Saturday, September 25, 2010

Healthy, free, the world before me

We've been on the road for the past week or so in, get this, an RV! It really is a home on wheels! Rich's parents made the trek up from Illinois and rented a Winnebago in which we all four piled in and hit the road. We drove down the Parks Highway to Denali National Park where we spent a few days hiking around and looking for wildlife. It's been a nice, relaxing vacation for all four of us and we are very grateful to LouAnn and Bob for this opportunity to get away for a little bit. We arrived in Talkeetna last night and went straight to the local brewery for a pint. The power was out in town as this whole area was hit hard by a wind storm. But we are back up today, the wind has died and we're fixin' to head back to Anchorage. Bob and Lou head back to the real world Sunday morning and Rich and I will drive to Wasilla to pick up a ton of dog food before heading back to Homer. We've been training teams daily and decided it would be okay to give the pups a few days off before we bump up the miles. Here are a bunch of photos from the past week. More updates coming soon.

Leaving the yard with a team before heading out for our road trip. You can see our cabin with the new addition on the back.

Rich and I coming back from the second run. Tim and Hazel in wheel with old Sister and young Linus in front of them.

The great Denali, North America's highest peak. Here she is on a nice calm day.

The wind was rippin' on Denali a fews later.

The railroad trestle over Riley Creek on our morning hike in Denali.

Me being hilarious and doing the old 'Anyone know when the next train is due?' routine. I'll buy you a Coke if you can tell me what movie that's from. (Family is not allowed to guess.)

Riley Creek in Denali National Park.

Mud meets ice on the Teklanika River farther into the park.

The Teklanika River.

Cool ice on a small creek in Denali. It was pretty chilly while we were there.

Me in the RV. 'Get that camera out of my face!'

RV bliss.

Weird creatures come out at night in the Park. Richard lovin' life on the road.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Take me home, country roads

The good news is: I'M HOME! The great news is: Our cabin has an addition that's almost done! The best news is: I have a man who loves me and 20-something dogs who are as eager for winter as I am!
Yes, people, I am living the dream.
The last days on the glacier were pretty uneventful. Bad weather, I think. I've pretty much blocked it all out. The transition from ice to ground went surprisingly well. I was saddened to hear that the very tour after I got down to the ground had a woman on it who was looking for me. Apparently, she's been reading the blog and wanted a ride with the Spitfire crew. So, Mrs. So-and-so (sorry, I didn't get your name from Andy) this is an invitation to come to Homer this winter and take a ride with us. Heck, you even have a place to stay with all the room we have now.
Upon arrival back home, Rich and I spent a day relaxing and unpacking. And now we're in full swing with training pups, looking for land and getting ready for the winter tour and race season. We've got a freezer full of moose, salmon, halibut and other goodies for us and the dogs this winter and will picking up our first ton of kibble in the next week or so. The weather here has been clear and sunny with temps cool enough in the mornings to run the dogs. The newest pups are doing great and getting better with each short run. The glacier dogs will be back in action this week and then, I'll be training three teams! Of course, Rich will be there too, but with him still working long days at the winery, most of the training will be left up to me. I can't wait for winter! We still need to stockpile more wood to keep us warm this winter, but we've got enough now for a while yet.
Rich's parents arrive on the 17th for a week or so, and we'll take a few days to road trip with them, which I'm also really looking forward to. I think that's it for now. Expect more regular updates. Here are some photos from our first week training the puppy team. They actually look like real sled dogs now!


Linus and Tim.

Poncho and Lefty.

Angie and Dolly.

Ty and Audrey.

The crew with Ku and Sister in lead.

Bully getting reunited with our little piece of paradise.