Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 > Daily Dispatch #62

March 3, 2014: Home Alone, Day #3, the Story Continues

The Iditarod mushers are now arriving in Rohn, where Pete’s a race volunteer. My question is no longer, when will the first mushers check in? (thus far, thirteen have checked in); but rather, when will the last musher check out? It appears to me that this is going to be a long and protracted process – I imagine that Pete won’t be home until early next week. Phooey.

In the meantime, here I am. He’s tending to over 1,000 dogs, and I’m tending to three. However, none of the dogs in his vicinity will leap on his head at 4 a.m., in order to inform him that there’s something outside, and that he ought to check this out – immediately.

A musher removes dog's botties while vets do a vet check--note the lack of show!

No, Pete’s dogs, who have already run 200 miles, are too tired to do such a thing. This dog here, she only averages about four miles a day; consequently, she’s never too tired to do such a thing.

In the meantime, there he is, and here I am. Life here goes on. This morning I finished my University of Alaska Press proposal and sent it on. I know I should have worked on it some more, but I’d gotten to the point where, after over a year’s work, and too many drafts to count, I could do no more. The letters that comprised the words were like little guppies in an aquarium, swimming back and forth. As (this week) I read other writer’s published works, I got to thinking – do they revise their work to the extent that I do? And do they also spend years working on lengthy proposals, in an attempt to get permission to write the real deal? I doubt it. I also have no guarantee that after all this time and effort that my proposal will be okayed by the board. Writing is a gamble, and for me, the stakes are always high.

I did get all the animals out for exercise today. I first took Raudi, Rainbow, and Ryder on an outing. This was a big mistake. Ryder and Rainbow were behind Raudi, and Ryder was growling and snarling (her form of play) at Rainbow. This annoyed Raudi, who alternated between rushing ahead in order to get out of harm’s way, and hanging back in order to make a few well-placed kicks. I finally got off of her in hopes that Ryder might go and do something else. Rainbow took Ryder in front of Raudi, but as soon as I got on her again, Rainbow again took up the rear, with Ryder following. I did not yell at either dog. Rainbow, in hanging back when I was on Raudi, was just doing her job. And Ryder was being Ryder. I would have put her on the leash, which is what I do when I am not holding a fractious horse. This was clearly an impossibility in this particular instance.

I next took Signy and Hrimmi out, braving the icy patches in the road to do so. Hrimmi is already very trail savvy – she knew to step around the questionable areas. It was a good ride. I lastly took Tinni out. We easily cruised the trails as the sun sank low in the sky.

Once I returned home, I did the evening chores and then some. The then some part were the things that Pete usually takes care of in the evenings. I did what he does – I watered the horses, filled the empty buckets with more water, filled the pots on the stove with water, made dinner, and then cleaned up after myself. This, in addition to all I do, takes a lot of time. Fortunately, it’s now light until 7 p.m., which makes getting things done easier. And the temps have been in the 30s, so I have not had to deal with extreme cold.

Undoubtedly, tomorrow will be a repeat of today for me. Not so for Pete who is in the thick of it now. I would not mind being an Iditarod reporter or a veterinarian. However, I would not like to be an Iditarod volunteer because they have to do chores a thousand fold.

Next: 63. 3/4/14: A Day Just Like Any Other Day