Lately, I’ve written a lot about leaning into the mushing lifestyle. About really pursuing this hobby that I’ve been juggling with a “regular” life for almost a decade. That’s what brought me to rural central New York, right in the lake effect snow belt. It pulled me away from the comfort of past relationships, friends, and family. It didn’t always feel like the best decision, but now that the dust has settled, it feels right. I’ve got a house that feels like home, an expanding circle of friends, and some very good dogs.

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The funny thing is, I started writing this post from a hotel suite in Santa Monica. It was 75°F and sunny, but all I could think about were trees changing color and mornings where you could see your breath. I’m still juggling a double life, while I can. Traveling for work is a blessing and a curse. It’s fun and exhausting, stressful and a relief in its own way.

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Los Angeles might be the exact opposite of where I live. It’s consistently warm, always noisy, and full of traffic. The strangest part about travel is all the time I have (outside of work) that I’d normally spend tending to the dogs. It’s weird to have no living things rely on me, except maybe a drunk coworker.

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I always come back to how grateful I am to have my family to watch the dogs while I’m flying all over the place. Realistically, though, it’s a burden I can't put on them forever. I need to embrace these brief travel opportunities. I’ll be leaving the eastern timezone one last time next month, for my friend’s wedding in Seattle. After that, I’m staying as put as possible until work pries me away again.

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Looking ahead, I see temperatures dipping into the 30’s in the extended forecast. I’ve got wood stacked in the garage and the fall furnace checks completed. The propane tanks have been filled. My home trails have been (mostly) cleared. I’ve got my sights set on pups to add to the team (yes, plural—more on that later), new trails to train on, and races to enter. I’ve got the snowmobile ready to pack snow and keep the team moving.

I’ve got big plans. I’m ready.

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