Jess Returns East, Admits Defeat

After my posts about California not working out, several people asked me where I’ll be headed next. I didn’t mean to end on a cliff-hanger. At the time, I was still sorting through the emotional distress that came with the decision.

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I appreciate all the advice and suggestions on where I should go to pursue my mushing dream. I don’t want to sound ungrateful (it’s amazing to me that anyone cares at all), but I already know about the mushing meccas around this hemisphere. Alaska, Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the UP of Michigan have long been at the back of my mind, but they’ll be staying there for a bit longer.

When I set out for California, Plan B was always to return to the northeast. When I was leaving, I reassured my Mom that if things didn’t work out, I’d end up in New York state. Specifically, I’m aiming for the Tug Hill region (around an hour outside of Syracuse), which has some beautiful dog sled trails and lots of snow. Properties on several acres are within my price range. Most importantly, it’s within a day’s drive to my support system: my family, (most of) my friends, and a mushing community I know well.

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This should give me a taste of the rural, mushing-focused life I’ve been chasing after for years. It’s a step towards full independence and a more self-sufficient existence. If I love it and want more (more miles, more trails, more dogs), then I’ll put some real thought into those mushing meccas I mentioned above. Maybe it’ll be enough. Or maybe I’ll decide to dial back and move closer to a city again (as unlikely as that sounds). 

Only time will tell, as it always does. 

As for right now, I’m spending the summer out west, where I’ll savor the lack of humidity and mosquitoes. There's still a lot of the west coast for me to explore. The journey east is scheduled for early August. Once I'm back there, I’ll bounce between central New Jersey and the Pawling house once again, until I find my own little homestead. 

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