Work

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Friends often ask me if I get bored or lonely out here. It does happen, like last weekend when I was putting up Christmas decorations and had no one to share the results. For the most part, though, I am busy. A busy brain doesn’t get sad.

Despite being remote, I work a full 40 hours each week at my tech job. When I’m not tied to my desk with meetings or project planning, I’m scooping poop, feeding meals, and clearing snow.

At some point, I take the dogs running—usually in the early morning before work, but sometimes during my break in the afternoon. Then there’s the endless household chores: vacuuming, mopping, laundry, bringing firewood inside to feed the stove. Plus the work I invent for myself, like hanging Christmas lights, despite being the only one to really see them.

This was the first weekend in a while that my folks weren’t here to help with renovations (the floor is done!), so I was looking at two full days without any plans. Luckily, there’s always plenty to do, and plans materialized.

I had breakfast with some new friends on Saturday morning—cheers to Bumble BFF for helping liberal homesteaders find one another in a vastly conservative area. Next I got the dog truck’s lug nuts tightened, post-tire change, so we should be all set for winter.

Cable internet is now available in my area, so I spent a good hour working out the logistics of ending my satellite service and switching to cable in January. For roughly the same price, I’ll be getting 100 mbps (instead of 25 mbps) along with TV and phone. While I don’t need anything besides internet, Spectrum will only buy out my old contract (around $340) if I choose a package. I know my dad appreciate being able to watch sports next time he visits.

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Sunday was all about wood. There’s still a lot of branches on our trails, so I took the gear sled out again during our run and made solid progress clearing things up. Sadly, as we were making our way out of the woods, the sled clipped a tree and flipped, flinging all the wood behind us. I had the dogs do a few extra laps to collect more, as I didn’t want to come back empty handed (sledded?). I’ll try to gather up the lost wood on another run.

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During our last big snow, a few pine branches came down in the backyard and on the driveway. I had been meaning to move them off into the brush, but they were too big. Thankfully, Christmas came early for me in the form of a new Husqvarna chainsaw from Will in California. I have used a chainsaw exactly once in my entire life, but this new tool is leagues beyond that one in efficiency and usability.

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The chainsaw made quick work of the downed tree limbs. I sawed the main limbs into logs and loaded them on the gear sled (this time I was pulling it, no dogs involved). The rest of the branches were tossed into an area that will go to meadow in the spring. I unloaded the cut logs near the dog yard where they’ll sit until we’re out of snow season. Pine isn’t safe for wood stoves, but I’ll be able to burn these in a future fire pit.

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The remainder of the weekend was spent filling the fridge with groceries, hanging icicle lights on the front porch, and sunbathing in the dog yard. Even though it was below freezing, the sun made it feel much warmer. In a place that’s so often cloudy and a time when the sun gives out at 4:30 PM, a sunny Sunday needs to be soaked up.

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December

We’ve made it to December. It’s strange to think that this time last year I was preparing to move across the country. I’ve been back east for awhile now and living upstate for just over a month. It feels like longer—I first saw this place in the summer time, moved in during the fall, and winter definitely came early with the past three snow storms.

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Speaking of winter, I’ve decided that I’m not going to buy a plow truck this season. I’m still a little uneasy about it, but I think I’ll get by with my snowblower and local plow truck drivers. Even if I spend $100 on plow services every month from now until spring, it will still be a heck of a lot cheaper than even the crappiest of plow trucks. And most trucks that are in halfway decent shape start at $3,000. Since I work from home and don’t really need to go anywhere, I think I’ll be OK. The dog truck has 4WD and a new set of tires with better traction, so even with snow on the ground, we should be able to get around.

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As I type this, the snow from our most recent storm is quickly melting. For the first time in weeks, there are no major snowstorms in the forecast. It’s possible that the meteorologists were right and this winter will be mild for the Northeast. I definitely want snow, don’t get me wrong, but an easy first winter wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

December also means the holidays are in full swing. I’m so happy to be within driving distance to home (er, old home). I’ll be able to see family and friends for all the parties and traditions. But until I head south, this time of year just seems to amplify my current single-ness. Do you know how many songs there are about missing someone at Christmas time? Because I’m pretty sure it’s ALL OF THEM.

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I’ll abruptly change the subject to dogs because I rather not make this blog too depressing. This past weekend, I attached my new snow hook holders to the Prairie Bilt sled. Now that the hooks are secured, we can go out on the trail and successfully anchor down (assuming there’s enough solid snow) without having to find a tree to tie to.

