Valley Air Landing Lake – Hot Creek River
Pilot: Has anyone seen the window spray? I’ve got a really bad case of slobberfication on my windows…
Jaak’s Cabin – The Valleys
Altai and Jaak, along with their new house guest arrived back at the cabin. After dumping Dieter’s duffel bag in Jaak’s room, they set off outside for Jaak to show his friend around – in particular Jaak pointed out the outhouse on the way over to see Lizzie.
Jaak: Oh – by the way – that’s the outhouse – we pee and poop in there – OK?
With that small matter of housekeeping taken care of, they proceeded over to Lizzie. Jaak was quite proud of her and was looking forward to showing his friend how she worked. Jaak laid the wood, kindling and tinder in the firebox and lit it.
Jaak: It’ll take about half an hour to get enough steam up – we need 60 psi on that gauge there to drive the engine.
While Lizzie was getting up to steam the two boys chatted happily, exchanging their news. They bought more wood over from the main pile and stacked it ready to feed into Lizzie.
Dieter: Do you think we could go visit your friend Layan sometime? I’d like to see his communications station!
Jaak: Sure – we could go up tomorrow, maybe we will be able to talk to your sister up on Tet-2.
Lizzie was starting to steam and Jaak checked the gauge – it was just coming up to 60 psi.
Jaak: Ok – I think she is just about ready – I’m going to open the steam valve, when I do, give that big fly wheel a little turn!
Jaak slowly opened the steam valve, and Dieter gave the flywheel a little turn, and Lizzie chuffed into life. Dieter barked and snuffled excitedly.
Dieter: Arrooff! Arrooff!
That’s really cool – and so this runs the alternator, and charges up the batteries for the cabin lights and stuff?
Jaak: Yup! She’s a pretty sweet setup – I usually run her for a couple of hours each day, but I am considering sending my Dad a utility bill, for the power he is using for his new fridge!
At the mention of Altai, Dieter dropped his ears a little.
Dieter: Your Dad is a little scary – I like him – but do you think he likes me?
Jaak: Oh – just give him a little time, he’ll be fine, he is just not used to having hundel around – I kinda forgot to mention to him that you were a hunde. Might be best to hold off on the licking him hello for a bit.
Jaak grinned impishly.
Dieter’s ears perked up again, and he snuffled in agreement.
The two friends, happily tinkered away on Lizzie for the rest of the afternoon. It was getting on towards supper time and Altai appeared carrying a basket with various bowls and containers of food.
Altai: Anyone hungry? How about wood fired pizza?
Jaak: Pizza – yay! I’m starving!
Dieter’s tail swung into immediate action.
Dieter: Arrooff! Pizza!
The pizza’s were made right there on the spot. They were duly shoveled right into the heart of Lizzie’s fire box, onto a flat river stone, surrounded by the hot glowing charcoal. Within just a few minutes they were done and ready to take out – ready to be shoveled into the respective hungry mouths.
Altai had now had just enough time to get over his initial shock of seeing Dieter for the first time, and he’d begun to make the necessary mental cultural adjustments to allow for such things like – the proclivity of hundels to make enthusiastic slobbery greetings – and to water trees. Altai was making a determined effort to make Dieter feel welcome.
Altai: So Dieter – how was your flight up? Crossing those mountain passes can get a little bumpy in those small float planes.
Dieter: Oh yeah – the plane sure did bounce about a bit as we crossed them – I almost barfed!
Jaak: I did barf the first time I flew up here!
Altai: What about your family – you got brothers or sisters?
Dieter: Yep – I gotta sister – Hanne, she is a communications officer on Tet-2. I am hoping we can go up to Layan’s place tomorrow – Jaak says he can get a direct satellite communications line with them.
My Dad is the Hundeerde Ambassador to Cyanos – but he is always busy with work and meetings. My Mom – well – she drinks tea and plays tennis – or at least tries to, she keeps wanting to chase the balls!
They all sat around Lizzie well into the long sunny evening, Altai with a coldie or two; the boys with coldie sodas, eating pizza gloriously loaded with different meats and cheeses, chatting, laughing and trading stories.