Saturday, November 3, 2012

Updates from the north woods: "Weather changes moods" - Kurt Cobain

The dogs and I have been here nine days as of this posting, and have begun to settle into a rhythm. I haven’t seen a sunny day since I left Ohio, though, and this morning I woke with a heavy heart partially because of the constant rain, I think. It’s common for the skies to be cloudy this time of year in the Upper Peninsula, but this rain and lack of sunlight is kinda getting to me. 

The dogs LOVE the overcast cloudy skies, though. 

Tosh, quite comfortable under the cloudy U.P. skies
Everyone looks great, and they're in their element on these trails. Tosh has been showing good focus on our runs, and with lots of leaders in his background, I decided to put him up front for a mile of our 10 mile run yesterday. He was next to his dad for guidance and did great!

Fifteen month old, Tosh (white) lead for a bit yesterday with his dad next to him

Note worthy:

1. I've gotten good at mastering the art of showering with a six gallon hot water tank. I am thankful to have a shower at all, because at first, I didn't. I received a call from Mike Murphy, purveyor of the small cabin I am living in for the season shortly before I left Ohio saying that the hot water tank in the cabin was kaput. Thankfully, my friend Michael Betz, who was on his way down state from St. Paul, picked up a small hot water tank from craigslist and stopped over on his way down to help mushers and friends, Jerry and Ali Papke for the season. It's really not as bad as I thought it would be showering with such a small capacity of water, and makes me realize just how much water we use and waste every day of our lives in "normal" society.

2. I've also gotten good at the art of managing a fire in a small wood stove in a way that I don’t roast myself out. This was far more challenging than learning to shower with a small amount of water. The first few nights, I created (inadvertently) a veritable sauna in the little cabin. With all of the cold rain, warmth was a welcome relief...but I had to eventually open the window to breathe. I've gotten better at it now, though.

3. Those who know me know I have long been a vegetarian. Until I come up to the U.P. I'm not sure what has happened to me, but I have turned into a genuine meat eating machine like the dogs! Something about being outside working in the cold makes me crave meat. Gracie, my little house dog, has gotten really good at sniffing out the beef and begging. 

Gracie says "Where's the beef!?"
Today the dogs had a day off from running. We woke up to a beautiful dusting of snow that made it feel like winter. Tomorrow, we're back on the trail. 

As always,

....from da U.P. :)

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