Friday, June 08, 2012

Running free

I have been running some of the trails around Husky Homestead. I still hope to run the Equinox Marathon in September. Here are some of the views along the way. Sometimes I bring the pups along but usually its just me and Cosmos and the big wide world.

The new "kid" on the block.

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This little guy was born on Tuesday. He is Pallas' first kid.
It is amazing how they are able to walk in just a matter of minutes.
At 3 days old he is already jumping and kicking around.
Any ideas for a name? He also will need a home in about 3 months.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Epiphanies and mountain tops.

And I'm packing my bags for the misty mountains, where the spirits go now, over the hills, where the spirits fly!  Led Zeppelin 

Well its been a while since I last posted....again. I'm not going to promise to be more committed to my online journal, but realise that I have made it a goal to post more frequently.

I will say this....lots of exciting things are happening with the Cosmic Canines! We have an awesome summer ahead of us. For those who don't already know, we have relocated for the summer to Denali Park. I am pretty excited about this because it is not only one of the most beautiful places is in the world, but it is also one of the places in Alaska I haven't had a chance to experience and explore yet.

Shortly after the Yukon Quest I received an email from Jeff King inquiring if I would like to come work for the summer at his Husky Homestead Tour, located near Denali Park. At the time I had no intentions of returning to the sled dog tourism business, but this was not because I didn't enjoy it. The 4 summers I spent working for Dan and Chris Turner in Juneau doing dog sled tours were some of the most fun and memorible summers of my whole life. You really can't beat getting paid to do what you love.....hanging out with dogs! But Juneau is far away from my home in Two Rivers, I wanted to focus a little on some home projects and such. I hadn't even seen my newly purchased home in the summer yet. So after 4 great seasons I decided to move on and stay the summer in Two Rivers.

Denali Park however isn't a 12 hour drive and a 6 hour ferry ride away, it is just a quick 2 1/2 hours away from Two Rivers. Jeff also offered me a conveinent schedule of 10 days on/ 4 days off, totally doable to maintain, shall we say, 2 different lives at once. I have to admit after a long hard winter I was looking for a change. Plus how could I pass up an opportunity to work for the winningest dog musher in the world. Surely I could learn something this summer, get paid to do what I love, and still have time to go home and keep improving my house. Sounded like a winning combination in itself!

Funny how things work out. I have always felt blessed with a well marked trail through life. Perhaps some of trail markers along the way were in a "x" formation (in sled dog racing, when there is a dangerous section ahead on the trail the trail markers are set in an "x" to warn the musher of upcoming obstacles). I have survived those obstacles, with perhaps some minor bruises, but also with knowledge and experiences I feel there was a neccassary reason I was due to learn. There has never been a question of which trail I should take. So many people wander in life in a metaphorical "whiteout" of direction. They are searching for guidance. Searching for a trail marker. I have been lucky enough that just when I thought I lost the trail, I see that next trail marker pops up off in the distance.

Before I started the Yukon Quest this year, I had definately lost the trail. I remember having a conversation with my good friend Jodi Bailey about my situation. I told her, " As silly as this sounds, I want to do well in the Quest, but really I am looking for an epiphany out there."

Well the Quest ended be just that, but it wasn't quite what I expected. Though the scenery, travelling during a full moon, and  night after night of by far the most amazing northern lights display I have ever seen made for a spiritual race. I thought an epiphany would be the mental equivalent of lights and angels bursting out of heaven heralded by trumpets playing epic music. But come to find out it was more of a sigh, or more of an "Oh!"  I don't even know if I could pinpoint the one exact moment that it happened at all. It was as if I looked back after a while and realised that in fact I had had an epiphany. 

And when you get your priorities and your soul straight good things come parading in! Working at Husky Homestead was just one of those opportunites that followed my "epiphany." I think its going to be a great  summer and an even better race season this year. I won't get too anxious for snow yet though. I'm going to enjoy the fun here in Denali for now!