Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good News for People Who Like BAD News

OK, here it is. Straight up. I don't have enough money to do the Quest 300. I'm postponing my 300-mile race until April when I'll do the Taiga 300 in Paxson. This is an extremely hard decision for me as my drop bags are done, the dogs are trained etc. But, this is life. It's hard. I didn't plan very well financially.
That's it.
Race postponed until April.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This is a test...this is only a test...

What'dya think? I was just dinking around and I really don't what these could be used for...thank-you cards? They're just photos I've taken over the years, altered in Photoshop. The blue-eyed dog is Carol, a friend's dog, and the brown one is Bully.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I can't wear skinny jeans cuz my knots won't fit

I got the best new music from Johnson the other night. A whole bunch of randomness but the thing I'm most excited about is a remix of Fire it Up by Modest Mouse and Lil' Wayne. Words can't describe the awesomeness. Except maybe the word awesome. I hate that word. Reminds me of Bill and Ted. Keanu Reeves is a boob. Whatever happened to the other guy?
I'm continuing to pack drop bags today, cut meat, do three interviews (maybe four...Jodi?? Helloooo?) and go on a short run later. And yet here I sit at the computer.
Ron Jeremy AND Richard Simmons are coming to Fairbanks this month. Not together. I don't know which one makes me more homicidal. Simmons, for sure. I think Ron Jeremy should work out with Richard Simmons...'Sweatin' to the Bow-chicka-bow-wows'...'and thrust and thrust and moan and scream and choke and spank it'...oh god this has gone too far...

Wheeeeee! Gloves and heat packs and batteries!

I tried to show Crush (aka 'HR Puffy Face'...she has an abscess on her cheek) how to cut the tags off the gloves but then I was reminded that she doesn't have thumbs.

Booties! And dog coats!

Who are we cheering for?? Carmacks! Wait, no, Rogers!! Carmacks is the name of the checkpoint sillyhearts!

Roy was no help as usual.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One in the bag and one in the hole

Well, I'm not going to that 20-mile race at the track today. My dogs were a little sore this morning and I don't want to push it. Plus, Sam just informed me that it'll cost me $50 to enter a little 20-mile event so eff that.
The 52-miler in the White Mountains yesterday was absolutely perfect. The dogs looked fantastic for the entire run, the trail was perfect, the weather was heavenly and, mostly importantly we were having fun!!! There was one glitch that cost me about 20 minutes, but I still did the run in about six hours and 15 minutes, and that included two snack breaks and a couple of cuddle stops. The glitch came at about the 30-mile mark. Sipsi stopped pulling. I stopped briefly and took off her front booties, which have been irritating her dew claws. That's the reason dew claws are removed on sled dog pups, but Sipsi Lou was a pound dog and still has her little thumbs. We took off and she still wasn't pulling; almost to the point of necklining, so I stopped again. I stretched her out and she whimpered. Sore right shoulder. I went back to the sled, rearranged some things, made a little bed for her out of dog jackets, grabbed my bag of meat snacks, snacked the team and brought Sipsi back to the sled. Usually, the dogs freak out when they have to get loaded but Sipsi Lou, who is usually afraid of her own shadow, happily hopped in, curled up in a ball and went to sleep. It was about that time I looked to the front of the team and noticed Rohn had turned around and was humping Summer. He's an uncut boy I borrowed from Rich. Good dog, good leader, but uber horny. I screeched his name and ran up front. Too late. They were locked together in husky love. I grabbed a handful of snow and tried to freeze his nards and wiener so they'd shrink up and the dogs would come apart. Nope. Shit! Well, I wanted to breed Summer and seeing as she had a false pregnancy last summer in Skagway, I still don't have any pups. (By the way, Capiche never ended up being preggers.) So, I waited. And waited. I walked up the line, checking feet, flexing wrists and stretching out shoulders and hips. Everyone looked great and wanted to get going. So did I! But when dogs do it, it's no quickie affair. I got my thermos of coffee and went up to sit beside the rogue lovers. I wanted to make sure there were no fights with dogs around them and also as soon as they were done, it was back to running. Summer tried to sit on my lap, dragging Rohn and his wiener behind her. "For Christ's sake, Summer, at least pretend to enjoy it! Fake it or something..."
About 20 minutes after they locked together, they were done. I gave them a second to say their goodbyes and then moved Summer back to wheel with Bully, who sniffed but wasn't interested in sloppy seconds. We were off again and the dogs finished strong. Sipsi was reluctant to give up her spot in the sled, even when we got back to the truck. Upon arriving home, I brought her in the house, massaged her whole body with liniment and she slept on the bed with Bully, Capiche and Roy. I'll keep you posted on the baby-mama drama. Pray to Ku for puppies!! My first litter!
Hopefully they'll have Summer's looks, heart, disposition and feet, and Rohn's appetite and unrelenting run, not hump...