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Snow hooks are pretty essential for the safety of myself and the dogs—I need to be able to secure the sled and quickly get off, like when a dog gets tangled. They’re also really helpful in non-emergency scenarios, like gathering wood. The last snowstorm brought down a lot of branches all over my property and trail, so we went out with the gear sled dragging behind us. I stopped every so often, hooked down, and gathered up branches. So now we have kindling, the dogs learned a lesson in patience, and our trail got packed down in the process. Sadly, it’s all pretty much washing away, but we’ll be able to do this again next storm.

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The changeover from fall to winter often sucks for mushing. The trails are either oversaturated with water or a sheet of ice. That, combined with Christmas preparations and travel, means the dogs just don’t get out as much. In past years, this would drive my crazy, but this season I’m just rolling with it. Buying this house alone has taught me a lesson in patience—and not to take on more than I can handle.

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Steady As She Goes

For the past, I dunno, decade I’ve been on the move. Little moves—from one college to another. Then, from college apartment to a house in north Jersey for a few months. When I’m unhappy, I tend to find a quick way out. I’ve latched onto the coattails of others on the move. I spent some time in upstate NY—two hours from home. Then the big leap across the country, five hours by plane, 40 by car. Again, I wasn’t happy, so I didn't stay for long.

Each move brought me a step closer to things I’d been dreaming about for a long time. My own dog, then several more. A spot to have a garden. Mountains and forests. Close to friends, boyfriends, and family. None of them really hit every checkbox. They always left me wishing for something. Even before dog sledding was my motivation, I was picturing a little homestead surrounded by woods.

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After years of living under other people’s roofs (parent's, boyfriends', landlords'), I have found my place. Looking out into my backyard, tucked within acres of woods, I finally feel like I can exhale. That’s not to say this place is perfect. It’s a long drive back to New Jersey to see friends and family. Making friends here is a challenge, but there’s a few mushers around. Dating seems bleak, but I have zero interest in that pursuit for now. I’m trying to focus on myself and doing exactly what I want to do, but the holiday season does make it a little extra lonely.

Doing things solo isn’t new for me, but being a homeowner in a challenging place is. Like I said in my last post, I’ve had family and friends come together to help me out a ton. At the end of the day, it’s still just me and the dogs, doing the best we can.

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Our mushing season is pretty far behind where we usually are for this time of year. We’ve done a lot of runs at the new property, but all of them have been short. I’ve got some additional gear on the way, including a tow sled, which I hope will make trail breaking around my land a bit easier. The plan is to drag the sled behind us, carrying something heavy to help flatten out the snow in our wake. I’m also packing my axe (and saving up for a battery-powered chainsaw) so I can clear some small trees that keep getting in our way. Anything I cut will get loaded into the sled and brought back for firewood, so it’s serving dual purposes.

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My goal this season was to run longer distances at a time and to camp. I still think we’ll make good progress. Part of that training will involve stopping on the sled, anchoring down with snow hooks, and instilling patience. Wood gathering and trail clearing will be a learning aid for this. Hauling wood and breaking trail will build muscle—for me and the dogs. Even if all we do is mush around my property and stop midway for lunch, I’ll be happy. The first step in this whole endeavor is shifting their mindset from sprint racing’s GO FAST GO to slow and steady. I need total trust and control with these dogs, especially when I’m out here alone.

I often feel like I’m on a time crunch. Every season that passes is another season closer to my older dogs retirement, whenever that ends up being. While I do plan to get more dogs, I don’t have the resources to have dozens—nor do I want to. My bond with these dogs goes beyond hitching them to a sled. They’re my companions and bed-warmers. I am in awe of mushers pursuing long distance races and the highly competitive sprint teams with wicked fast dogs. Neither really draws me in, though.

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The more I mush, the more I lean towards something different. I’ve mentioned the goal of expeditions. That’s still something I plan to do. I’ve always loved camping—what better way to experience it than by dog team? But there’s something else lurking in the back of my mind. Clearly, I want to share mushing. Some of my favorite memories have been hauling friends and family members by sled or cart. And why else would I keep this blog, host a Patreon, manage websites for two mushing clubs, start a Musher Slack, and maintain a Facebook group with 1,300+ members? Oh and attempt to write a book?

