Thursday, February 25, 2010

The true North strong and free

I worked a little late last night and met some friends at the Down East Saloon for a beer afterwards. I had received a parcel from my parents over there in Canuckistan earlier in the day and was wearing my new spoils: a pair of red, Canada Flag Olympic mittens. I walked into the bar wearing the mittens and doing the 'raising the roof' motion while clucking like a wounded bird. I immediately regretted my obnoxious actions. All the gnarled locals at the bar were giving me death stares and Patty, my 'friend', threw one behind the bar. (I got it back) An irate drunk woman in the corner, who was wearing a rainbow hat and sorting through a deck of playing cards adorned with naked men (I am not making this up), stated yelling at me to go back to Canada. I actually feared for my safety for a second. Then I took the sarcastic high road which again, nearly resulted in me getting my ass kicked, and told the inebriate that we are a kind and gentle people and that maybe she should go spend some time in Canada so that she too could become kind and gentle. She didn't like that one bit. I eventually put the mittens away for fear of my physical well being.
The gold medal women's hockey game is today. I'm wearing my mittens and really, really hoping for a win. Mostly so I can tell Patty to stuff it. Oop-oop!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

When the bottom drops, my life won't change a bit

I got a new headlamp the other day. I know it doesn't sound that exciting, but it really, really was. Rarely do I have the opportunity the buy new gear, but when I do, it makes my day. This one is bright. Really bright. It makes a huge difference on my night runs as I can see the entire team and down the trail a bit. I haven't posted in a while because there's really nothing new. Still running dogs, still working. That's about it. We've booked a few tours for March and April and I even got an email this morning about doing a tour in May, but I think that's a bit too late in the season, even for here where the snow seems to stick around forever. We've had some really nasty wind storms with warm temps (35 to 40) rain and lots of heavy, wet snow, so once again, training slowed a little. I'm wondering about racing at all this season, but we'll see. I took the 'race' team out last night and hit wind in the high country. The trail had blown in and neither the dogs or I were very confident in which direction to go. The result was me trying set my hooks in powder, unhooking tugs and turning the team around repeatedly. I was soaked in sweat and the dogs were confused and to be honest I was a little scared. This happened three times. If it had been daylight I might have just kept going but I really don't know these trails well enough in the dark to guess. So the run was cut a little shorter than I'd like, but the snow was deep and the dogs got a good workout (so did I!) anyway. I'll take them out again today and try for a 40 or 50-miler, but it's windy again so we'll see how far we get. With new snow and snowmachines zipping all over the place making new trails where there weren't any before, I get confused. I've been running Pete and Hazel in lead and they're doing pretty good at listening to me. Sometimes they'll even find the right trail when I have no idea where it is. Good lead dogs, indeed. If nothing else training in these less-than-ideal conditions has been good for my confidence as a driver. I hate running the dogs in such warm temps, but I've given up waiting for it to get cold here. We've been running the pups Alice and Ruby consistently and they look awesome! Maude's pups Audrey, Linus and Ty are growing like weeds and happy little ones. Roy is more annoying than ever, but I think he's getting sick, so I'll lay off him for today. Poor Roy.
OK, that's it from dog house.