Most Alaskans who have lived there for a couple of generations have a family cabin tucked away in the wilderness somewhere. Cabins can be essentially anywhere there is a lake, or river, mainly because when frozen, these bodies of water are the only way to get far enough into the wilderness to make it worthwhile.
Most people outside of Alaska wouldn’t think that the majority of cabins are built in the winter, but they are. The snow-covered frozen lakes and rivers become highways for the plethora of snow machines (no Alaskan calls them snowmobiles) carrying supplies to the next site. Anytime in winter, you will see trail bases in frenzy with lumber, generators and fuel being readied for transport.
March is the most active month, because of the warming weather. By April the majority of rivers are at least partially open with a good amount of overflow. Once the ice on the river begins to thaw, it can be dangerous to take the trek. A wide track freight sled doesn’t have the speed and agility of sportier snow machines, making it nearly impossible to traverse the frozen water. Many of these heavy machines sit at the bottom of lakes and rivers never to be seen again, because they hit a hole of patchy ice on the way to the cabin site. In fact, many cabin owners have sunken sleds during their years of ownership. Sometimes it’s not a big problem, but other times, they can lose everything, including their lives.
ATV or jet boat can access many of these remote cabins in the summertime, but winter is definitely restocking season. Some villages even have contractors capable of hauling thousands of pounds of supplies to a site.
To many, the creature comforts in most cabins are surprising. With the availability of modestly priced solar systems and generators, almost all of them have electricity. Some even have hot water and showers, but nearly none have toilets. They seem to be alright using older methods like an outhouse, or the classic Alaskan honey bucket, which is a bucket fitted with a toilet seat and filled with sawdust.
Source: Field & Stream
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