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I’ve witnessed a lot of negative press for mushing. Trails have been closed off to dog teams throughout the northeast. Florida is banning greyhound racing and many wonder if sled dog racing is next. I’m not saying I want to be the poster chick of the sport, but I want to tell people about it and why I love it and why it makes these dogs so happy. I want to take people for rides and on camping trips with me. I want them to see these dogs working together and working with me. I want them to hear the shrieks of excitement at hookup and the group howl together before bed. Races are full of excitement and energy—everyone should see one if they can swing it. But there’s something more intimate about just a regular ol’ run with the dogs out on the trail. And that’s what I want to capture and share.

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Blood, Sweat, and Snow Storms

It’s been a wild week for the northeast and for this little homestead. We spent half of it back in Jersey while we waited for the dog yard fence to be finished. I had planned to go back south anyway—I had tickets to see a comedy show with friends. I managed to squeeze in some dinners and plenty of family time while I was down there, too.

An early winter storm threatened to strike on Thursday evening, right when I had planned to make the trip north. Thankfully, my job schedule is flexible, so I took the morning to beat the storm up here. I also had time to grab some groceries and gas for the snow blower. We were slated to get anywhere from 5” to 12”+, which actually isn’t too serious for Tug Hill standards. Still, this was my first major snow event up here and I felt like doomsday prepping.

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The snow didn’t really hit us until after I went to bed (and after hammering New Jersey and New York City), but I didn’t get much sleep. I was up every few hours to peak out the window and make sure we weren’t completely buried. By 6:30, I was bundling up to assess the damage and get to work. The dog yard fence was completed just in time and the first chore was to dig out the perimeter. I think we got between 10 and 12” by morning, with another 3-4” falling throughout the day. The last thing I want is for the 6’ fence to shrink as the snow level gets higher, so I’m maintaining a path around the edge of the yard.

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Next, I spent some time fighting with my snow blower until I finally figured out how to get it running. After that step, operating it was a (really fun) breeze. I cleared paths to the dog yard gates, to the front porch, and most of the rear driveway up to the pole barn. I was inside by 8:30 AM, wild-haired and sweaty despite the cold. By 10 AM, a local friend was able to swing by and plow the rest of my driveway. (Thanks Roy!) I had no where I needed to be since I work from home, but it was nice to know we had “survived” our first storm. I’d still prefer to get my own plow truck as soon as possible, but I have the phone numbers of nearly a half dozen guys with plows, so I should get by.

The main reason I needed to clear the driveway was so that my parents could get to the house on Friday night. They spent a second weekend in a row at the house with me, putting down new floors and helping me paint the dining room. Between work and the dogs, these renovation projects would have taken me months, and the results would not have been anywhere near as good. At this point, the living room is ready for furniture and the dining room just needs a floor. One more weekend should do it, just in time for the Christmas tree to go up.

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The dogs have been patient and (for the most part) stay out of our way while working on the house. I’ve been getting them out for brief but tough runs since the snow fell—the first two were slow slogs as we broke trail and the third was on hard, punchy snow that threw them all off their usual rhythm. The new Prairie Bilt sled handles well, though getting back on the runners is always a bit of a challenge each year.

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Now that the team has been getting frequent hookups and more space, fights between Hubble and Dexter have gone down—but they haven’t completely stopped. Shortly after my parents arrived, the dogs rushed out to investigate their bags. The smell of food was lingering on one of them, and I suspect that set off both Dexter and Hubble in a nasty brawl. It took a little bit of a struggle (and my Mom spraying us all with the sink) to get them separated, and Dex was on the losing end with a split ear.

I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with a bleeding dog ear, but it’s pretty much the most awful non-serious injury. And Dexter has big, floppy, blood-filled ears. He went trotting through the house, bleeding and shaking his head, spattering the walls and floor like a crime scene. I cleaned and iced the ear, applied liquid bandaid when the bleeding stopped, and then he’d shake his head and start it all up again. It took a solid hour of my mom petting his chest and holding him still for the ear to fully close up, without him reopening it by shaking. (Styptich powder has since been ordered) In the end, he’s fine, and the ear looks much better than it did.

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All in all, I’m exhausted. I’m very grateful I’ve had so much help with renovations and with snow management; this whole home ownership thing would be a heck of a lot harder without family and friends around. The snow will get more extreme, though, and I’ll need to get comfortable managing it on my own.

