Springtime.... or notGreetings from Alaska,
Well its time for a spring update. As I write these lines I am flying from Juneau back to Anchorage. Matt and Jake hold the fort down in Juneau, packing and slinging up the camp to the Herbert glacier. I am on the way to collect the dogs. First stop is at Jakes place to get his gang, than some of Jessie’s dogs, than continue to Whitehorse to pick up some of my old geezers. I wonder if my dogs would prefer to stay home and laze in the sun, instead of going back to the winter landscape of the glacier. On the other hand, the dogs seem to get real exited as soon as they see the snow.
It has been a busy spring, with not much rest after Iditarod. Jessie and I immediately started guiding, mostly on the Denali Highway, but I also did one final trip in Whitehorse with a very nice family from Australia. It is always a lot of fun to go mushing with kids. Kids often take to mushing naturally and it did not take long that 6 year old Isabelle was running her own 2 dog team of Maggot and Jack. Jack getting older was only out for the ride, not much contributing pulling wise, but still very happy to go out on the trail. The dogs enjoy that too as they get a lot of attention. Skunk, Saffron, Inuk, Austin and Recees took turns for their cabin night.
Once the last guests left, it was time to clean and pack up from the winter, right in time to repack for the annual spring migration to Juneau. That was easier said than done in Paxson, as spring is very slow to come there. But even in Whitehorse the snow stuck around longer than usual. I had brief plans of taking a real vacation, like flying to Hawaii, but soon realized I would run out of time to do so. Instead a did a few days here and there in the beautiful state of Alaska, a quick trip to Valdez and a day of flying with Iditarod Veteran Gene Smith. What a treat it was to see the Iditarod trail from the birds eye perspective. While flying over the infamous Happy River Steps and continuing on the Rainy Pass I spotted a snowmachine on Finnbear Lake. While the whole trail had not seen any traffic, I was wondering if that were Ingrid and Mike. Sure enough, a happy Mike greeted us on his yellow tundra and we spend a few pleasant hours gabbing dogs in the spring sunshine. Finnbear Lake is also called helicopter lake and I had never noticed that there is a crashed helicopter right next to the trail. Apparently it crashed while trying to rescue a downed Chessna Airplane, which now sits crushed under the Helicopter. Well I guess now I know where the Lake got his name from.
Next was a short visit to Ketchikan to do Quest and Iditarod talks and meet up with some friends. Back in Paxson spring still had not sprung and I had a hell of a time to free my big 26 foot camper trailer from the snow and ice. It was sucked down in overflow pretty good, but a few pulls with the winch later, the trailer was out and I was on my way to Juneau. We have been living like the “ Trailer Park Boys “ waiting for a our apartment to be ready on May the 3rd-
During the next week we hopefully complete camp setup and get the tours going by Saturday the 7th, that is when we have the first bookings. Lets hope the weather will improve a bit.
So long, happy trails Sebastian