Sunday, March 29, 2009

White Mountains Trip

Took the dogs on a trip with my friend Bill up to the White Mountains Recreation Area, about fifty miles north of Fairbanks. The BLM maintains a system of cabins and trails there. It's about as close as you can get to a Brooks Range wilderness experience and still be only about an hour from town. The weather was brutal the first day; the wind was from the north at about 20-30 mph and at one point blew me and the sled down off the trail unto the scrub brush that grows on the hillside there. Bill's dogs were leading and they ran great into that wind. Barney, my fearless leader, also ignored the wind and kept my team going. As Bill said when we got to the cabin, the only good thing that happened all day was that we made it there. The next two days were much better weather as the wind died off and the temperature got well above zero. A crew from the BLM stopped by the cabin, so we made coffee and enjoyed their company for a bit. On the second day, we ran into some overflow on the creek crossings. One of my older leaders is deathly afraid of the water, perhaps it's overflowbia? Or maybe that'll be when he's over his fear of overflow. The trip out was a bit of a slog, with fresh wet snow, but the dogs continued to do well. It's always a little amazing how they respond, they're really born to run.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Readin' the funnies...

Don't subscribe to to our daily newspaper, the Fairbanks news minus (, anymore. I sometimes read it on line. Since you don't get the comics on line, the funniest parts are usually the comments that follow many of the articles. There's a core of letter writers who link most everything, regardless of the issue, to Obama's latest plot to turn the country into a communist, no fascist, wait, maybe even a socialist dictatorship. Why we could become just like Sweden!  Not sure what the problem is in that, unless they'd force us to eat lutefisk.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Almost spring...

It was minus 15° F this morning and with the wind blowing, it certainly feels a lot colder. A good day to run dogs. Most of my dogs are large and fuzzy, not the sleek houndy/pointer crosses that you see wearing coats and booties at the race track. I wouldn't say my team is slow, but I round my run times to the nearest hour.  This is also good weather for the musher with a hangover, I call it a medicinal dog run. Not that I get hangovers much, well maybe a few, but the cold air really does clear the head.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where we're at...

Now that I've recovered this blog from electronic limbo after almost forgetting everything I originally did to create it, I'm not sure what I expected to do here. I guess it was meant to counter a lot of the negatives about Alaska that were generated by our half-term governor and her ill-conceived presidential campaign. Now that's all behind us, so I'll just try to write about the Alaska I see every day; there's still a lot of humor in it all. The blog is registered under the nick name that's followed me around since high school, Big John, but just use the initials BJ here, since that's how I usually sign my emails nowadays.