Sunday, June 21, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009


I finally took the time to re-brush the trail down to my tree. It is an old cottonwood that grows in typical Juneau tree fashion, twisted and mossy. The first year here at Sheep Creek I would look from camp down over the valley and that tree caught my interest. I cut a trail down off the backside of camp through the hellebore, alder, and devil's club by hand and was pleasantly surprised to find it to be hollow. Up in the first saddle was the perfect moss covered perch. I thought, "What a perfect place to write or read a book, or just lay and stare at the mountain and daydream." I made a few attempts to climb up the knots but finally I gave up and went back to camp. I wasn't deterred though, I built myself a rope ladder and gathered some other people from camp to help me get it up on the tree. Every year I go back to the tree, I just have to clear the trail again, and that ladder is still there. This tree is so big and old that there is some currant bushes, jewel weed, devil's club, and a young spruce tree growing on the various saddles. The one branch is curved perfectly so one can recline, and still be cushioned with moss, including a soft head rest.

I hung out full, Alice in Wonderland Cheshire Cat style for a little while today after tours, but didn't bring any books or journals, and didn't feel much like daydreaming so I climbed back down and wandered off through the brush to scout a good route to cut out to the chocolate lily meadow. When I got to the meadow I realized I had never been to the far end of the meadow before so I went to check it out. I found a bear trail that took me to a series of fern clearings. Each of the ferns unraveled almost to full height, just with just a one inch spiral head bobbing in the wind. The bear trail went into a salmon berry thicket so I found another, and another, all with the same ending. Perhaps the bears are too scouting good routes to late summer snacking areas. I decided to go check out a stand of knotted spruce because I knew the traveling would be easier, and eventually looped back to the meadow and out onto Sheep Creek Trail.

I thought about how I would miss this place if I ever decided to spend a summer somewhere else. It would be hard to match the magic of our canyon here, but there are those that say you make your own magic no matter where you are.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Puppy development




Evening walks with puppies

the pups from Ed....almost 4 months



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Living in the moment

Hello to all:
Its been a beautiful season up here in the Sheep Creek Valley so far. The first few weeks were beautiful, almost like an interior summer, hot and sunny, great for mushers, not so great for dogs. It was nice while it lasted, I made sure I enjoyed the sun while it was here, because I know clouds are inevitable in South East. Lots of running, biking and laying in the sun on the beach. Well the rain and clouds are back, and I hate to say I'm actually kind of glad. I must have spent too many summers down here in the rain forest, and now I'm used to it.

All the dogs are doing great, they are strong and happy. They make me super anxious to get home and start training for the race season. I have high hopes for the winter. The pups Chiron and Io are developing into wonderful athletes, they are amazing to watch tromp around the forest on our walks. Thanks to Ed for giving these pups to me. I think they are going to be a great addition to Team Cosmic.

Tourism has been a little slow everywhere up here in Alaska, I'm sure due to the economy, but there has been no shortage of nice people coming up to camp to visit. I would like to thank everyone that has come up and shared my "doggy lifestyle" with me. Thanks for all of the contributions! Every little bit adds up.

Jay has been at the house in Two Rivers, watching the place and making improvements. Trying to make it so life is a little easier, and I can just focus on training dogs this winter. I can hardly wait!

A friend gave me some advice before I came down to SE this summer. He told me that I should not live in the past or the future and just live in the moment. This has been my mantra this summer. It has been hard though, with our future shining so bright. He quoted me a little poem from the Tao of Pooh as a reminder:

While Eeyore frets,
And Piglet hesitates,
And Rabbit calculates,
And Owl pontificates,
To know the Way
To do the Way
To go the Way
The Way we do
The things we do
Its all there in front of you
But if you try too hard to see
You'll only become confused
I am me
And you are you
As you can see.
But when you do
The things that you can do
You will find the Way
And the Way will follow you