Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow at last!


Yikes spring seems to be here. temperature 25-35° above zero... and it’s just mid February!! Normal temperatures should be about +5°F.

My sled dogs are beginning to shed their winter coats. The trails are getting mushy and messy. And I am missing winter already.

I know, I know.. You folks on the east coast, who have had more snow than we have this winter, would love to see an early spring, but we live here because we love winter. Where can we go? How much farther north can we go? And why do we love living here?

 Let me tell you:

First thing in the morning, the sun is rising about 7:50, off to the south by south east. The sky slowly blossoms in cherry blossoms, than peach blossoms and then pale yellow morning spreads out behind the Alaska Range of mountains. At the very moment of sunrise the sun floats up shooting rays to ignite the tops of the spruce trees around the cabin. The chick-a-dee-dee-dees take this as a signal to flit into the bird feeders for a breakfast of sunflower seeds. By then the sled dogs are stretching and shaking and looking in the window.” Hey Mom, we’re ready to roll. What’s taking you so long?”

Well, I’m inside, answering e-mails and doing dishes and getting ready to go off to elementary school, where I am teaching the kid-os about taking care of dogs, and dog mushing and reading and writing. I love working with these young minds. They are so spontaneous and curious. When they start wiggling, I know I have gone on too long. Clifford accompanies  me and the kids love my  gentle giant. 

When I get home from school, I go out and clean the dog yard, and if there is time , we go for a toot around the neighborhood. On days I don’t have a school visit, we go on longer runs. Last weekend it was wonderful to go out to the cabin again. 

My friends Nita and North Pole Miriam, had some guests who wanted to mush out to there. We lunched on moose stew and fresh bread and memories of living down on the Alaska Railroad , half way to Anchorage. Tim, one of the new mushers, works for the railroad and  wanted to compare the rumors with the reality, so the summer guides would have correct information. I am also grateful for that.

The  little cabin is west of this Goldstream Cabin. John, my former husband and I  built it in 74-75. The cabin is in the Tanana State Forest and is in a grove of old BoreaL Forest, of white spruce and paper birch trees. The oldest trees are probably close to 200 years old and usually this forest burns about every 100 years. s. The cabin is about 14’x14’ with a little back room of 6’x14’ added on. There is a tall cache, a storage shed, a sauna, 2 woodsheds. and a guest cabin. The oldest of these buildings is beginning to show its age and needs some work. The sod roof has seedlings growing up that need a clear-cutting.

Feb. 23,2010

AT last the snow is snowing.. maybe 1/2 fell today. better than nothing. Looks all bright and clean again. 

The Olympics are fascinating.  I am amazed at what the human body can do. Inspired.