2 April 2014 2.00 PM 38 F Blue skies and sunny
As much as we say there seems to be no reliable weather pattern in Alaska, it has to be said that generally, March is lovely. We’ve been blessed with seemingly endless days of clear blue skies with lots and lots of sunshine. Our ever increasing daylight hours help too, and there’s just a general uplifting of our spirits, partly derived from Takeo’s continued presence and his bouncy good health,
Spring always sees changes around here. Our friends from Colorado who winter here in in Willow have fled back to their mountain retreat, the last few sled races of the season all take place soon, in the High Arctic, the Denali Highway or Chukotka, which is where our neighbours have headed off to, to race in the Nadezhda race. With the way our winter went, I pretty much put the sled a way a long time ago, and have just spent most of the days playing with the dogs, setting up new play groups and making sure that Queen’s pups, now a year old, are well socialised and integrated with the adults. The early end to our season has meant that a lot of time of looking ahead and planning for next year has already taken place. A couple of the mainstays from my main team in our 5 years here will likely be stepping back as age catches up with them. Oscar, who has been a solid, consistent leader (if a little headstrong occasionally) and Mermaid, who has been Little Miss Reliable, will both turn 10 this month and have earned the right to have a bit of an easier life. They will both get called upon to work with Queen’s pups when we harness break them this Fall.
It is also the time to go through our equipment and gear to see how things held up and what needs replaced. I guess the upside of so few sled runs is that I didn’t break or lose anything and that we don’t actually need to do too much. One ongoing debate is the one about switching from a cable-filled gangline to one made from Spectra/Amsteel (otherwise known as “ironrope”.)
One other thing that was reviewed was our other house. Ever since I went to New Hampshire for the winter of 2004-2005 with our dogs, we’ve had a lovely log home there, which was always held onto with the intention that one day, we might go back to NH to live. The reality is, with as many dogs as we have, it is just not going to happen. It seems a shame to part with it, but it is difficult to take care of a property from 6000 miles away, and if it hadn’t been for our friends over there, it really would be nigh on impossible. So, reluctantly, we finally decided to go ahead and put it on the market. It’s listed on MLS and a few other places too. I’d love it to go to a musher, as it is full of happy memories of my Winter of Adventure, as I called it.
The dogyard was built and fenced in for us by a local musher, and it worked really well for our small kennel. Anyone with only a few more dogs than the 11 I brought would likely be able to make the yard work without much effort. A bigger kennel would need to expand or make changes, but as the lot is 5 acres, there is room to do that. It’s the last house on a dead end road and is only about 20 minutes drive from Plymouth.
Here’s the link to the house listing