Through all these life changes, I worry that my team and our expedition goals are taking a hit. I’m glad I reset my own expectations and let this season be mostly for settling in and learning, because there’s no way I’d be ready to set out for a long, overnight trip by January or February. I still hope to get there by next season, but I’m beginning to question and rethink my distance goals—and my mushing ambitions in general. Don’t worry, it’s nothing earth shattering. I’ll save that for another post, though. If you’ve read this far, thank you for sticking around. Happy trails!

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Paws to the Dirt

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Making this place home means putting paws to the dirt. Due to some missing parts, the dog yard fence construction has been temporarily halted. I brought the pack up here expecting only a day of tie outs and rotations, but now we won’t have a secure yard for a couple more days. The dogs have been handling the situation like champs (aside from a few confused indoor poops and pees).

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To make up for the lack of outdoor space to play untethered, we’ve begun exploring the property via dog cart. For our first trip, I even had Dexter on the line for a brief trot around the perimeter “trail”. We’re forging a path by following the long driveway, running along the tree line near the road, and cutting back to the opposite side of the property. From there, we’ve been experimenting with cutting back across the front yard to the driveway, or by running along the edge of an overgrown meadow and turning towards the backyard. Once behind the house, we loop around the back portion of the non-wooded property. One side has a fairly obvious path flattened by tires, the other side has some gentle rolling hills that the dogs like to bomb up and down.

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I’ve been taking the team out twice a day to get them used to the space. We’ve been hooking up inside the pole barn, so they’re getting familiar with a new routine. Add a bit of snow to the equation and they’re instantly more fired up.

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Denali is eager to keep exploring. We were doing four mile runs when we left New Jersey, so running a mile or two at a time feels like a tease. I get it. I want to run more miles, too. Normally by November we’re running more than five miles at a time. I’m aiming to be at 25 to 30 miles by the end of this season. It feels like a lofty goal.

Our first attempt to extend runs into the woods beyond resulted in tangles and cart jams between trees. I had a vague idea of where I was going from hiking through a few weeks ago, but it was clear I needed to walk the trail again. My parents came up to see the house (and help with floor renovations), so we all went for a walk through the back trails. There’s a fairly obvious and clear trail that leads down the steep slope into the wooded portion of my land—I just hadn’t looked to the left of my property yet. Once at the bottom, there’s a gorgeous trail alongside a stream.

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We cleared some branches and fallen trees, solidifying a trail that dips down into the woods, cuts through my neighbor’s 120 acres, and then comes back up to meet with the road. From there, we turn right and follow the grass embankment back to the house.

There are other trails in the woods, and at least one is a snowmobile/ATV trail that connects to state lands. There’s also plenty of room for me to create new trails, I just need the right tools for the job (it’ll most likely be a project for next spring). For now, I’ll keep clearing the existing trails and getting used to the landscape so we’ll know our way home.

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Feel Like Home

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In a whirlwind of driving, lifting, and spending—I've made it to Tug Hill. I bought myself a house with 18 acres of land behind it. I moved in and unpacked. I assembled a bed frame, a standing mirror, a desk, and hung a TV on the wall. I bought a pick-up truck and drove to New Hampshire for the dog box I had paid for weeks ago. I’ve lit fires in my wood stove to stay warm. I applied for my New York state license and registered all my vehicles here. I lifted a lot of heavy boxes. I cut my finger slicing an avocado (my first time cooking in months, of course). I put long-term radon test kits in the basement and dog den. I pulled up the ugly pink carpet from the living room and dining room. I put a thousand dollars worth of vinyl flooring on my credit card (it will get paid off after my next paycheck; I’m accumulating points).

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I’ve done a lot, but this wasn’t a solo effort. I could afford this house because I’ve spent the last decade living with my family or with Will, where rent was very reasonable or nonexistent. My parents drove me back here from California. My mom and sister have watched the rest of the pack while I’m up here with Hubble. My dad loaded my trailer for me. Will helped move stuff up here and bought me a snowblower as a housewarming gift. It takes a village to be a dog musher.

Everything has been coming along, but the move has not been without hiccups. The dog yard fence still isn’t up. I haven’t found a plow truck yet. Snow is coming, ready or not.

This weekend, I was outside moving gear around, so I put Hubble on a long tie out in the yard with me. He could see me, but he wasn’t glued to my side—which is where he prefers to be these days. He voiced his discontent by flailing around and barking. At one point, he walked up the porch and decided to jump off it. Luckily, the line was long enough and the porch short enough that he didn’t hang himself. I ran over, unhooked him, and put him inside a crate in the van while I finished my outdoor chores. Then I had the added chore of prying out the now-stuck tie out line from where he wedged it in the porch bannister.

