Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Trains, planes , motor vehicles and sled dogs.

I almost didn't go down there--it is off a bridge across a kind of slough but it was well worth my time.It is called The Museum of Transportation and Industry and sits about a mile off the Parks Highway or Alaska 1 here just north of Wasilla. There must be twenty acres or so and one big steel garage/hanger sort of building but most of the best stuff is outside except for a few antique cars housed indoors. But wow, there are a number of airplanes since aviation played a huge role in the state's development in the post WW II period.There is also quite a bit of Alaska RR rolling stock to include about four locomotives and several assorted cars and some maintenance equipment, all retired and of various vintages. Then there are lots of the early "Iron Dogs" or snow machines, farm equipment, and autos of many types. It is amazing, really. I took quite a lot of photos and it will take some time to sort them out. It was a really fun place to wonder around even if walking through grass and weeds has given me a bad case of allergy eyes this evening. Hopefully that will clear up with generous use of drops. So should you ever get up this way I recommend this highly.

But of course I am here for the huskies and I did that today as well.  First I went back out to the ITC Hqs. I talked a bit more to Barb Redington and was quite surprised she recalled me from the brief visit on Sunday. She and I think her father-in-law (need to verify this) were again unloading dogs for the rides and busy but we got in some chatting. I also took a ride this time behind eight of the dogs--who were rearing to go in typical sled dog style. They just go about a mile on a track through the woods behind the gift shop and all. From the feel of the wind in my face I'd say they move as fast as a brisk trot or easy lope on a horse. In short, moving right along.

After that I went up to the gift shop and talked to Donna Olson some more and showed her my first mule article but busses were coming inand she did not have much time. There were two with touring Korean families. Apparently they got a lot of them since Rose and Donna and also Barb Redington have learned a few words to speak to them as not all have much English, clearly. It still felt very special to be there!

Then this afternoon I went out to Martin Buser's Happy Trails Kennels and got the tour--not too many there and very low key and casual. Born in Switzerland, he is very charming and nice. Speaks with a slight subtle accent but very articulate. I got there early--you know me--and he chatted some and let me look at the dogs. His son  Rohn, named for one  of the checkpoints BTW, did a lot of the talk and demo. He has won Jr Iditarod, run the big race twice and is now building his own team. He hopes to be a serious competitor in about two years. Nice and articulate young man. But Dad says he babies the dogs too much! I got a chuckle at that. I suspect Martin is all business when it comes to real mushing.

I might point out that most of these folks are far from the image of  unschooled unwashed sourdoughs. Whether formal schooling or not, they can "meet and greet" and are very much into scientific and medical research and such to improve their dogs and the breed in general.  This stuff is big business.

Busers have a bed and breakfast, do demos and tours and some dogs are in Juneau where helpers give cart rides with them. They also had two litters of pups--nine about ready to wean--maybe 6-8 weeks and four just two weeks old. Of course guests love puppies and these dogs are well socialized. Redingtons had two pups there also again I'd guess 2-3 weeks old.

I  took lots of pictures but have not downloaded and sorted them yet so may post this and add them later. Anyway, another productive and interesting day. Most of tomorrow goes to getting to Fairbanks and getting settled in.

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