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Small Cabin Forum / Member's Projects and Photos / Our Ak log cabin dream
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Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 10 Apr 2020 10:46
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Hello Badger. Good to hear from you. Kenny lake area is breathtaking If you like rugged snow capped mountains that surround some beautiful farm land. And bears and fish.
A friend gave me an Arctic cat kitty cat snogo so I cleaned up the carburetor and it fired up. Am going to put a wheel kit on it this summer for grandkids. Already have a 120cc A C snogo that my grandson loves. When he first saw it he jumped up on it and dry rode it a bit then jumps down n opens the hood n says, nice engine. He had just turned three. I have an evinrude snogo that is a wide 22” track. With reverse and wheel suspension that I want to put wheels on to use at the cabin to pull freight sleds. Basically just a track rig.
Last count was 8 snogos, ands snocat. 4 quads swamp buggy half dozen different styles of freight sleds. And they all work good. I’m a putter arounder guy.
I’m drawn to the stunning wilderness that surrounds me and it is a large part of my life. Having this little cabin in the middle of nowhere Alaska that allows me to be able to explore out from their is a dream come true. And I have to work smarter. Going and spending a couple weeks in the bush without a cabin used to be easier.
Still sit back n think to myself. Thank You Good Lord ! I am a very blessed man. And building this cabin has allowed me to see the person inside me that knows that I am blessed even more so.
Pray you all have a great Easter.

BadgersHollow
Member
# Posted: 24 Apr 2020 00:05
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I should be moving up in mid to late May. If I am to stay off grid, does anyone have any suggestions for starting your car when it's -30 and below? What do people do when they can't plug their car in?

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 24 Apr 2020 08:54
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Hi Badger...I used to live in Yellowknife, NWT. Folks put up tent garages parked vehicles inside to kill the wind and installed remote starters that started the vehicle a couple times a night once engine got down to certain temp. Other guys would put a propane heater near or under vehicle for an hour before they had to go anywhere...little dangerous but worked. Ensure you have a strong battery for sure.

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 24 Apr 2020 08:56
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...and synthetic oil to make it easy on engine!

paulz
Member
# Posted: 24 Apr 2020 16:22 - Edited by: paulz
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This is a great thread Aklog! Makes me feel like a weenie for having my cabin materials at the local lumber yard and hauling right to the site in my pickup.

Your wife and mine could share some stories. The driveway to my cabin is steep and muddy in the winter. I can't count how many times we got stuck and she had to sit in the truck (she can't walk) while I fetched the skid steer to pulled it out. It's much better now with road base, thank goodness.

Wish I could be of help on the cold starting. One thing I read recently was adjusting spark plug gaps can, on some engines, make a difference. A new vehicle with mega spark ignition probably not so much.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 25 Apr 2020 11:34 - Edited by: Aklogcabin
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Hello all. Not so much cabin stuff but had an interesting event happen a couple nights ago. Our chessy wouldn’t stop barking so I went upstairs to put her on our deck. What we do when there’s moose around the yard. The neighbor calls n seems there’s a moose caught in her fence. I kinda get the there’s trouble calls. I put my headlamp on n go find a full grown bull moose with both rear legs wound up on its side. Go get a wire cutting n commence to cut moose hoofs n ankles from the fence. When he felt the last wire cut he stood up. This is not a first time I’ve looked a bull moose in the eye but no rifle this time. After he got his dignity back he wandered off. This is not an uncommon thing. Moose around the place that is and the second moose we’ve helped out.

Alaskajohn
Member
# Posted: 25 Apr 2020 13:11
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For this reason, my wife is having me replace our wire fence with wooden fences. After two years on the project I’m halfway done. Pacing myself to keep all my projects with budget.

A few years ago I watch a brown bear wonder through the open gate one morning while we were drinking coffee. Once the dog was alerted to the bear, it started barking at the window. This spooked the young brown bear and he ran across the field and right threw the wire fence breaking a 4x4 out of the ground. He was momentarily caught in the fence but he got himself out and up the mountain pretty quick.

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 26 Apr 2020 01:50 - Edited by: NorthRick
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Quoting: BadgersHollow
If I am to stay off grid, does anyone have any suggestions for starting your car when it's -30 and below? What do people do when they can't plug their car in?


Synthetic engine oil, transmission oil, and transfer case fluid for starters. It helps to have newer vehicle in good shape with a good battery.

There are a number of engine heaters that will work off propane, diesel, or gas. Keep a big old blanket in the vehicle. If it is super cold, drape the blanket over the hood and fire up the engine heater. Direct the hot air under the engine.

