Thursday, August 24, 2006

As the Wind Blows

Greetings Family, Friends and fellow Dogmushers!

Wet and windy back here at Annie Lake. It's WONDERFUL to be home considering it was wet and windy up on the glacier as well- been one of those summers all over Alaska and the Yukon. As promised here's a brief synopsis of our time living upon the ice. Though only a month in duration, at four thousand feet life tends to move in slow motion. Having the dogs to care for and play with as well as our daily visitors', from all over the globe, enthusiasm made it quite an enjoyable 'working vacation'. Located just across the bay from the town of Seward Ak., just south of Anchorage, Godwin Glacier would be our summer training camp for the yearlings as well as a chance for the older pooches to stay in shape.

Upon our arrival I was dismayed to see a billboard advertising IDITARIDE sleddog tours. "Is that the Seavey's?", I thought to myself. Being one of the more well known mushing families in the Greatland I was a bit apprehensive to be 'moving in' on their turf. Our objective wasn't to earn piles of money- we made alot more working in Skagway the previous 2 seasons- it was to experience glacier living, and most importantly, get back on the sled again. Crazy Larry was our helicopter pilot, an experienced Nam vet , this fella could fly in any type of weather. Once the dogs and various supplies were hauled up, we hooked up a team and went for a short jaunt. Sunglasses are a must at this altitude as the rays ricocheting off of the snowsurface can be quite powerful. Our camp was snuggled up against the mountainside with the main heart of the glacier a thousand feet below us, the valley stetching a half mile across. The loop we took tourists on was quite enjoyable. Immediately we whooshed straight downhill for nearly a thousand feet. If that didn't get their attention then perhaps having them be in charge of the team would. After taking some photos I'd inform them that they were now the 'dogmusher'. As I sat down in the sled I could usually feel their trepidation at such a daunting prospect.

Lil' did they know who was really in charge, "All right Marcellus, C'mon Junie!" Feeling the power of the dogteam before them usually created huge smiles which spread across the customer's faces. The energy and freedom of movement are invigorating. The aqua blue glacial ice with snowcapped surrounding mountains created a surreal landscape. Most of the time it felt as if we were residing closer to the south pole than Alaska. Our living quarters were white, propane heated tents. Though never terribly cold, the heat came in handy as we were constantly drying out wet clothing. Deyaah, our black pet labrador considered the area directly in front of the heater to be her 'parking space'. My two human cohorts, one french and one german were both enjoyable company that gave our community a mellow atmosphere. As usual meals consisted mainly of Spaghetti, guess I must have been italian in another life. For entertainment, besides the dogs, we went snowmachining up to a viewpoint overlooking the ocean or tabogganing down a steep hill behind camp. Our radio picked up a few stations from the Kenai so that we were able to keep up on world events realizing once again how lucky we are to have the chance to live out our "Dreams".

Speaking of which our "Tails of The North" Tour will be kicking off on Oct. 8th thru the 18th. Beginning in Chicago we'll be travelling throughout the lower 48 showcasing the unique lifestyle that we enjoy up here in the Northland. For those of you who have already inquired please contact us asap so that we can let you know where we expect to be and when. My buddy Mike Bayer will once again be our navigator as we trek across the country. Presentations include a short video, displays, posters as well as a Q and A session. Besides schools we're also hoping to book some senior citizens homes as well as civic groups (boy scouts, elks club, etc.) Our 1st short novel "Annie, My Life on The Trail so Far..." will also be available. It's basically a view of dogmushing that our furry lil' girl has been writing and working on for the last three years now. And what a tale she has to tell!

It's been nearly twelve years now since the 'big move' from Chicago to the Greatland. This year we shall be participating in our 10th One - Thousand mile race. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed all the experiences that we would have shared on this trail of life so far. These dogs are a treasure that we enjoy sharing with the rest of the world. Life isn't just about trophies and money, what brought us here was imagination and love. Sure there's some heartbreak and hardship along the way but only through persistence and perseverance can the true 'rainbows' of this world be witnessed.

Hope to see YOU soon, for more info on the school tour: The rest of our Glacier experience, including the Discovery Channel shoot with Jeff Corwin, Make- A-Wish rides, bear encounters as well as Hobo Jim will be posted on our blog within the next week. I'd tell ya about it now but... I've got dogs to run!!

Enjoy the view! Tamra, Hugh and the Laughing Eyes Kennel Crew


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home