Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I wrote a blog post for Tukaway… It has been something I have been itching to do, but to sit down and motivate myself to write can certainly be a challenge these days! There was a day when I was in fact an English major at the University of Maine with a focus on creative writing. Whether it was by the written word or by mouth, telling stories has always been something I have really enjoyed. So, for me to admit I have not had the motivation to write, well… I feel like I have been letting myself down! BUT, then I think about what has been going on this past summer! I guess the best way to put it, if a candle has two ends then all four would have been burning! Let’s just say, I’ve been busy…
First off, we have continued working with Paws for Adventure on the outskirts of Fairbanks. Steph and I began a new fun summer sled dog tour for all those who are interested in seeing a team of dogs hooked up and taken for a training run. We even offer folks to come along for the ride! Our guests also have the chance to learn all there is to know about the amazing Alaskan Husky and Alaska’s state sport, sled dog racing. If you’re lucky, I may drift off into one of my tangents and go into an in depth story about dogs or something along those lines!
If starting a new business wasn’t enough work, I also took on another job helping a buddy bring life into our old ski area here in Fairbanks. I have been demolishing the old and helping to create something new and improved at Skiland. For anyone coming to the region, you have to check this place out this winter! It is a small mountain with a BIG attitude! I’m not kidding…. Before I got hooked on dogs I was a 60+ day a year skier. I grew up in a racing family and I can honestly say both of my brothers have beaten the great Bode Miller! They may have been in middle school and Bode crashed off the course, but they beat him! I have skied most everything from little bumps on cross country skis to dropping into steep descents on the rugged coastal mountains of Kodiak, Alaska. My point is, I have seen a lot of skiing and Skiland has some GREAT terrain. Check it out! While working there, I have learned a lot about lift mechanics and the industry, it certainly has been fun!
Most sane people would consider starting a business and working for another busy enough, but folks, I am from New Hampshire. Folks from this region use every bit of day light and then some before they consider sitting down. This is the truth! I have worked with many old timers from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine who consider a half day eight hours! So what happens when you put this mentality in the land of the midnight sun where day light honestly last 24 hours… Well, ask Steph, it’s not good! Besides those two jobs, I have also been maintaining our kennel which is a constant job. I have always been taught in the sport by those before me, DOGS COME FIRST! This means if it’s driving rain and miserable out, THE DOGS COME FIRST! If you have not slept in three days and you’re tired and hungry, THE DOGS COME FIRST! If there are chores to be done THEY GET DONE! So with that said the DOGS COME FIRST! Between Steph and I, we make sure our dogs get the best of care. Tons of play time, and happy, fun, and clean kennel to go along!
But with kennel chores came some new responsibility! PUPPIES!!! We have six new member to Tukaway we have been raising. Four are from our amazing lead dog Sahara bred with in my opinion one of the best studs in the sport out of our neighbor’s kennel, Iron Pearl. His name is Killer! These two have made little monsters that we named the Maine Mountain litter. No matter where I chose to live the wild land of northwest Maine where the state’s highest peaks are settled will always be considered a home. These pups represent those peaks with the names Kineo, Katahdin, Kibby, and Ol’ Speck! Then we have the two pups from Rubi’s litter. She was also bred with an Iron Pearl super star who is Killer’s brother. His name is Slayer. These two boys are called the rowdy boys and are named Riot and Ruckus. I am pretty sure they are going to be monsters as well!
So where are we at? Two jobs, a kennel of dogs, and now puppies! If that’s not busy enough, here is the big one. Get ready……. WE BOUGHT LAND! You’re darn toot’n you read that right(I’ve been dating a girl from Minnesota too long)! I went in on a land deal and between three different parties, we are making a giant area dedicated to raising some amazing sled dogs! Our plot is forty acres of raw undeveloped land. This is a dream come true! As I have stated in past blogs, I have spent a lot of time working in the woods doing all kinds of different jobs tailored to land development. These jobs have taught me a lot about woods work and have left me with a desire to own a large track of land that I too can develop how I please! You all know me too well, I’m sure you are guessing I am planning on leasing it all to Walmart so they can build a super store here in Two Rivers! Joking… My goals are to develop some trails, cut fire wood, and yes, build a kennel and a cabin. Now that it is September, so far I have cut a few trails, cleared a few acres for our future kennel, and begun building a cozy 12 ft by 16 ft off grid cabin! Now, I have never built a living structure, so it has been one heck of a learning process! I am proud to say this week I hope to get the roof on! All in all, the land is developing nicely and I hope to have a dog camp out there this fall where I can train our race team. The best part is, it is only four miles by trail from our current living location, so I’ll have two cozy cabins to call home this winter!
So yes, I have been extremely busy. I have not been able to keep up with my blog posts, but I feel it has been justified! In a few ways, things are slowing down, but in others are speeding up! Dog season has begun which means the countless hours of trail time with the dogs of Tukaway has begun. So far we are well under way conditioning our team for the upcoming race season where we hope to become more competitive than last season. But to get to the point, I could not have done all that I have done this summer without one amazing lady… Steph Otto! She has kept me on task and organized and has pitched in every way she could to make our dreams come true up here! The times when I decided to work late under the endless Alaskan summer light, and she took care of the dogs and kept the home front running smoothly, and organized our tour business and took reservations. Well, here’s a BIG THANK YOU! And for everyone else, well I hope to get better with my blog posting this season, and stay tuned, we have A LOT of dog adventures awaiting us!