Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Cliffy!!

A word about my pop: He's fantastic.
A word about weather days on the glacier: They suck. Nice segue, eh?
This week on the glacier was full of crappy weather which means, very few tours. Which in turn means, I don't get paid. Yes, we get paid by the tour and when the tours don't come, we sit in the rain, in our tents and make the best of it. I learned how to crochet. I am also the reigning champ at speed Scrabble. Sorry this is a short post, but we're on our way back up to the glacier. I'll post more next time, I promise. Thank you to all the supporters who have left comments or emailed me, I really appreciate it. Meanwhile, enjoy photos of my first three attempts to crochet myself a hat. None of them fit my head, thought the last one was really close.

The first one. I tried to add stitches too fast and so it made really ruffled edges. We decided it would be best suited for a fancy monkey.

Instead, I gave it to Kyle.

The second one. This one would fit a toddler so I gave it to Adam to send to his nephew.

The third one. It would fit on my head if I shaved off all my hair, but I wasn't willing to do that, so I gave it to Kym. Now I'm out of yarn.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Get Rich or die tryin'

Being away from someone you love is very hard. And I started early. After college, I moved clear across the country about 5,000 miles from my family to work in the Yukon. Now, many (many) years later, I find myself living on a glacier missing my Rich, who is 1,000 miles away in the same state. The good news is, he misses me just as much! We talk once a week and, weather permitting, we'll see each other in a couple weeks when he flies in from Homer to Juneau for a couple days. He might even come up and spend a night on the glacier. He'll be here July 1st (Canada Day) until July 4th, also known as...the day before my birthday!! It's all very exciting for me.
The weather on the glacier has been unusually good this year so far. Only two weather days in five weeks. That's pretty much unheard of. We have had to cancel a few tours here and there as the fog rolls in and out (helicopters don't fly when it's foggy) but on the whole, it's been great. Sunny days means tours and tours means I get paid. (mushers don't get paid when it's foggy). And the whole reason for being separated from my sweet boy was to make money to race this winter. So fingers crossed for more clear days. As all the mushers, handlers, photogs and managers get to know each other at the glacier camp, the job is getting a little more fun. We all get along amazingly well and though there isn't much in the way of extracurricular activities (we're all too tired) we make work fun. Also, even though tips weren't great this week, I had two different people tell me that this was the best thing they've done in their whole lives. In their whole lives! I think that's pretty cool.
Here's a whole heap of photos to illustrate a morning in the life on the Mendenhall Glacier camp.

I roll out of bed, actually I roll out of sleeping bag on a plywood cot, at 6 a.m. and immediately go to the yard to scoop dog poo. All my buckets have my name on them as things have a way of disappearing.

My harness rack. The harnesses are tied at night just in case the wind picks up.

This morning was pretty foggy. These are my sleds waiting to be flipped up and tied off.

The south park dog-food hut. There are four dog lots in south park and four in north park. We feed Dr. Tim's Momentum and the dogs are doing really, really well on it.

Burt waiting for breakfast.

Burt getting interrupted by me. If you look closely, you can see the drool.

The fog is lifting. You can see the Mendenhall Towers.



Gone! All in about 30 minutes. Crazy weather.

The sun is out, time for zinc on the pink noses. Codfish hates it but we have to protect the dogs from the sun.

Summer sporting her zinc nose.

Finally time for breakfast. Martha is our cook and she is AWESOME!!

Soon the guests arrive.

Here's my team on the trail with my first batch of guests for the day. Sorry it's a big blurry, but you get the idea. And so on the hour for the rest of the day we hook up and unhook teams to take people from all around the globe out on the glacier via dog team. Not a bad gig.