Ups and Downs

We surpassed our season goal of 300 miles last week. I knew we’d go beyond it, but I have no idea how much further we’ll get—or when our “season” will actually end. According to climate data, the average low in July (the hottest month) is 48 degrees:



Combined with consistently low humidity, this means we could potentially mush year round. Of course, that average low is probably somewhere in the middle of the night. I suspect our runs will decrease over the summer months, but who knows if we’ll have a well-defined season end.

After hitting our goal, the dogs had a few days off from running. I took a day to reconfigure the dog van’s setup. I removed the second row seats (which had been folded, but still took up a lot of space) and added two additional crates. Now, each dog has their own crate, which should make road trips a lot easier. I also adjusted how the crates are secured, which makes everything a bit safer.

Aside from housekeeping, the temperatures were warm and then rainy. This was the first time I’ve seen rain since our road trip west!

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My friend Terri came to visit and we managed to get some exploring in, between the showers. I even got to take her mushing one morning, which the dogs desperately needed after several days of inactivity.


Mushing is my favorite thing, but it's usually a solo hobby, and can get lonely. It was nice to take some days off (from both regular work and working dogs) and spend time with a friend. As we often did in New Jersey (and various other states), Terri and I went hiking—my first real hike in Big Bear, too. It seemed pretty easy compared to hikes I’ve done, but judging by the soreness days later, it kinda kicked my ass.

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We also drove down to Joshua Tree for an afternoon, which always feels like visiting another planet. Adventures aside, it was nice to reconnect with one of my best friends while I’m still adjusting to this new place. The simple stuff, like visiting the local shops, restaurants, brewery, and movie theater, helped make this place feel a bit more like home.

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Getting back to work today was a struggle, but thankfully, the week is nearly over. It snowed last night and I desperately want to get the sled out, but after a bad encounter with a neighbor, I’m not sure when it will be “safe" to run. I’m not ready to put that story into writing—for now, I’ll just say that it’s become a real struggle to share these trails with the locals, which puts a big damper on things.

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