Thursday, 29 December 2005

December 29, 2005 Dear Landlady...

My poor, dear landlady – she had a rough day yesterday – but I do want to say for the record that MOST of it wasn’t my fault...
  • Sure, it was my completely misguided faith in myself that I’d remember a trail I’d been on twice (3 years ago) that got us lost – 
  • I did set a pace that it seems made her and her team feel like they had been run over by a semi at the end of the 27 miles (and I must say, for the most part her team looked pretty good at the end of the run – and she is simply ‘bubbling’ about the performance of her young leader, Molly) – 
  • But I wasn’t responsible for her locking her keys in her dog truck (with the lights on, I might add) and her truck breaking down on the highway on the way home either.
Luckily, we all survived yesterday's run. Did I mention that Dasher and Hilda dragged me – on my side - through some trappers yard and around his circular driveway before they started to worry that I might follow through on one of the numerous threats I was making against their lives and brought the team to a stop – or that Jamie’s team scooted under a gate that was too low for her sled to follow?? It was an interesting day. Dogs, mushers, and gear are all fine though – so I consider it a very successful run. You know what they say about that which doesn’t kill you….. Thanks for being such a good sport Jamie!

Anyway, things in Alaska are going pretty well. I’m able to run 8 dog teams out of the yard here and bigger teams out of Bob Chlupach’s (and his lovely fiancĂ©, Shae’s) dog yard, which is just a short trip up the Parks Highway. The only problem with running out of Bob’s yard is that the two of us inevitably end up talking Siberians and that stretches the day out – but the conversation is always enjoyable and educational, so I’m sure not complaining. Many of you may or may not know – but Moses, Herman, Hector, Hilda and Lingo all came to us from Bob. I greatly respect what he and kennel partner, Rick Outwin are doing with their breeding program.

Doug Grilliot is coming over this morning and we are going to load the dogs up and head over to do a river run today. Not too sure what conditions will be like, but I’m hoping to get a nice long run in on the critters.

Markus headed home last Friday. I haven’t got any frantic phone calls from his family, so I’m assuming that he made it home safely! I was very disappointed that we were unable to get him out on a sled during his visit, but I just haven’t quite figured out a way to make Mother Nature adhere to my schedule yet. He took it in good spirits.

Christmas was enjoyable. Sure, nothing is ever the same as being home for the holidays, but Jamie and Harry really do make me feel like family here. Doug and his family were also very gracious and made sure I was very well fed around Christmas.

I expect New Year’s Eve will be a quiet one. Usually at home with our satellite dish, Mark and I ring in New Year’s at 10 pm, by watching a New York channel. No dish here – and no way I’m staying up until midnight – so I’ll have to welcome 2006 when I get up in the morning. Ah, us mushers are real party types – as long as the party doesn’t go till past 10!

Anyway, that is the report today from Alaska!

Wishing you all the very best for the coming year!!

“May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all your heart might desire” (Irish blessing)


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