Monday, June 22, 2009

Week 3

Wow I've already been here for almost a month! I can't believe its been that long. I went back to the ice on the 17th, the same day Jamie left for home. She was keeping me sane up here, so we'll see how I hold up with no one to talk to. There are five of us now, Me, Rick (the boss) Jess and Robert ( a couple who can't be more than 2 feet away from each other 24/7) and Matt (38 working on getting back into the dog world after selling all of his dogs a while back.) I was told at 10:30 that I was to be on the 11:15 flight so I ran around like chicken with my head cut off said a tearful goodbye to Jamie, rushed over only to find out that I wouldn't be able to get on a flight until 1:15. I almost broke down but I held myself together and worked my butt off this week! I think I would like it better if I worked all week and only came down a few hours every few days to shower and do some laundry and call the people who mean the most to me.
Its back to the "normal" weather up on the ice which consists of clouds, fog and rain, with the sun coming through every now and then. Thursday I gave 4 tours and it rained a little but it held off at least for tours. Friday we had a two tours one of 12 ppl and one of 10 nothing too big, our biggest days are tues-thurs. Saturday I think I gave my best tour yet. It was supposed to be a tour of 12 people but 7 canceled at the last min. Apparently one lady wouldn't get on the scale (the helicopter can only carry so much weight) since she wouldn't get on the entire family wouldn't and then walked out! The couple I gave a tour to said she looked like she maybe weighed in the 130 lb range! Sunday we woke up at 6:30 to a white out and pouring rain GROSS! Rick and I fed the dogs and then went back to our tents and I read all morning until 11:30 when we got the word that we would be giving the 12:30 tour, it was snowing then and windy and still foggy! A wicked gross day... After a lot of undecisive people (Rick and Coastal) talked about the weather for 45 min the 12:30 got canceled, just 10 min later then snow and rain stopped and the fog lifted! We ended up running the tours for 1:30-4:30, the rain picked back up and by the end of the day when Rick asked me how fast I could pack my stuff I ran to my tent packed it up and was able to come back to Juneau! The hot shower (at least for the frist 5 min) was awsome after a day like that! I'm EXHAUSTED!
Sorry this one isn't as detailed as the others, I'll write more soon

Monday, June 15, 2009

Week two on the Herbert

Well firstly I'm exhausted!!! This week or the 10th-14th, my five days on the ice, were 12 hour days and lots of hard work. This is how my day usually goes:
5:30- alarm goes off, time to get out of the warm sleepingbag and out into the cold (round 40 degrees in the am, get dressed and use the "facilities"
6:00- Out in the dog yard scooping poop, feed all 36 dogs (on my side) Jamie does her side, then scoop poop again
7:00- Our breakfast hour, brush teeth get ready for the day, put sunscreen on(though apparently it doesn't work cuz I still got burnt)
8:00- back out in the dog yard to check - all of the dogs feet, put suncreen on the pink parts (Nose, ears, and privates) body weight check, and general physical exam.
9:30-6:30 tours can be scheduled all day every hour on the half hour, the helicopter arrives at about 25 after and then we go over sled safety and we're on our way!
7:30- dog yard scooped, dogs fed, scooped again, dump buckets in the poop cube ( i'll get a pick next time I'm up)
8:30- Time for dinner if we have energy to cook
9:30- turn the heater on for 30 min, turn it off before I have to open the flap and the heat drives me out, then lay down to read and i'm usually passed out within 10 min!

So thats how a day generally goes, after each tour we switch out leaders and maybe 5-6 of the dogs so they all get an equal amount of running in. There are other chores however that need to get done if we don't have tours in the alloted times which include: leveling of the dog yard ( the snow melts all around the houses faster than it does underneath and so the houses fall over and creates an uproar in the yard) which also means our tents need to also get moved at least once a week, Trail poop needs to be picked up once a week, hair needs to be raked off the snow (THE WORST JOB EVER!) I can pick up poop all day but rakeing snow into piles and waiting for the snow to melt so you can pick out the dog hair! UGH!

Oh I am Safe for the season! I will not be loosing my job, unless the season goes completly dead, or a crevass opens up in a spot we can't avoid, or we loose too much snow, which we have been losing a lot of snow, so the season may end early, we'll see when we get there.