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He managed to get it really stuck and I couldn’t budge it. And this was the only tie out I had. Frustration mounted while switching between various tools, trying to get the damn thing free. My brain started repeating, “You can’t do this. You can’t do this alone. You can’t take care of all these dogs, all this house, all this land alone.”

Before I could go into a full-blown anxiety attack, I managed to pry the line out. I finished moving my gear around. I pulled the cargo box off the top of the dog van and measured to see how tall it was. I kept on working. Onto the next thing.

Even though I have a big pole barn and attached garage, not every opening is big enough for my tall van or my wide truck. The back bay of the barn houses the ride-on mower. The middle section and workshop is short and would only feasibly fit a regular sized car (or all my mushing equipment!) The front section is taller and can fit my dog truck with the dog box. My plan was to use the other bay for a plow truck, but I was worried I’d have to store my van there.

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Thankfully, without the cargo box, the dog van fits perfectly into the attached garage. This all might sound fairly trivial and like a bunch of First World problems, but the snow up here is no joke. I need to have my vehicles inside and out of the way so I can safely plow the driveway out.

So, despite the ups and downs, things are moving in a generally positive direction. I’ll be happier once I have all the dogs here with me and we start running again. The whole reason I’m here is to mush and it won’t feel like home until I’m on the trails with my buddies.

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Quality Over Quantity

If you’ve been following along on this blog for awhile, then you probably remember me mentioning mileage goals for past seasons. Every fall, I’d set a new goal to reach by spring—150 miles, 200 miles, 300 miles, and so on. It meant running a lot, because the trails we ran were short. We got a few runs over 10 miles last season, but for the most part, we’d only run four to five miles at a time.

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When you only have a couple dogs and not a lot of trail to run, you generally run sprint-style (short and fast). That’s the type of races I’ve competed in and that’s the type of training we’ve done up until now.

This season, we’re changing it all up. Instead of reaching an overall mileage goal, I’m training the dogs to run longer each time we go out. When we move up to Tug Hill, there will be more miles of trail around us, but that doesn’t mean we’ll instantly be running 20+ milers.

The dogs need to learn how to pace themselves, or we’ll end up getting stranded. For our past few runs, I’ve held them back at the start so that they maintain a more even pace throughout. I want them to run steady, not as fast as they can.

While we still only have short distances to train on, I’m focusing on getting their average running speed up to about 10 miles per hour. Once we hit that, I’ll increase their mileage, bit by bit. I’d love to see them running 25 to 30 miles at a time by the end of this season.

The key thing is consistency. It doesn’t matter if they blast onto the trail at 17+ mph if they can’t make it back to the van. The Mushometer maps below show our first run (left or top if you’re on mobile) compared to our run from today (right or bottom). Notice how we went considerably faster at our top speed on the first run (17.2 mph vs. 12.8 mph) but completed a slightly longer distance in less time during today’s run. The lines on these maps should be mostly shades of green and a little bit of blue here and there. Six runs into the season, and I can already see less yellow and orange.

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If you’re following along on my Patreon, then you know my other goal is to travel by dogsled for a multi-night expedition. I doubt this will become a reality until the 2019-2020 season, as we’ll need this season to train, learn, and grow. I’m also toying with the idea of entering the CanAm 30 in 2020, just to see how a mid-distance race compares to sprint. Until then, there’s work to be done!

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Slow Beginnings

The 2018/2019 mushing season started with a somewhat anti-climatic rainy morning in late September. Last year we started almost a month earlier and conditions are still pretty awful here in the tristate area. We have yet to dip below 50°F with plenty of humidity, which has kept us off the trails except for two short runs.

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I keep a close eye on the weather at our future homestead. It’s usually about ten degrees colder up there, which is exciting and anxiety-inducing. There’s a lot to get done before the snow falls and the ground freezes, but we’re making good progress. Roy, a musher friend from the area, has been a lifesaver by connecting me with locals for contracting projects, giving me a list of snow plows, and showing me the trail system. He’s also scoping out Craigslist for snow blowers until I get up there.

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 Salmon River Falls—a 110-foot waterfall near the new homestead!

Salmon River Falls—a 110-foot waterfall near the new homestead!