Into the night...

Do I always look this cockeyed?

Lil' Lou in the sled. Her name has morphed from Sipsi, to Sipsi-Lou, to Lou, to Lil' Lou. That's the way it works. I hardly ever call any of the dogs by their real names. They all have at least three nicknames. Bull is Bully, Bull-Wool, Wooly, Woolis, Boo, Boos, Boosalou...etc...Capiche is Piche, Pichers or Pinhead. Hazel is Hazel-Mouse, Mouse, Mousey, Micro-Tiny, Basil, Hazelnut...You get the idea...

And here's Lou (post-massage) back at home with Roy's bone.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Look man, I ain't fallin' for no banana in my tailpipe

I'm heading to the Whites today as soon as I can get it together. I'm driving to the Wickersham Dome trailhead because I'm getting a late start, I don't want to disturb the dogs at Dan and Jodi's when I return later tonight. I'll do a 52-mile run today and then tomorrow, just for fun, I'm doing a 20-mile race at the ADMA track. It'll be nice to run a fast 20 and be in the race atmosphere. Drop bags are coming along. I cut about 100 pounds of fish yesterday and still have beaver and turkey skins to cut. My booties are all done and I only need to purchase a few items (glove liners, batteries and heat packs) to finish off the drops. Life is good.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hell's out for recess, baby!

I went out to Chatanika yesterday to do a 45-miler in the White Mountains. I left from Dan and Jodi's yard and it was perfect. Why in god's name haven't I been doing this all along. The run was great. It was a hard 45 (more like 42 actually) with steep, long climbs and crazy descents. There was glare ice and open water, wind on the summits and huge drifts. A little something for everyone, as Dan said. The dogs did so well, I was bursting with pride when we pulled in and all tails were wagging. I'm really, really excited about the Quest 300. I love this race thing and even though we're slow, my dogs rock! God, this is a lame post.
I'm tired.
And sore.
But happy.
I'm packing drop bags today. Again. Still. I'll head back to the Whites tomorrow for another run.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

There's only one road to freedom

OK, my poop mouth has been giving me grief lately so I'm going to tone it down a little. But, you have to understand, sometimes that's just how I speak and this blog is me. All too often that little filter that holds back the offensive words and actions fails me. It's there when I have to be mildly professional, but these days, I've been hanging out with my dogs and other mushers, so a rough exterior is mandatory. I'm still the sweet Canadian writer that I always was though....snort...
So, I'm back in Fairbanks and the Christmas tree is still up. Sam must know how much I love taking it down and picking up pine needles...what a sweetheart...but seriously, I did miss life here in the Interior and it's good to be back. I'm heading North in the morning to the White Mountains and snowy trails to start building up the miles again before I leave for Whitehorse and Quest 300 on February 10. I'll be training out of Jodi Bailey and Dan Kaduce's yard which is a few miles farther than where I usually go when heading into the Whites, but with the option of catching up with good friends and having coffee after a run, well, the extra miles are well worth it. I'll be borrowing at least a couple of dogs from them for the Quest as Hazel is out for the season and a few of my dogs are questionable. I dropped Hazel on the GinGin with what I thought was a sore wrist, but it turns out she has a pulled tendon which will take considerably more time to heal. She's been going on loose walks though and is still has happy and excitable as ever. Capiche's shoulder has healed up, as has Bully's harness rub from the GinGin, I really hope they'll stay healthy for the 300 as they are my most experienced dogs. Sister is out. She decided she doesn't want to be a sled dog anymore and so she's been promoted (demoted?) to house-dog status. Actually, she's outside mostly until she can learn that peeing on the furniture is not acceptable. Let's see...Summer, Sipsi, Crush, Doyon and Sneaky Pete are my superstars. Brady is a question mark. Some runs he's so good and others he hardly pulls at all. He's a big boy with a huge heart and I sure would like to have him on the team, but we'll see. I'll be using Rich's leaders Ku and Rohn again as they are really reliable and strong. Hitchcock is a question mark as well. Sometimes she's great and other times not so much. She's so funny though, I really hope she makes it. Today I'll be cutting meat to pack into my drop bags for the race. The drop bags will be sent to the checkpoints ahead of time so I can resupply along the way. I think I've got everything I need though I still haven't figured out how I'm going to pay for gas to make the 900-mile trip to Whitehorse. I've got several stories on the go, three for Mushing Magazine and one for the Anchorage Daily News, but payday for those won't come until after the race. Sigh. Well, that's part of being a dog driver, I guess: a foul mouth and an empty bank account.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Your soul is a bowl of jokes

