The dogs and I are about to set off on an adventure.
We set off on adventures every time we go on a run. But this is a different kind of adventure.
A few weeks ago, when I was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with my most excellent friend Emily Wade, we began planning. Scheming. Plotting.
Whenever two mushers get together, there is inevitable "dog talk" - discussions of all things dog: diet, training routines, race plans, stories from the past. But aside from the normal dog talk, Emily and I began discussing seriously joining forces this season and becoming kennel partners.
Emily has 13 racing Alaskan huskies, and I have 12. There are advantages to partnering up - especially for small kennels. If one of our dogs is injured, we can borrow a dog from the other. We will travel the same racing circuits together this season, cutting down on costs because we will share expenses.
But how will we do this if she is in Skandia, Michigan and I am in Diamond, Ohio?
Ah, dear reader. You are sharp. I can't pull anything over on you.
The short answer is: the dogs and I are moving to da U.P.
Thanks to Emily, while I was in the U.P., I connected with a guy who owns a cabin in Chatham, about twenty or so minutes from where Emily is staying. He had used it only as a snowmobile haven, and was casually looking for a renter. He works in construction, and was completely renovating this little cabin. He has access to fork lifts and backhoes and other heavy machinery and has offered to put a connector trail right off of the cabin onto some of the best dog training trails in the U.P. He's even willing to leave a snow machine for me to break trails with in the snow.
I certainly hope that this fork in the road doesn't lead to peril. I don't have all the answers, but I have faith in the direction. I am excited, but also scared with a fear I haven't felt in a long time.
But I have learned that when the first few steps of something feel daunting and scary, this is even more reason to embark on those first few steps.