Monday, August 11, 2008

the spirit of Favre

Having grown up in the Chicagoland area we were taught to hate the Green Bay Packers. Few sports rivalries have the animosity such as the Bears-Packers do. Yet, a kid named Brett changed all of that. It wasn't just his talent but love of the sport, the exhuberence of enjoying life that has put a smile on all of our faces over the last two decades. To see what has transpired over the last few days has been sickening. I pray that the dogmushing scene never changes from a celebration of our beloved pooches as well as our unique northern lifestyle to a 'business' that is all about money and winning-- and not the enjoyment of the journey that we are all so lucky to be a part of.

For the last few years I've lived in various locales on Alaska's coast earning money thru the tourism scene. This summer we've decided to change our routine as Tamra has been on the road quite a bit while the pooches and I have enjoyed the cool Annie Lake breezes. We even had some flurries up in the hills ( 4 thousand feet) last week. This year we have had few if any bugs- quite a blessing. Yesterday we signed up for the YukonQuest once again. Along with the Iditarod, these will be the 14th and 15th 1,000 mile races that Laughing Eyes Kennel has participated in since our 1st Quest sojourn in 2000. Not bad for a simple-minded chicago cityslicker. Hopefully, thru the good graces of the Great Almighty we will continue to travel farther than anyone else could ever imagine. "How do you guys pull it off Hugh? It's not like you're a top notch competitive musher after all." That's the whole key for our relative success- it's not about what musher I beat but how many dogs are smiling at the finish line. I've spoken with various newcomers recently to the long-distance scene and typically they all have the same desires- 'I wanna do good, maybe even win.' My reply? Tone it down a notch there compadre!

If anyone should know about being overly competitive, it's yours truly. I guess growing up with Michael Jordan and Da Bears has groomed me this way. Taking an objective review of my racing career and its rather obvious who my main competition is... Myself. To have been given such a rare gift, this journey we've embarked upon, and squandered it is a shame. Will this be the year we actually try to give an all out effort to do our best? Not in hopes of winning but enjoying the ride with our furry friends to the highest degree? Only time will tell. I do know that we're off to a wonderful start. We have two fellas from europe that will be running pooches with us this winter. Last year, in hindsight, we were lucky to even make it to the starting line of any race- we didn't find a handler until January, just one week before our 1st race. Tamra's already planning on doing a few of the shorter races as well. Our schedule will probably include the usual six or seven races though we're always looking for new events to check out. As the saying goes "Life without Adventure is not worth living..." Wishing you all well as we seek to show respect to Mother Earth as well as those unique treasures that lay within one's very own imagination.

Peace to you, Tamra, Hugh and the Laughing Eyes Kennel Crew


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