The closing date is approaching (scheduled for October 15) and I’m hoping to move in the following week. I met with a fence contractor on Monday, so we already have a plan in place for the first dog yard which will connect to the house and the attached garage. It’s going to be a bit smaller than I had initially laid out, but it’ll cost less in this Very Expensive Time. I’m not yet sure how I want to divide up the property, and this will give me some time to get used to things before I spend money on more fencing. I “only” have six dogs, so the space will be enough for them to hang out and do their business. Since it’s mushing season, they’ll get plenty of exercise and shouldn’t mind the small yard for now.

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When spring rolls around, I’ll put up a large yard with cheaper fencing for supervised play time, and possibly expand on the dog yard. Depending on the pack dynamics, we may need an entirely separate, secondary dog yard. There’s plenty of time and good reasons not to rush these plans, I just need my OCD to understand that.

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In other news, I’ve purchased a dog box! It’s currently in New Hampshire, waiting on me to get a pick-up truck to mount it. Hopefully that’ll be the next big purchase, after the house closes, so I can handle the upstate winters with 4-wheel drive. Most mushers I know swear by building their own dog boxes. They’re pretty simple to make, I just don’t have the time to pull it off myself. Plus, I’m looking forward to having a pre-existing box to use as a template for my own future constructions. The new homestead has an enormous pole barn with a heated workshop. It’s about time I revisit the wood shop skills I learned in 6th grade.

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We’ve got a few weeks left here in the garage. Temperatures remain steadily warm, but I hope to get more runs in before the big move. I’m crossing my fingers that snow season comes late and stays late this winter, and we’ll make up the miles after we’re all settled in. Here’s hoping that my next post will feature keys in my hand!

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Transitions

It’s the time of year when my more northern friends have begun their fall training. The end of summer has been pretty warm for everyone, it seems, but every day I get a little more hopeful that autumn might finally arrive. I’m eager to get the dogs running again. When they’re happy (and exhausted), so am I. 

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There’s a lot going on this month and next, so I’m a little bit thankful it’s been too warm to start running. Hubble was neutered last week, so he’ll need a few more days before he can do any serious harness work. I contemplated keeping him intact, but his attitude with Dexter and unfamiliar dogs was too much of a risk. We’re moving out of the garage soon and we'll have more space, but he still needs to be trustworthy.

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Speaking of moving—the wheels are in motion for our own place up north. The seller has agreed to my offer, inspections have been completed, and we’re working out the logistics of my mortgage loan. I’ll have more to say after the keys are in my hands, wood is stacked under cover, and a fence is in place. But for now, I don't want to jinx anything.

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Aside from healing scrotums and house paperwork, I’ve been busy with work, friends, and family since returning back east. I flew to Portland, OR for a work retreat, which was more of a fun trip than an actual work trip. And thank goodness for that, because I needed a few days to unplug. Back on the east coast, I’ve been pushing myself to make plans and see people while I'm still close-by. It's not always easy for a introverted forest witch, especially after months of near-isolation, but I’m doing my best.

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With Labor Day behind us, the chaos of summer will hopefully die down and I can start gearing up for what’s to come. There will be a new (and possibly never-ending) list of shit-to-get-done once I close on this house. Most will be a mad dash to get settled before the lake effect snow dumps several feet on us. As long as I have a place to let the dogs out, wood to heat the house, internet for work, and a 4WD truck to get around, my mind will be at ease for this coming season.

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What's In The Box?

Alright folks. I know I left you all at the edge of your seat. A box arrived today. What could it be?

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I mentioned it was coming from Oregon. Some of you knew what that meant.

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But wait! Arctis isn't manufacturing carts anymore! How could this be?

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To make a long story short: earlier this year, Will reached out to Henning about making one last cart. He really wanted to get me a model with a suspension to handle the rough California terrain. Things didn't quite work out as planned, but Henning was able to put us in touch with someone selling a lightly-used Arctis that matched my specs. Even though I ended up leaving the rough SoCal mountains, Will was still on board to fulfill my new cart dreams.

So, without further ado... our new (to us) Arctis with rear suspension, Magura and Brembo brake component upgrades, and rear fenders:

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It looks black in the above photos, but it's actually a shade of dark green.

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I'm extremely lucky to have another one of these rare carts and so grateful that Will funded this venture. And that Henning and Claire were able to get this thing shipped over to me on the east coast.

Since I know people are wondering; I will probably sell my previous Arctis Cart at the end of this season. I'm holding onto it for now, mostly because it's in storage and won't be unpacked until I have a house. You'll see a post in Mushers of the Northeast when I'm ready to part with it.

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