Thursday, August 10, 2006

On the Glacier in Seward, AK

Greetings friends, family and fellow mushers,
After replying to an employment ad that was posted on, the pooches and myself have spent the last month just outside of Seward, AK (1 1/2 hrs. south of Anchorage) residing on a glacier at about four thousand feet. The "Dream" for us has never solely centered on winning some race, a big trophy and accolades from the papparazzi. Life in the northland is about exploration, not only of this grand and wondrous land, but of one's soul within. Though the weather and isolation have been demanding at times, the sense of awe at the dawning of each and every new day has been invigorating.

The pooches I brought with me are basically our yearlings, the main race leaders, as well as Junie, Marcellus and all the retired racing veterans. Now going on 11 years or older, most of these guys and gals have been with us from the start, showing this Chicago city boy the ropes from Fairbanks to Tanana, Whitehorse to Kotzebue-- over 30, 000 trail miles over the last decade. Some might speculate that last year's YukonQuest was our most difficult experience yet to be honest not being able to have fellas like Mr. Marcellus, Uncus, Malaki and Makaj as well as the lovely ladies; Shyela and Gracie on the racing squad was heart wrenching. That's what's been so wonderful about summer tourism. The opportunity to hook up a team to the sled everyday and show others from around the globe that there is beauty in this difficult world of ours; one must be willing to seek it in order to enjoy it. There have been numerous beautiful moments over the last few weeks that I will rehash in more detail when I have a bit more time around the computer: sled rides for kids from the "Make A Wish" foundation, a chance encounter with a fellow alumnus and his family from Loyola Academy, Sunday nights spent listening to one of my heroes, Hobo Jim jamming away at the Yukon Bar, as well as the chance to go "Hollywood" in a Discovery Channel event to be shown this spring starring Jeff Corwin flying around the glacier with the Laughing Eyes Kennel pooches leading the way.

Life is about change, evolution. Living on a glacier time moves in slow motion- silence rarely interrupted by the occassional bear or sheep sighting. The rumbling of the ice as chunks calve off into the river below. All of this a reminder of how lucky we are to be on this rare and unique planet. We are all afforded so many wonderful oportunities to view mother nature's wonders-- I wish you well on your own personal journeys!

Just a reminder-- The SCHOOL TOUR throughout the U.S. will be this October featuring our 1st book-- 'Annie, My life on The Trail So Far...' Presentations include a short video, dogmushing displays, q and a session as well as a chance for the kids to meet a 'professional' sleddog, Mr. Marcellus. There are some dates remaining, e-mail us asap at or call 867-456-7714. There's nothing we enjoy more than showing others the beauty of our unique northern lifestyle as well as our beloved pooches.

Look forward to seeing you on down the trail... Hugh and the Laughing Eyes Kennel Crew


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