Monday, June 13, 2005

On the road again...

The Temptation: Alsek Music Festival in Haines Junction
The Dilemma: How to swing the trip without leaving the dogs
The Latest Plan of Brilliance: Take 'em ALL with me!!!!

The Result: ROAD TRIP!! The whole crew and I hit the road Friday night after work. It was pissing down rain, which was kind of a bummer way to start out the weekend. On the plus side, the temps dropped, so I didn't have to worry about the dogs getting too hot in the trailer. This is a Laura's trailer - she did an awesome job building her first dogbox!!! Lookit that rig! Very nice to drive and easy to maneuver. I hope to build something similar this summer and hopefully my inner-carpenter will come out and help me build something half-decent.
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I *think* I brought enough CRAP with me!! As many know, organization is not one of my strong skills. And let me tell you, there is a hell of a lot of organization required on a trip with one person and 14 dogs...

Big-headed Kuna. Face pelting rain didn't stop this guy from hanging his big mug out the window whe WHOLE WAY!!!
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This is at the cabin. The dogs adjusted pretty well to the dogbox. Some had been in dogboxes before, but the pups and Loki were brand new to this experience. I had a bit of a problem stuffing Sage into the box the first couple times - it was like trying to bathe a cat. He'd splay his legs out and refuse to stick his head in the box, kick me with his back legs.... he is one pup with a LOT of energy.... and strength... did I mention how damned strong he is!?!?
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Ivy - she really does have back legs.... she just bonded with her box.
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Jack: "Are you taking pictures AGAIN!?!? Ok, just a sec...let me put on my cute, inquisitive face..."
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Ripper dancing around his tree:
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So... the dogs *seemed* to be doing well. Fast forward to 3AM!!! They were all right outside the cabin I was in, and the pups decided it might be fun to bark at, oh, EVERYTHING!! A leaf would blow off a tree: "bark, bark, yip!" The wind blew: "bark, yap, bark!" Another dog moves in his sleep: "Yip, yip, bark!!" The river flows: "Bark, yip,yap!!" I felt like I had a couple colicky kids out there. They would not shut the hell up. I was excited when 5 minutes went by without them yapping. And everytime they yapped, I imagined a pack of wolves or a bear circling them out there. Soon enough, I was worried Jon and Laura were being kept up, so with my whopping 10mins of sleep, I decided to put them in the dogboxes *hoping* that would quiet them down. So another 10 mins of yapping as I was moving their buddies, they were all inside the truck/box and quiet... for once.

The plan actually worked. Then I found out the next morning that neither Jon nor Laura had heard a peep out of the dogs (or my feeble attempts to "shhhh" them) as, for some reason (beer? cider?), they slept more soundly than is humanly possible.

Festival site:
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We got to HJ around 1:00 and headed to fellow musher, Sean's place. He offered up his extra dogyard for my guys which worked out great. We also did a bit of bikejoring, and hit the festival later. It was a blast.

The return trip home was fairly uneventful, except for the stop I made at the rest stop to let the dogs out to loosen up. I felt like a travelling circus sideshow, as we had RV'ers and tourists gawking and gathering around us, wondering what the hell this set up was all about. I soon figured out that the gawk factor was due to the fact that the summer tourists miss out on dog trucks everywhere in the winter , so it must have been a bit of a novelty for them. Then Rupert decided to put on the "I-slipped-my-collar-and-now-I'll pretend-to-run-away" show!! After a few panicked moments of chasing him - calmly and cooly, otherwise they aren't coming anywhere near you - he trotted over to me, pretty pleased with himself. And then, we were on our way and the tourists were left to find other forms of entertainment...


Theo_musher said...

I thought this post was really funny! I think you are a great writer. I have been telling all my friends and relatives that like my blog about your blog.

The thing that gets me about this story, is the expression on the dogs faces. No matter what hairbrained scheeme or adventure we humans come up, withb they just take it all in stride and act like dogs. Its like they are totally clueless but wise at the same time.

dogsled_stacie said...

Hey, thanks Theo!!

Now that you mention it, that is TOTALLY true about the dogs just going along with our *hairbrained* schemes!! And as many know, I come up with an ENORMOUS amount of hairbrained schemes!!!

dogsled_stacie said...

Also wanted to add - and they never bat an eye or complain as I drag them along with me...