Monday, March 12, 2012

a weekend in a mountain town

I always remember very well why I left Idaho. I could have hung on, living a hardscrabble life in between the four months of (sometimes) guaranteed employment as a wilderness ranger. It was the best job I ever had, and this mountain town the best place I ever lived. Each fall I would wrestle with the stay-or-go dilemma, always returning until one year I just left and never came back.

But this place, year round population less than 100, still holds my heart. It is the place I would live if I had money and time, but I just gulp it in small doses every year or so, enough to hold me until the next visit. Because it is beautiful:



and there were sled dog races:


This bridge was challenging!



There were 32 teams and many women mushers. Love it.

And a skijoring race, which Jerry won. To our amazement, our lazy dogs actually ran fast, 2 miles in 11:38 (up a big hill, at nearly 7000 feet). Wish I could run that fast!



Sometimes the dogs are a challenge, but once they got started they actually pulled.
We soaked in hot springs every night, watching the cold stars above the colder river, the world blanketed in feet and feet of snow.


Our own private (hot springs) Idaho.

Sled dog people, and sled dog groupies, are a friendly bunch. Spectators and competitors mingled, looking at dogs and gear. My favorite quote of the weekend came when a man wandered over to inspect my skis. "Oh, metal edges," he said. "I started skiing at 80, so I made sure I got metal edges."

You've got to love that.

6 comments:

  1. How fun! I'm glad you got to return to your favorite place. It seems like to me, as much as I enjoy returning to my favorite place (let's face it, it will probably always be Alaska) and want to live there forever, living somewhere else and enjoying just a week or two then returning to my nice warm home is pretty cool too. :)

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  2. must be stanley? it'd be nice to know...the sled dog shots remind me of my anchorage video. did you see that?
    katey

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  3. I was thinking Stanley too. Even shorter summer than here!
    Yes, I agree that a favorite place is sometimes that way precisely because we Don't live there. It keeps its magic that way, and those visits are always special.
    Still, there are those places you find where you know you could live always and love it. I'm living in one of those places now. If only I could get Out of town and into the quiet and dark of someplace a bit further afield, life would be perfect.

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  4. Stanley IS beautiful, in all seasons. Congratulations to Jerry, Cale, Aluco and Sierra...well done, man and dogs! Glad you got to go back to the special place with special man!

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  5. Stanley IS beautiful, in all seasons. Congratulations to Jerry, Cale, Aluco and Sierra...well done, man and dogs! Glad you got to go back to the special place with special man!

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  6. Yay, Jerry (no longer alleged) and yay, handsome dogs. Winner dogs, for sure. Congratulations to all. Thanks for sharing part of your Stanley weekend in the snow with your readers.

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