Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Another Day at the 'Office'

"What is the secret of that strange and powerful attraction? An attraction that is so strong that the minute you are back to civilization that you immediately forget the moral and physical sufferings you have undergone and think nothing of returning to them again? In what lies the indisputable charm of a landscape that is barren and intimidating. Is it the attraction of the unknown, the elation of struggling to get there, and struggling to live once you have got there. Is it the pride of achievement, or the pleasure of attempting something that no one has done before, or perhaps the satisfaction of being far away from all pettiness and meanness? A little of all of these things, perhaps, but I have realized for a long time that in such desolation and bareness I feel the joy of life more deeply than I do elsewhere." -- Schackleton
Hey y'all,
40 below- whatta ya know? That time of year where you're itching to be out on the trail but the pooches health and welfare must come 1st. Thankfully there's plenty of races to prepare food drops for. Been doing a bit of reading lately as well. Memories harken back to my initial winters in the North reading a few novels per week by candlelight. At present I'm reading George Plimpton's bio on Sir Ernest and the "Age of Exploration". Back in '95 my dogmushing heroes were the original Iditaroders- Redington, Mackey and associates. What their generation created on the Alaskan landscape was spiritually uplifting for all to be a part of. Yet Amundsen, Nansen, Scott, Peary and others were a part of the greatest race ever.
It's hard to feel bad about one's circumstances after reading what these men had to endure during the early part of the 20th century. Sure it takes a bit more to heat the house, keep weight on the dogs as well as water for all. Life is continually testing all of us, seeing how determined we all are to keep our eyes laughing. Appreciating the small treasures found along the trail helps to enhance one's perspective on things. It may be nearly noon here but the sun is rising once again over the mountainside - and we shall enjoy its warmth- if only for a few hours time. Still enjoying the view, Hugh


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