Sled Dog Skippy

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The good:

  • getting on the sled before summer
  • learning how to do things I didn’t think I could do
  • finally priming and painting the cabin (and caulking and sanding and spackling…)
  • sun, sun, sun
  • going down a huge, steep gully on the sled that I said I NEVER ever wanted to go down….my boss just said, “This next part is pretty steep, but straight. If you feel like you are going to crash, just jump off the back and I’ll stop for you later” (potential famous last words). But we went down and only AFTER I survived did I realize it was the Potential Gully of Doom and I made it in one piece.
  • my friend Jess came to visit from Denali! I have not seen her in 3 years, but it was like we were just working together in the Park kennel the day before. We also took Ashlee dog to the beach. This was my dog’s first time in the ocean–she loved it. Although, Ashlee is under the impression that beached kelp is a force to be subdued. The kelp must be barked at. The kelp must be bitten and given the “death shake of the head.” Then the kelp must be rolled in. However, chunks of driftwood served as an apt distraction from the enemy.

The bad:

  • missing people like crazy
  • not enough hours in the day to get everything done
  • having A LOT of people tell me “This person seems nice, but….(insert some damning recollection of events here).”  I have realized that human life is filled with drama, either made up or real. So, I cannot escape it. I must just listen to the crap, nod my head, and remain in the middle. I will be my own neutral nation here.  I declare this land: Skippatopia. 
  • the boss leaves in 5 days….there is a lot to do before then
  • tearing off salmon heads for dog food, then cooking them in a giant Whisperlite-like propane cooker, along with other fishy body parts that I had to mercilessly chop with an axe
  • smelling a dead beaver carcass, even frozen. Ungodly.
  • sun, sun, sun (yes, that was also in the good category. It is also bad because solar heat causes melting. Melting causes me to sink into the snow. A LOT. Like every other step. I spill dog food, I trip, I become Klutzy McGee.  Copious amounts of sun also means headaches for me. I have had one every Thursday since I have moved here. I hope that trend ceases soon).

The ugly:

  • My knees.  The second time on the sled, we ran over a ditch and between trees and the sled flipped. Because my boss is a bad ass Iditarod winner and excellent musher, she was able to right the sled and keep going. I, however, lost my footing my legs were trailing behind while I held on. Picture the valiant Indiana Jones in The Raiders of the Lost Ark, being dragged by a rope behind the Nazi truck that contains the Ark.  That was me, Indiana Baker, being dragged behind a sled of 10 dogs. HOWEVER, I held on.  Major big deal. And, even better, I was able to drag my knees up onto the runners in a (feeble) attempt to stand back up. While I didn’t stand, I remained kneeling until the boss finally stopped the sled. If this had happened a month ago, I would have popped off the bag of the sled like a champagne cork. This gives me hope of and proof of two things: 1) that I am much stronger than I was when I got here and 2) that I am capable of reacting quickly enough to think to stay on and continue to try to get up. I wasn’t panicked at all. The end result: knees that look like a gloppy blob of blueberries and mustard.


2 Responses to “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”

  1. Justin says:

    I hear you on the sun!!! Although… is it like super reflective around there so that everything gleams and blinds you from all angles?

    Ew… beaver carcass and salmon heads… I envy you.

  2. katie v says:

    you need some of these:

    dude, although the old lady rocks them, you would rock them harder!

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