If the car is already set up to be plugged in you can run a Honda 2000 generator and plug the car into that. Problem with this is it may take a couple hours to be effective.

You can also get one of those lithium jump start batteries. They are amazing. I have one that I can carry in my jacket pocket. Used it this winter to give a needed bump to my diesel's batteries to get it to start at -20F.

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 26 Apr 2020 09:54
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Hey Aklogcabin, you always have some great wildlife stories! Glad the moose saw you were friend not foe!

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 27 Apr 2020 11:02
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Hello all. Yeah bush too many moose stories recently. They are moving around a lot this time of year. The about to give birth mamas hide out but the yearnings that get kicked out and are now on their own are dangerous. This bull was just cruising through. Seeing moose around here is common. In the summer they disperse more. I probably see more wildlife because I like to hang out where they do. But am avid hunter, fisher n pretend trapping.
Our cabin is another place a bit closer to opportunities for being around nature n all the great things with in. Remember take one make one.
One of the coolest n seems rare was listening to a couple lynx tom cats in a cat fight. Best part was I was sitting on our deck with my beautiful wife.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 19 Jun 2020 12:47
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Hello all. Thought I’d update. I did get a load out to the cabin. Yeahhhhh ! Although I did have a good friend do the freighting. The snow conditions were very iffy . Mike does this professionally and we were both concerned. It ended up for good reason.
After a few days of strategically packing my trailer full of more projects to do the day to freight finally arrived. I’d been looking forward to this day for a while. Alaska was true to its normal ways and throws a curveball out . Beautiful 50 degree days. Everyone is walking around in t shirts after another winter. It feels great ! But not so much good for snow. My biggest concerns are snow bridges , overflow, overflow under the ice , air under the ice under the snow over the water and getting stuck in deep we sticky snow. There’s probably just as much chance that I may have to go get this load next fall or probably winter as there is in it making it out. Risk management is always present. I still have a trailer on a freight sled with a bunch of trapping supplies on it that is stuck in the tundra. The local wolves have taken to making it theirs by pooping on the front corner. I’m not sure if that’s an insult or not. But kinda cool anyhow. I do have to admit that when I walk to it and check it out and see some wolf dissed me I do feel a little insulted.
The most anticipated thing is finally getting my 6 wheeler out there. My Suzuki king quad is great but way overworked. I regularly have 5 hundred pound loads and it’s a 2 mile run to the lake. I have done a 800 pound load. And skidding logs. The spruce beetles killed all the older spruce. Huge trees that my son counted over a hundred years. And heavy. I try to leave the earth undisturbed as possible. Having the extra power and traction will help.
Also getting a queen bed for me and my beautiful wife. Also enough materials to build a 8-12 shed for the wheelers. Between the bears and the winter, machines can take a beating.
Ok back to hauling freight. The snow was everything expected. Most of the stuff on the trailer made it out. The mini fridge will have to live in my garage and hold beverages for a bit. Mikes sled did break. A hundred yards from the cabin on the last load . Two loads. He said the trail probably wouldn’t like another trip. .
Now all I have to do is get there. And build a shed, clean the generator shed out and install the new air conditioner so I will have a walk in meat cooler come hunting season. Put the T n G pine on the front of the cabinets. Build a birch countertop. Finish the woodshed. And more. What a great time. But mostly because I get to be in a place with my family that is a very special place. Our cabin. Surrounded by the best Ak has to offer. I’m a very blessed man.
Hope you enjoy the stories. Like many it’s a way of recording memories. I plan on printing them out to leave at the cabin. A journal.
I also pray that this note finds you and yours safe and well.
At the cabin
At the cabin
Getting ready
Getting ready
Another load
Another load
Feeling really good about life
Feeling really good about life


bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 22 Jun 2020 20:35
Reply 


Hey Aklog, another great story. You’re building some great memories with the family. It’s nice looking back each year to see how much farther you’ve moved the dream forward...when you collect a few years together it dawns on you how much work you’ve actually done and that is satisfying. Cool 6 wheel quad...don’t see a lot of them here in Ontario. Cheers, Bush.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 24 Jun 2020 10:56
Reply 


