Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Playing With A Dream

"It can't rain all the time." - Eric Draven
Been awhile, eh?
Never felt better to return home from a trip than just a few days ago. After enduring the winds and drenching rains of Bethel and the Kuskokwim region, the ice-slicked highways of Alaska, Iditarod food drops and a brief visit with the Cadzow family as well as Lance and the gang- the sheets have never felt so comforting on our bed. Still have no idea what type of team we have for our upcoming thousand mile jaunts but as long as they are smiling we'll be happy. Juho and Boris have been busy as well running pups and cutting meat for the Quest. The adreneline is pumping around our Annie lake oasis- wanna fly?
Strange world I've sauntered into- right now as food drops are being prepared we are all watching tv, as well as listening to "The Boss" on Sirius radio. Leno is on the telly, tonite's featured band is the "Neville Brothers" from New Orleans. "Hey I know that dude- we had beers at Aaron Burmeister's house!" I exclaim to no one in particular. My buddy Mike and I had met 'Mean Willie Green' , the band's drummer at the Capt. Bartlett hotel nearly 10 years ago. They came over to do laundry at Aaron's place next to the dog track just outside of Fairbanks. We figured they thought we'd be a bit rednecky- if they only knew! We were just cityboys from Chi-town. The funniest aspect I find when racing against others nowadays is how happy they seem to be when they beat me. C'mon folks you need to set your goals a lil' higher than that- I'm just a couch potato. Lord knows I'm just sick of beating up on myself thru my own stupidity- patience.
The beauty of the Yukon Quest is that the race can be quite different from one year to the next. Who knows what obstacle lays around the next bend of the river? So far this year most mushers have seen it all: wet, wind, ice, snow- could we end up seeing 60 below? As usual I don't have a clue but I'll tell ya what- Laughing Eyes Kennel is all about painting a pretty picture. I could care less what place we finish- I'm just trying to create 14 furballs filled with positive energy. The most wonderful part of our recent trip was meeting a fella who was promoting "Beads for Courage". This is a group who helps young children who have cancer. Many of the mushers in the Kusko wore beads that will now be given to the kids as we hope to strengthen their resolve to fight this battle to its fullest extent. Always remember that life is a precious gift- LIVE IT!
I've arranged that during our next school tour in May we'll visit a few hospitals in the areas I'll be so that I can meet some of these heroic youngsters. Having had two parents with cancer, friends like Lance as well as numerous village compadres, I believe this ailment is humanity's greatest obstacle to deal with in the future.
Racing is exciting, adventurous and spiritually uplifting. Yet dogmushing should at heart be all about the dogs. So if you don't hear from us for a bit every once in a while, well, there's just too much: love to spread around, meat to cut, kibble to bag, bags to label, ointment to organize, booties to bind, batteries to buy, etc. Feel energized? HHN
A special thanks to Jesse and Alisa in Anchorage, Pat B. in Bethel, Sebastian, Lance, The Cadzows and all the rest of you kids!


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