Tuesday, 12 November 2002

November 12, 2002

“Be it ever so humble, there is NO place like HOME!”

Make no mistake, I love the time I spend in Minnesota, Alaska and the likes – but, gosh, it is a great feeling to crest the hill at the top of our road and see our lovely little corner of the world spread out ahead of me.

I got home at about 7pm on Wednesday. Mark was waiting and we quickly got the dogs settled back into the yard. They fussed and chatted all night – I guess there were lots of stories from the past month that the ‘A’ team had to share with the rest of the yard!!

The tales seem to all be told now and things are settled back down.

I did some rearranging in the yard so the pups are all together and the ‘A’ team in one area. I think this is when Butchie figured out that he is no longer part of the main crew. The look on his face when he didn’t get breakfast with the main dogs was truly confused. Ah, Butchie boy.

I was home for a whole two days before heading off at 4am on Saturday morning, with Nik, for Grande Prairie and the dog show.

The show went very well, with Nik picking up 2 more points towards his Championship. Four down – 6 to go. Those will have to wait until next year though, as from here on in the sole focus is on Iditarod.
Lynda and Dwayne had all my meals waiting for me. Wonderful choices like dilled sole, Cajun chicken, and eggs/feta cheese/honey (Dwayne PROMISES me I will LOVE this strange combination) await me on the trail. Yum!!

To jump backwards a little – the ‘Big Dog Bash’ in Minnesota was a blast. In addition to Jamie and my teams there were 10 ‘big dog’ teams joining us on the trail. We even changed the trail a little this year and, after voting and finding everyone in favor, extended the run to 15 miles out to the Franklin Lake cabin. That added my favorite Minnesota trail to the run – a lovely little stretch that winds and dips through the woods. Everyone got settled in by the cabin and we hung out by a warm fire for a terrific evening of story telling, song singing (if I can get Scott Miller to agree, I will get up his parody of ‘American Pie’ up on the site – including the verse he wrote specially for me! Really, really cute!), and eating! Jamie, Scott, and I had planned to go out on an evening run – but the good company and warm fire lured us into staying. 

After a great night sleep, some people took the 10-mile route back to Jamie’s, but most of us did the 15-mile trip.

I even brought a souvenir home, well; actually the ‘Big Dog Bash’ folks surprised me with it when we got back. I’m a ‘bit’ of a firebug around campfires and spend a lot of time fussing and rearranging fires – in fact, I love it so much that Jamie has instructed me to use it as a time passer when I’m camped on the trail trying to kill time while the dogs rest. See sometimes it is really hard to kill 4 hours alone on the trail when you are not all that tired, like near the beginning of Iditarod. Anyway, I had found the PERFECT fire stick while at the Franklin Lake cabin – a nice little ‘y’ at the end of it to move small logs and everything – I guarded it all night, but the next morning when I went looking for it, it was gone. I was saddened to think someone had burned it while cleaning up the fire. Upon arriving back at Jamie’s the stick was presented to me with instructions to use it when I’m camped on the Farewell Burn on Iditarod. So the stick will be heading out in my drop bag to Rohn and I hope all of you ‘Big Dogs’ folks know I will be thinking of our evening at Franklin Lake while I’m camped on the trail in the Burn. Great memories always keep you warm and happy on the trail!

All for now!

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