Hello all. Thanks for the atta boy Bush. I got seriously interested in building a cabin when some state land became available for residents to be able to stake up to 20 acres of land and purchase it. I was able to trade some guns for materials and had to pay out for some things. And with the support of a few good friends, my beautiful wife, and the Good Lord. Somehow it kinda just happened !
I have always been drawn to the outdoors. Probably a big reason I ended in Alaska. There were about two hundred thousand folks in the whole state then. About seven hundred thousand now so probably not too bad. We’re on the outskirts so I’ll survive.
The serenity that I receive at the cabin is the best for me. When I’m out by myself and am standing at the lake watching the bush plane take off . The senses inside me all become more alert. I am all I’ve got. And if it’s the first trip of the season, frozen or unfrozen. Breaking the trail is two miles of increasing excitement. And the feeling that I get with every breath just gets better. Every feeling.
Then I finally spot the cabin. The trail in the summer is overgrown again with a four foot under canopy of devils club ,devils club , devils club, grass and hopefully berries. Blueberries and high bush cranberry mostly. And endlessly growing alder and willow. The moose keep the willow chewed down pretty good but the alders just grow. I’ve gotten mixed up going the quarter mile in to the cabin before. Several times. I don’t like to look out and see ribbons so didn’t use them. I finally put flagging up . Last year. For others obviously.
I’ve been fortunate so far in as such the bears haven’t found their way in , yet. We have bear boards of 8 penny box nails through plywood panels in front of doors and on the deck. Windows seven feet up from the ground.
Interesting story. Was breaking trail one fall and get cabin into view. I can see the generator shed door is open. Bears. I hope. I do lock the cabin. I do have my generator shed set up to be able to stay in comfortably. It’s insulated has a barrel stove ready to fire up. Lanterns , meals ready to eat, bedrolls and even some cots and generators. What you need to get by. It is also our emergency shelter building if the cabin burns.Open. Well kind of . I only have a deadbolt in the door no latch. And would leave the key in it. Most I can figure is that because of my superior craftsmanship skills, “ ahhumh “. A bear was able to turn the key with its tongue. Flipped er right open. Tore a small hole in a garbage bag and ate all my different oils. Bears eat petroleum products. Pulled some tarps around playing and figuring out what it is. That’s about all. I believe that the abundance of natural foods is why they don’t destroy much. Mostly curious. But they are bears. A brown bears would get in most cabins if they wanted. Been lucky their.
But other then that nothing but great times and that wasn’t bad . Just bears.
Then it’s time to relax. And become part of the cabin.
It and the Good Lord are driving the moment. All I have to do is relax and live the dream dream.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 7 Oct 2020 12:10
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Hello all. I made it out to our cabin for hunting season. Got to spend 5 weeks out. And didn’t get much of anything done mechanically but was great for the mind. Decided it was finally time to just go to the cabin n chill !
Moose season is a special time for me. When I can gather up over 40 years of hanging out out of doors. And try to put food on the table. I didn’t get one but our son n his wife scored some from her family. We made up over 200 pounds of burger. 15% pork suet to moose. Nice n lean but still sticks together. And a moose, pork shoulder, pork suet, n bacon n jalapeño peppers mix. Some with added seasoning for a breakfast sausage. So we will get a taste. Good ol Ak spirit, families helping families.
Our wonderful son flew out with me for the first week or so. To get things opened up. Then my beautiful wife came out to change places with son for a couple of glorious weeks. Ohhh boy. Then a long time friend switched out for a week or so.
Was kinda nice to go out n not worry about how much I can do. I did get to go hang out with what ended up being mostly wolves though. I did not see a moose. Our pilot told us that most others he was working reported the same. I heard a report of near 150 moose carcasses found by a resident fitty miles west of me. We had a lot of snow. My sense is the moose had a hard time with the deep snow. And when a wolf crosses a moose trail they just have to follow it. The moose just wears out. Wether it’s taken or not. Exhausted and starving. Just my thoughts. So while not directly working on the cabin I was still learning.
Anyhow that really felt great to just let the rest of the world go n go be in mine!
Guess that is getting something done, hey is my story. Actually there’s always something to do if you’re going to live in a remote cabin. Making water from the pond out front or rainwater collected in a new tote. And the all important banging a stick on the cabin. Moose calling. Moved all the plywood n lumber twice n the Suzuki is waiting on new parts.
I ended up leaving our polaris 6x6 at the lake we use to transport from. Wrapped up in a couple tarps. Could start a game on if or what gets eaten by the bears. The neighborhood wolves did poo on the corner of my freight sled hauling my trailer at the trailhead a couple times. While I was there. Silly buggers.
A great time was had by all ! Except the moose. Pulled the beaver dam apart again. Took a nap on their house afterwords. While my britches dried on the blueberry bushes. Then we got caught in a lightning storm n had to race access the lake in a canoe for a mile or so. Then pure sunshine then a hail storm with lightning n thunder. Was a great day indeed.
Gotta go. Wanted to update n share some thoughts.
It is all a win in my book!

