Sunday, May 04, 2008

Beware of bears and offensive Iditarod mushers

Well, Jesus, I made it. I made it Skagway after a crazy 14-hour drive, two nights in Whitehorse and 26 crazy dogs. I'm living in Dyea, just outside of Skagway and internet access has been sketchy. I'm at a coffee shop right now, still on the hunt for a wifi location. Skagway is a little port town that was once a bustling city at the turn of the century during the Klondike Gold Rush. Now it caters mostly to tourists. There are some year-round inhabitants and lots of seasonal workers like me, so it's been fun meeting new people. The cruise ships have yet to arrive. But once they do, the boardwalks in Skagway will be packed shoulder to shoulder with white-haired grannies and grampies from Vermont and Florida. With their white shoes and colour-coordinated track suits, the tourists here are easy to spot. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
I have a sweet little cabin high up on a rock cliff. My dog lot is on the next bluff below me. The dogs are in heaven here. It's cool and with big trees all around, there is plenty of shade. So far I've been tending to my dogs and doing odd jobs around the camp to get ready for the onslaught of visitors. Our first tours (16-dog teams pulling wheeled carts with six tourists, one musher and one handler) begin on Monday. Yesterday I got a crash course (literally) in driving those carts. I only hooked up 12 dogs because the cart wasn't full and yet my dogs still seemed to struggle. We have to turn the team around 180 degrees at the end of each one-mile tour and that really confused Bully and Capiche. By the fourth run, they were ready to give me the finger and call it a day. We stopped then thank goodness. They'll get it, I'm sure, this is new for me and the dogs. I really think I'm going to like it here. The people, for the most part, are really cool. And there are around 300 dogs so there's always doggie love to have. Once the season gets rolling, it's going to be a lot of work, but I'm ready.
Sorry if this post is all over the place, but I'm trying to get it all in.
Oh yeah, there's a huge bear problem at the camp, so I'm getting nervous about that...more later
I'm running out of time.
Peace.

4 comments:

Carolyn H said...

I love Skagway (and Dyea). There's a sweet tiny log cabin just on the bend before Dyea among some conifers that I've always coveted. I'm sure you'll have a great summer!

Carolyn H.
http://roundtoprumings.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Awww, you're just going to leave us hanging with THAT title? Bears, I get. "Offensive Iditarod mushers"??? Do tell...

tundratantrum said...

Hahaha...I was thinking the same thing...dammit she mentions offensive iditarod mushers and then trots off on her merry way...sheesh.

jojo roxx said...

You are living my DREAM!! Ever since I read the ad on the back of 'Musher Magazine' I have been telling the family (each time I'm loaded up in my rig with my team of 2 pups...!)" well, I'm off to skagway. See you in the fall." I'm over 45, how do you think i'd fair? ...snicker. might be tougher than some of the upstarts. Anyway, you are a lucky lucky grrl and I will be tuning in regular to get the skagway update from u.