Saturday, September 01, 2007

Yeah, Sandra Bullock? You owe me $4.50!

Premonition sucks. Especially when the guy's head rolls out of the coffin. Don't rent it.

Anyway, this weekend Sam is hunting for Bullwinkle on the Chatanika River. I was supposed to go moose hunting with him, but he convinced me to stay and take this sled-dog chiropractic course. The teacher is a doctor who used to work on people, was introduced to mushing, liked dogs better, and now has devoted his life to huskies. I took an afternoon course of his last year on how to adjust the dogs' backs but this weekend's course is more extensive. Bully was my test bunny because he's so laid back. Since I'll be going out with the team for longer periods of time this winter, I need to know how to fix them if something goes 'pop' or 'click.' Today we learned how to identify shoulder and neck injuries, how to pinpoint which muscle or joint is tweaked, how to distract and/or manipulate the joint in question and how to loosen the joint to prepare for said manipulation. Many mushers spent a lot of time at checkpoints massaging dogs' muscles trying to get rid of stiffness or soreness, but if you can get proficient in identifying the problem, it will inevitably make the whole process much more efficient. Today was a little overwhelming with a lot of anatomy that I wasn't familiar with like, for example, supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus, teres minor, etc. And of course, Wes, our instructor, pulled me up in front of the class to go over everything we learned from the day, which I mumbled and joked my way through and despite being called out, was really glad he chose me because it helped me remember more. Tomorrow we're working on hips, wrists and backs.
On Monday, I'm going to the premiere of 'Into the Wild,' a movie directed by Sean Penn based on Jon Krakauer's book of the same name, which is debuting here because it was filmed here. The book recounts the true story of Chris McCandless, a rich, well-educated kid who burned his money, threw away his possessions and came north to Alaska. He hiked into the woods near Healy , found an old abandoned bus and moved in. Over several weeks, he realized he was not prepared to live with nothing in the wilds of Alaska and tried to go back. But the river he crossed early in the spring had risen and he was trapped. He starved to death and was found later in the fall by hunters. I read the book several times and was intrigued, but came to conclusion, like many, that the kid was an irresponsible idiot who had no business being out there in the first place. But still, I made a pilgrimage to the bus last winter by dog team. There was a plaque that his family had put up and letters to Chris from people who had travel to the bus to see where he died. It was all very creepy. In the winter, you can only get there by dog team or snowmachine and the route is pretty much impassable in the summer.
Anyway, here are some photos of the bus I shot last year. I sold one of them to Men's Journal for an article they did in this month's issue. The movie has been getting a lot of publicity and Alaskans are skeptical. I'm anticipating a cheesy Hollywood flick. I'm writing a review of the movie for a magazine here and won't be afraid to tell it like is, but am trying desperately to keep an open mind.


Anonymous said...

Where did the bus come from?

AKbushbaby said...

The bus was hauled in with heavy equipment in the early '60s by a construction company and was supposed to house workers while a road project was being completing. The road project was scrapped a couple years later because the route was just too tough. The bus was left there.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the movie, etc. Are you goin' huntin' this weekend? You wild woman. Was great to see JOHN HAGEN this week with you... we miss Margaret! --Lib