The first snow of the season fell today. 2" in Willow. Enough to frost the trees and brighten up the night, but also turned the road north of Houston into glare ice. The sirens have been screaming all night. I'm hoping the roads clear up by morning. I'm headed back to the kennel tomorrow to run two teams. The snow is forcast to melt, but it is starting to look and feel like winter! I'm already celebrating the change in season but hustling to get everything that needs doing done before it arrives for good.
YES! Finally!! Clear and cold. 18 degrees tonight. Grasses crunch underfoot and the stars burn in the sky. The northern rim is hazy with aurora. Green and purple ribbons flare up and coronas shimmer overhead. Life in the North. Beautiful. I unpacked my puff pants and took my blue parka out of the closet tonight. I was cozy on my runs, completely wowed by the light show, content to breathe the chill air.
I am slowly building up my team. Watching the dogs run further, grow stronger, and eat like monsters, I am encouraged. Anticipation for the coming race season rises. I can't wait for the rain and mud to end, for freeze-up and snow. I remind myself that every season has a uniqueness to be appreciated. Fall is a time for cranberries and mud boots. I love my Bogs, that's for sure. It's fun to watch the dogs splash through puddles, and if I can stay dry, I like the rain too. I enjoy the cool, rainy fall mornings when I can sit in my chair by the window with a hot mug and read before the day starts.
But it all comes back to winter... love love love winter! Fall is a time to prepare for the approaching winter, a time for fresh starts... Gear lists. Race schedules. Training schedules. Budgets. Sponsor packages. Looking forward to the new season.
1) Complete successfully in several mid-distance races in Alaska. This being my rookie racing season in Alaska, successful is determined first by a healthy dog team and musher, second by standing.
2) Qualify for Yukon Quest and/or Iditarod.
As a team, we have a lot to learn. We need to learn to camp. We need to outfit ourselves properly for the Alaskan winter. We need to eat properly, and we need to learn our limits. This season will be all about experimentation but most of all, FUN.