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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


'Bad weather' to most, is fun to me. I like blizzards. I like windstorms. I like the bitter cold. I like the challenge of moving comfortably through the country in any weather with my dogteam, well, almost any weather. There's nothing I dislike more in the realm of our glorious natural world than rain in winter. Nothing ruins a good snowy trail like rain. After several straight days of snow last week that had our trails approaching mid-winter conditions, Alaska has just had a 100-year weather event in the way of 3 straight days of winter rain. The powder has turned to slush. The streams and rivers and ponds are overflowed with water that had nowhere to go on the frozen ground. Any plowed or trampled surfaces are glare ice as the frozen ground held it's cold. It's been dubbed the 'Icepocalypse.' Most of Interior Alaska has been shut down since Monday. We haven't run dogs since Sunday and will need at least a couple inches of snow before we can safely take them out, even with the atv. Some grooming has already started as things froze up yesterday afternoon and we've gotten a skiff of snow overnight, with more in the forecast. We'll take today off too, in hopes of some accumulating snow, while we share the day with friends and think of all our friends and family that are so far away. We wish you all the best and are forever grateful to you that help us do what we do. This season looks to have some serious challenges in store for us, but it's not what happens to you in life that makes you who you are, it's how you deal with what happens to you...

All our best to you and yours for a fantastic Thanksgiving. Be well, our friends-

Sunday, November 21, 2010

When the going gets tough-

It's been a bit of a roller-coaster around here this week...

After a little over 1000 miles of atv training this fall, I started riding the sled last Saturday, November 13. (Coincidentally, that was the same date I first rode the sled last year, as well.) The sheer joy I feel on the runners with my pals is hard to explain, but there is nothing like it!! I started slow with 8 dogs and short runs as the dogs got their 'sled legs.' As the snow kept coming throughout the week, I worked up to running 14 dogs as we broke trail and then broke it again on the way home. We did some long runs and some back to backs, with the race team doing our first 100-mile day of the season. The team is going strong, staying happy, and working hard. That's the good news!

In the challenging news of the week, Sue has been dealing with a bum knee since she crashed the atv out with a team of dogs earlier this year. On Wednesday, she went in for arthroscopic surgery on her left knee, her fourth surgery on this knee. Well, the good Doctor found more problems than he thought he would and a quick little 'scope and scrape' with Sue on her legs the next day, turned in to a micro-fracturing procedure on the end of her femur and an big ACL scrape. This means she is on crutches for a while and is looking at having to keep the leg braced essentially straight for 6 weeks. Maybe she'll be back to running dogs by January. This is a big blow to how things work around here and will force some new challenges on us both. If it was easy, everybody'd be doin' it-