Ol Slim
Member
# Posted: 14 Oct 2020 12:41
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Great thread ! Keep it coming.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 14 Oct 2020 13:38
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Relax'in at the cabin..... one day I hope! We kind of live up here for now but thinking there will come a time when winters just won't be worth it considering our other home is in AZ... the mountains of AZ and still get snow but not like here. Ahhhhhh winter is coming, other than the business of fetching water and feeding the wood stove, a time for a good book or 3!

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 11:19
Reply 


Hello all. Been freezing every night lately. Hopefully we get a good freeze and the ground freeze up. Before we get a foot of snow. That will provide the best ability to get to the cabin. If the ground isn’t frozen enough seems like we have overflow and soft spots to stuck in. But if there’s enough snow to keep the track cooled n lubed I may take a shot at a trip out. Probably have to jump a river though. Go fast. My beautiful wife hit what must be a spring with her sled a couple years back . We were breaking the trail for the year. As soon as she felt her sled bog down she nailed it. Mud flew. I’ve been stuck in that hole with my six wheeler. Buried over the front rack. That took a few hours. I think the moose use it for a wallow also.
Thanks for the nice comments by the way. I enjoy reading about how folks enjoy their time and experience while they are at their cabins. And sharing.
I have 7 snogos to go through. Want to replace all the rubber fuel lines n such. And a couple fuel pumps. Also helps to take things apart at home n clean bolts up. Add anti seize. Then when you’re trying to fix them with frozen fingers it’s easier. They will break.
I also want to take advantage of the old growth forest around me. The spruce beetles killed most of the mature spruce. I cut one in my front yard that out son counted near 200 years old. And birch. I would like my cabin to start to be more self sufficient. And by processing select trees, to cut large slabs n such . Like live edge 24” plus wide x 4” x10’ folks can use for
projects or unique shaped pieces. I did custom woodwork for years and would like to do some conference tables or kitchen tables. Bed frames n such.
And use the proceeds to put back into the cabin. So now getting my heavy duty sled reconditioned. So a bunch of welding n fab. It’s all enjoyable to me.
Kinda worried about our polaris 6-6 sitting near the remote lake we use in the summer. I’m sure the bears are having fun trying to figure it out. And what is edible.
My son is working on mounting up a moose rack in the garage. I need one also. We’re using a piece of the old spruce from the cabin. He harvested that moose there so it’s nice to have a plaque from the moose’s home turf. To honor him.
Grandson just turned 4 . We’re planning on where to put his snogo track . So he can drive near the house. Papa , me , wants to take him to the cabin. He has an Arctic cat 120cc. snogo.
It’s beautiful outside. Raining n near snowing but that’s ok. It’s just the weather. Hopefully you’re getting some of this.
If you get the chance, and especially hunters. Remember take one make one !

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2021 10:38
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Hello all. I came across some pictures on an old phone. Pictures of the lake we land on and removing the beaver dam. And of mom's pond. The pond in front of our cabin.
The last 2 pictures were taken at the same time. This storm cloud delivered hard rain , hail, thunder n lightning. Then blue skis again.
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Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2021 11:32
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Nice!

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2021 12:22
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water is like a campfire. I can just endlessly stare at it and never get bored. Even your pictures do it for me.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2021 12:59
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View of end of lake. Entry to creek outlet on the left. Beaver house. Est 8' tall. I took a nice nap on it after we opened up the dam. Temporarily. In last 2 pics in took consecutively. Hail rain lightning one side. That just went over us. Sunshine evening overlooking mom's pond. Waiting for a moose to step out but real nice anyhow.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2021 13:03
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This was our son's first moose. 58-1/2" non typical. I est live weight at near 1400 pounds. Over 500 pounds of hormone,
steroid free meat.

Truly blessed
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20210313_073908.jpg


Alaskajohn
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2021 13:15
Reply 


At -8 this morning, I think I am ready for a nice summer like in your pics!

