummy snack paste while drooling enough to support a small salmon run.

I knew it couldn’t be their old beast, Cannibal, because he’d be so elderly by now that he’d fart dust if he could take a breath.

My suspicions were confirmed when I noticed a sign above the door stating, “Dracula doesn’t bite. He inhales.” So much for Cannibal …

I left a note on the pullout porch-n-lawn advising them that I had stopped by and apologized for highly annoying their cur. I added that I hoped he hadn’t been so frustrated by missing a shot at me that he devoured a rather large leather sectional he had been eyeing upon my departure.

They called later in the evening a said they were headed out to a secluded lodge in the morning and would be back in ten days to throw a fresh fish barbecue.

When I broached the subject of Dracula, they just laughed and said they were leaving him with friends in Homer who own some Rotts and that he’ll have a great time.

Well, that’s nice but if livestock and other large mammals start to go missing in the area, I’m calling those friends first to see if that tank with teeth has made a successful break for it. If so, I’m ratting him out to the nearest outfit with a Predator drone.

Still, Drac and all, it’s nice to see old friends return for another season.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t busy trying on dog attack training suits before the barbecue.

More in Life

People gather in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, for Salmonfest, an annual event that raises awareness about salmon-related causes. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Unhinged Alaska: Bones

Just as we approached Ninilchik, we remembered that the Salmonfest would be in high gear

Minister’s Message: What a Friend we have in Jesus

Can Jesus really be your friend? Jesus said so Himself.

The procedure for this quick kimchi is much less labor-intensive than the traditional whole head method, and takes less time to ferment, making it ideal for first time kimchi-makers. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Garden fail — but kitchen win nonetheless

This quick kimchi technique is less labor-intensive than the traditional method

Kate Lochridge stands by one of her paintings for a pop-up show of her work on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by MIchael Armstrong/Homer News)
Pop-up exhibit shows culmination of art-science residency

The exhibit by Kate Lochridge came about after her internship this summer as a National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration Ernest S. Hollings Scholar and Artist in Residence

Minister’s Message: The power of small beginnings

Tiny accomplishments lead to mighty successes in all areas of life

A copy of “Once Upon the Kenai: Stories from the People” rests against a desk inside the Peninsula Clarion’s offices on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Hidden history

‘Once Upon the Kenai’ tells the story behind the peninsula’s landmarks and people

Artwork by Graham Dale hangs at the Kenai Art Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. These pieces are part of the “Sites Unseen” exhibition. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Apart and together

‘Sites Unseen’ combines the work of husband and wife pair Graham Dane and Linda Infante Lyons

Homemade garlic naan is served with a meal of palak tofu, butter chicken, basmati rice and cucumber salad. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Naan for a crowd

When it comes to feeding a group, planning is key

P.F. “Frenchy” Vian poses with a cigar and some reading material, probably circa 1920, in an unspecified location. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 6

The many vital chapters in the story of Frenchy fell into place

Jesus, God of miracles, provides

When you are fishing or eating them, remember how Jesus of Nazareth used fish in some of his miracles

Sugar cookies are decorated with flowers of royal icing. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Blooming sugar cookies

These sugar cookies are perfectly soft and delicious, easy to make, and the dough can be made long in advance