First of all, good for you Karen for getting the last blog title. You and Juneau Eco Mommie have gotten some really obscure and inane references on this thing and for that, I am impressed.
I'm still in Big Lake and things are pretty weird here. The weather is still above freezing and the trails are icy and wet. They're still usable for training but barely. However, things aren't much better up in Fairbanks and the Parks Highway between here and there is a skating rink, so I'm staying put for the time being. Rich and I actually ice skated down the road joke...
The dogs are doing well but training has been sparse due to the inclement weather. The rain has been a bummer. But, like I said, I'm still able to train so I will and, really, everyone is in a the same boat. Races have been postponed and cancelled around the state because of this heat wave. Hopefully things cool down before the Quest 300.
Anyway, dogs are calling. Oh, and Kelly, you wanted gossip so here it is...Greg Parvin picks his nose and eats it! Don't tell anyone.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I don't even know about jelly

If it ain't one thing it's a motherfucking nother.
Jesus. Last week, it was 30 below here in Big Lake. Today? It's freakin' 40 degrees and RAINING! Are you shittin' me? Dogs good. Me good. Life good. Going back to Squarebanks this week. More later...stay tuned

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The more I listen, the more things sound the same

Hey y'all! I'm still in Big Lake/Willow training the dogs. It's cold here, about 20 below, but it's still 40 to 45 below in Fairbanks, so I'm not complaining too badly. I just really need to keep up with training before my next race and I can't (won't) train when it's colder than about 35 to 40 below. Plus it's hard to keep weight on the dogs when it's that cold. Thanks to Sam for being oh, so understanding and holding down the fort whilst I am away. I'm not sure how long I'll be down here, I guess that's up to ol' Jack Frost...stupid fucker...
I'm feeling good about the Quest 300, which starts on February 14 in Whitehorse. The dogs are excited about running again, with the exception of old Bully. He did really well in the Gin Gin, but it took a few days for him to get his enthusiasm back, so he's officially a couch dog. I'm glad he could be there with me on my first 200.
Anyway, I promised photos, so here are some from, well, from this winter. I hope you're all well and had a lovely holiday.

Training on Fish Creek in November.

How many puppies can fit in this house? Six!

Time to start the race. Rich's sled at the start of the Sheep Mountain 150.

Iditarod Queen DeeDee Jonrowe asleep under the Christmas tree at the Sheep Mountain 150.

Me on the home stretch of the GinGin 200. Notice the bare pavement.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I'm surrounded by forever but I don't have any time

Oh, my gosh! Thank you so much for all your support! I have the best blog readers in the world. Thank you Beatrice for the award is an honor just to be nominated...
I'm south in Big Lake/Willow for a while because it's wicked cold (55 below) in Fairbanks and I need to keep training the dogs for the Quest 300. They're all doing really well. I'm keeping the skinnier dogs in the cabin and feeding them four times a day to get their weight back up. Everybody is happy and healthy, though and I can't wait for my next race! Here are some photos that Sam took at the race start. I have more to post and will do it this week.

Me getting layered up before the start.

Me with my wind suit on before the big start.

My friend T-Tam leaving, with my team in the right corner...Ku and Rohn in lead.

And I'm off! Look at that stupid grin...if only I had known what I was in for!!!!