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 20 Mar 2021 12:17 - Edited by: Aklogcabin
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Alaskajohn. We've been getting to below ten degrees every morning except a couple for over a month. Lots of snow this year too. We have moose in the yard daily. We have to keep our chessy inside. The moose go right over the 5' tall fence. She stopped eating for a couple days. Beautiful wife n me thinks she got kicked. Had a big cow inside the fence eating the roses in front of house a couple days ago.
Not whining here, but kind of. Pretty dangerous situation.
Oh well, 15 years ago or so I had to shoot a 500 pound brown/grizzly bear that charged me on the back deck. 3 feet
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Alaskajohn
Member
# Posted: 20 Mar 2021 12:28
Reply 


Aklogcabin, we had an injured moose about 5 years ago that we though got hit by a car and somehow manages to walk the mile from the road before passing on our property. On inspection, the moose had what looked like a broken rib. Wonder if it was from a kick?

Another minus 10 degree morning, but those temperature days are numbered. We will be taking advantage of a sunny day and we will get in perhaps the last of our great snow machine adventure of the season before the avalanche danger risk gets too high.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 10 Apr 2021 11:48
Reply 


Hello all. Well I finally made it out to our cabin. But only for a turn n burn freight run. We hauled out almost a hundred gallons of gasoline.
I did get to see that the cabin is in good shape. I worry about it. Bears, mother nature in the form of earthquakes, trees falling on the cabin, snow loads more bears and humans. Not necessarily in that order but close. We do have a local squatch to keep an eyebrows on things.
It's been getting a bit chilly around here still at night. 6 below this am so the snow is frozen. Except where it's not of course. The main snow bridge was in great shape. Nice smooth trails mostly. As we start out the trail is nice n wide, then it continues to taper down until its a narrow trail with brush scraping you. Then it's down to breaking our own trail. Nobody got stuck ! Snow depth was 5 to 7 feet mostly.
The wind blows the snow over the unfrozen creeks that have several layers of ice / water . If you don't know the trail or how to read the snow or if you're not going fast enough to go over you're going in. The overflow on most ponds was frozen but can leave hollow spots.
Great trail conditions.
Just not enough time. But knowing that our fuel for the year well gasoline anyhow is out there. Now I need propane. Our newest genny is duel fuel and we have a propane stove. Now my issues with propane are all my old stuff. Tanks n appliances with old fittings. And getting them filled. Now mixed in with new style.
Our daughter n her guy were my helpers. Nice when dad can sit back n chill , don't even have to drive. And to be able to see the pride in her face when she was showing our family cabin.
Heck she cut the wood that was stacked against the wall ready to warm us. So dad didn't have to. And talked about how nice it will be to bring her son out this summer to spend a few weeks.
All the great things that I dreamed about while I was building n freighting. And more.
Most blessed man in the world

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 10 Apr 2021 13:29
Reply 


Sweet!

Alaskajohn
Member
# Posted: 10 Apr 2021 13:48
Reply 


Great report! The earthquake earlier this week was near your place, correct? Glad to hear all was well. I’m thinking this is the last cold week of the winter so I know you are happy to make the trip and get your supplies in place before breakup. Are you going to try and get another trip in on your sled before breakup?

I turned down going on the last ride of the season heading across Lake Louise in the direction of the upper susitna today. The neighbor homesteaders still went, but projected -50 temps with wind chill, concerns that the quake might have compromised parts of the lake, overwash, and my head cold had me back out at the last minute. Good day to simply read a book on the old homestead! It’s warmed up to -8 now and it was -13 when I woke up.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 11 Apr 2021 10:05
Reply 


Thanks folks. Yeppers I would still love to spend a few days out Chillin with my squeeze. We'll see. Id like to just head out on my own but my beautiful wife doesn't like the idea.
Just seeing that all is fine was very satisfying to me. But i'll probably try to get around least a 1 overnighter.
We are going to be building a new home this summer so time will be short. Guess my time-frame on getting the house done might be the start of moose season.
I sure hope I never run out of tooooo many things to do. The futures so bright, I gotta wear shades .
Have a great day all

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 12 Apr 2021 09:34
Reply 


I got some pictures too.
Lots of folks ask about snow load. Our woodshed has 2x4 wall n roof construction. I didn't have enough 2x4s so I went 24" on center on the roof. Spanning 8' with 1' overhang. And a 2' wide roof section in front. It serves as a meat pole also so everything is covered.
The foundation per say is disks cut from cedar utility poles set on the moss. I'm pointing this out because there's always lots of discussion on snow loads. There was 3' of settled snow on the roof. Probably over 6' at times. Been there 3 years now if memory serves.
Anyhows some nice pictures of a proud dad n his daughter n friend. The sleds are still all loaded ready to go !
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