Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gone With The Wind...

Hey everyone,

Been interesting around here lately. A few days back a massive windstorm arose- it has yet to mellow out. At its worst on friday afternoon, trees were being uprooted from the ground. One of the larger spruce snapped in half, some fifty feet above the earth. People fret over 'global warming' yet I've always been in fear of the wind. Sure, it's energy can be harnessed but what happens when there's too much power to handle? Adjacent to Annie lake is our sauna; above it held securely by cable lines is our wind generator. The winds flying down the lake from the west were stong enough to put it out of commission. Out here in the wilderness Mother Nature has an incredible way of reminding humans that it really does'nt matter what 'political philosophy' one might adhere to- other natural forces shall always determine how we approach our daily living.

The other night was quite surreal as we watched a few shows on the telly. David Letterman's guest was the movie actor Bill Murray. As a golf caddy back in Chicago I was fortunate enough to caddy for him a few times. He also went to my high school in Wilmette, Loyola Academy. After Letterman we watched my buddy Lance Mackey on the Conan O`brien show. During the interview Conan showed Lance some video of him mushing while on a trip to Finland. It was classic- our handler this year, Juho, is from Finland and new which kennel the dogs in the video were from. A friend of ours, Jillian, also spent some time mushing there. This modern day world sure is interconnected- even if you are living out in the middle of the northern wilderness!

It`s been an enjoyable week out on the trail though the temps. have been a bit warm lately. Most days are spent playing on the Ã’bstacle Course`- a short sixteen mile loop. To cover the course takes nearly two hours. Within it one passes thru three streams, a bit of muskeg and a small bog. It actually reminds me of the section of trail just before the Iditarod checkpoint when teams travel on the southern route. Numerous mushers spend lots of time creating ideal training trails for the dogs to travel on. In hindsight this might be a detriment to their teams. If the dawgs have never been through rougher sections of terrain before they might not realize that they really are`nt as bad as they may imagine. I call trails such as these- good`Charlie Boulding Training`. It`s amazing to watch the increased level of energy the pooches have now. In our earlier training this season we were running much longer on old mining roads. The trail we are using now is underneath a thick canopy of trees. There are only a few spots which are not in the shade: this affords us the opportunity to run at any time of day. The ground is covered with a thick moss that is much like carpeting for the pooches feet. Numerous squirrels and other varmits endlessly scurrying around tends to keep the team excited as well.

Travelling thru the wilderness on a daily basis one can`t help but have an incredible respect for the beauty of life. Out here it`s not just the latest fashion trend or `hip look` that matters but the beauty of everyday life. The dogs eagerly lapping up water from a stream during a brief rest. The moon rising over the mountain`s peak, drops of rain glistening upon fallen leaves on the ground- it`s a list that could go on perpetually. A list that puts a smile on one`s face with a renewed daily vigor in their hearts. Sure, the weather can be a bit intimidating at times but do you really think the Great Almighty created so much beauty in order for us to only watch it on the tv- there`s nothing like living life to it`s fullest. If you`re bored- it`s probably a good signal that it`s time to take the dog for a walk. I guarantee the trip will be worth it!

Looking forward to meeting numerous new friends during our autumn school tour which begins on October 21st in Chicago. Still a few available times if your school would like to enjoy our unique presentation on Dogmushing, Dreams and Wilderness living in the North.

Enjoy the view, Hugh http://www.laughingeyeskennel.com/

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