It started with the 6 a.m. flight to Juneau which seemed like a good idea when I was doing the booking. Get there early. Enjoy some time in the capitol city.
The trouble started as soon as we got on the plane. Well actually getting up at 3 a.m. was really when it got crappy but that's to be assumed. We boarded the aircraft and the plane was in a Disney motiff. As in Tinkerbell, Mickey Mouse and Pluto, Disney. Aaargh. I hate Disney. The very word makes me cringe.
This summer the Disney ship Wonder docked in Juneau and so Saturdays for us was Disney day. That meant untold numbers of children and inattentive parents at our dogsledding camp. Our dogs are friendly enough but a fast moving little kid or a squealing toddler triggers a prey drive in most huskies and Disney days set me on edge. I used to want to go to Disneyland. Now I'm quite certain I'd rip the ears off Mickey and slap the tiara off Tinkerbell's head if I did. I think I have issues.
The best way to cope with all the Disney crap was to close my eyes and sleep. Which I did. Well until I woke myself - repeatedly - because I was snoring. So was Darrel. And the guy across the aisle. Did I mention we were awake at 3 a.m?
We got to Juneau and saw our dogs. They look awesome. Fit. Muscled. And deliriously happy to see us. The feeling was definitely mutual.
The ferry wasn't leaving until the next day so we figured we'd head to the hotel for a nap and then do a bit of shopping. Darrel tried to start the dog truck. And tried. And tried. Battery(s) were dead. So we got a jump start and off we went. Straight to Napa - for windshield wipers. I don't pretend to understand my mechanic husband's mind.
The dog truck doesn't start with a key. Oh no. You tilt the steering wheel a bit and then manually cycle the glow plugs and then hit a toggle switch which will hopefully start the beast. here's what it looks like.
Next stop was the Super 8 Motel. Not fancy but it's clean and comfortable. And pet friendly. And the manager is awesome! We decided to have a 1 hr and 10 minute nap and woke up 3 hours later.
After we woke up we got some wine, ordered a pizza and just had a nice quiet night together. Next morning we needed another jump start. While I had breakfast with Naomi, from the summer, Darrel went and bought a new battery.
We loaded up dogs again at 1 a.m. and then drove. And drove. And drove. We grabbed a quick nap and then drove some more.
We arrived at the American border. Now I know we kinda look like the northern version of the Beverley Hillbillies but the border agent was a butthead. He asked us 3 times how many people we had in our rig, what we were transporting (despite all the canine faces peering at him), if we had run into any RCMP in Canada and how I knew Darrel. Makes me wonder if he had ever seen a musher before. Finally in Tok we dropped dogs again. Many thanks to the nice lady at the motel across from the musher's hall who gave us water for our canine crew!
After a quick bite to eat at Fast Eddy's we hit the road and made it home at supper time. It took us about 3 hours to get everyone settled and fed. And then we slept. For 14 hours.
I'd just like to thank Lance Mackey who gave us the dog truck. He is a generous man - even willing to loan us his good truck if the old beater wouldn't start. He only asked us to pay it forward and we have. And will continue to do for that's really the best way to live.
Here's the truck. We love it. Thanks Lance!!