Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday Saunas w/ Salmon Stew

"Can you handle the heat?"
Hey y'all,
Weather has been relatively warm of late. We had a nice bit of snow a few days ago allowing us to run more right out of the yard. Having travelled numerous times recently on hilly Canol Rd. we've decided to concentrate on flatland training around the Annie lake area. Though the runs are rather short, averaging around 30 miles, it actually works out nicely considering the plus 30 (zero celsius) temps. Still not a lot of snow to set a hook thus we're running smaller 10 dog teams compared to the 16 we would run on the relatively safe Canol Rd. area. Strange how the skies have been filled with grey clouds yet no major amounts of snow descending as of yet.
The highlight of our weekends is the sunday sauna. Our handler Juho is from Finland where the sauna is religion. Not only does the extreme heat help to clean and cleanse the body by sweating out all of the dirt and germs but the sauna elevates one's spirit as well. I often think of my heroes when I'm sweating away- the Native American Indians. They used sweat lodges as well as other types of hothouses as a religious ceremony. Learning thru the BoyScouts, my friends and I became immersed with warriors such as Joseph of the Nez Perce, Black Elk, Grey Owl or any other literary novel we could get our hands on. Having been fortunate to have lived in various athabascan villages during my tenure in the north I have been constantly in awe of Natives unique abilities to become one with the land. I guess at heart I'm just a native wannabee.
Our sauna seats about 10 people and as it rests adjacent to the lake one can even jump in for a quick 'chill' if they want to. (thru a hole in the ice) On the sauna's outer wall is an amazing mural of a bearded fella running dogs. I often wonder who he was- is our sauna haunted? Not only is the heat refreshing for one's sore muscles it's great for dealing with colds as it helps to clear up bad sinuses. What about the Salmon Stew you ask? Well, it actually isn't for dinner. Stewart is a foam pad in the shape of a fish one can sit on if the seat becomes to hot to handle.
Enjoy the view, Hugh


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