1 November 2013 5.00 Pm 38 F Overcast and raining
By now, blogs by myself and other mushers should be full of training stories and possible complaints about the early onset of winter, about the bitter cold and hard trails. But they’re not. And our complaints are all about the late/non-arrival of winter.
For us during our formative years in the sport, early season training has always been done in the rain and mud. Especially at Aberfoyle, a good training site in Scotland that seems to have it’s very own weather system that meant no matter how nice it was 10 miles down the road – by the time you reached the forest, it was raining. The dogs don’t really seem to care one way or the other, as long as they get to run, but I definitely did care. Days where we managed a dry run, and I didn’t have squelchy toes and water dripping down the back of my neck were celebrated like a lottery win.
Moving to Alaska was supposed to be the end of running in mud and rain. In every story I’ve ever read, no-one has ever mentioned the harsh reality that actually, Fall training here is just about as bad here as it is every where else. You want to train in late August or September, you’d better be ready for rain. With that being said, one just has to grin and bear it, or just mutter and moan.
However, by October, one feels the worst of the the mud should be a fading memory and that by this stage, we should be layering up and watching the occasional snowflake dust the ground. Sadly, not the case. If I wanted to run in rain and mud in November, I could have stayed on the other side of the pond.
Fingers crossed, winter will be here soon………………..