On the 10th I gave 5 tours in a row, two of which were to people from Tiwan and didn't speak a word of English... those were quite tours, however I did get told I was beautiful and a lady wanted to have her picture taken with me :-) I burnt my arms to the point they felt like they were on fire and behind my ears to the point were they blistered... that was after applying sun-screen at least 3 times!!! OUCH
On the 11th I woke up to a huge crack of thunder and then a sound that reminds me of the surf when laying in my room at the point at night listening to the ocean (which meant there was a lil-avalanche) I spent most of my day trying to convince Jamie to stay and not leave... I'm gonna miss her if she leaves early, she's become a really good friend and it makes the time go by faster... Up at 6:00 am then gave tours from 10:30-4:30 without a break ugh! good thing I had a big breakfast or it'd have been hungry! I got one $20 tip from one couple... common people! anyways I'll save that for a later date.
the 12th turned out to be a blessing in disguise, I didn't feel like giving tours after the previous days tours, and I got my wish, We woke up to a 500 foot cloud cover and and rain, an hour before the first tour the ground fog came in and we were in a white out! The rest of the day was cancelled as well, but we worked elsewhere in Dog Camp. We each (Rick, Jamie and I) moved about 2000lbs of snow ( its like shoveling that really heavy wet snow and ice.....) raked hair into rows and then shoveled it into piles by the time I was done my back was killing me and my arms felt like Jelly! It was also the first day I was cold, actually wearing my long-johns and underarmor shirts, only to strip them off when I started shoveling. We did get a break since we were all so dead after all the moving of snow and Jamie and I washed our hair and made brownies! mmm we made a 13x9 pan full and they were gone by sunday AM :-I hehe
Saturday and Sunday were slow, lots of chores not so many tours and then I cam back down on Sunday, I was so tired I slept till 9 am this morning (which if you know me thats LATE!)
Well I'm gonna sign off for now and make some mac and cheese and watch oceans eleven with Jamie and prolly fall asleep, we went downtown today and went in just about every shop and I'm exhausted!!!

Love you all,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Back up to the Ice either today or tomorrow, Rick isn't sure yet. I also may not have a job by the end of next week if things don't pick up... I guess things aren't going so well for the business, to have 4 cruise ships docked in Juneau and only have 5ish scheduled tours a day is horrible, Rick has said however that he could get me a job working for almost anyone I wanted to, I'm not sure I want to work for another Alaskan kennel owner however... We'll see!
I think I'm finally on my way to recovery! at least it seems that way and I'm hoping! I've been down off the ice now for 3.5 days and I'm more than ready to be working and doing something again! I'd like to have a regular schedule but I'm not sure if I'll see that working for Rick. I was starting to worry about money and what the heck I was going to do since I had a plan for the money I was supposed to be making this summer, but I talked to Tim, and Mom and Dad, and everything will work out how its supposed to, Everything will be just fine :-) If Rick was impressed with me and only saw me work for three days, there's got to be something that he sees and I know he'll give me a good reference if he has to let me go.
More to come when I get back!

Monday, June 8, 2009

HAHA Pat got it! Jamie exclaimed our first day that I have massive biceps! And ever since then Rick has called me "Pipes" :-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

First Few Days!

Welcome to the Herbert Glacier! I'll be your guide today are you ready!?!? Right now we're on 25-30 feet of snow and 2,000 feet of ice! This glacier is fed by the Juneau icefields and is moving a little bit every year! The herbert (the part we're on) is about 1.5 miles wide and 4 miles long! (it doesn't look it when your there) and we're at an elevation of about 5,000 feet. haha alright enough of that...
WOW! That's all I have to say, what a summer job to have, and an amazing first few days on the ice! So far it hasn't been cooler than 65 during the day and not even freezing at night! I have to say I'm a little over prepared for the warm waether! So far I've been wearing t-shirts rolled up at the sleeve, my rain gear pants (because they happen to be the lightest pair of pants I brought, socks, bama booties and my xtratuffs :-) and its still hot! The propane heaters in our Arctic oven tents are so warm even on low that I have mine on for a few minutes to start everything drying then turn it off!
The helicopter ride was beautiful! thought I have to say I was nervous about flying! It was really smooth though and the sights were fantastic! none of my pictures do it justice however... There were pools of water the color of blue koolaid, and ice as blue as the carribean seas. The glare off the snow is so bright you can't be on the ice without snow, I guess someone once refused to wear sunglasses and went snowblind because of it! So needless to say I've got myself a good raccoon eye tan going on... ugh! not to mention my already present farmers tan... I've been burnt in places I've never been burnt before even after spending 21 years at the point spending days in the sun! The inside of my ears, in my nose, the back of my arms, and yesterday I forgot my neck! OUCH!
When I first got up Rick had me ride with a tour he was giving so I could get the feel of what the whole deal was and how he wants things run. I spent the rest of the day riding along with tours and getting to know the dogs, (yes I know all of the dogs names on my side of the yard :-) all 25 of them) helping with feeding and chores. One group of indians (dot no feather) came up and Matt was giving the tour and needed someone to drive the tandum sled behind the main sled (i'll get a picture to show you) and asked me to do it. Now of course being from India they thought having and unmarried 22 year old female driving the sled was unheard of... Apparently they are going to be the trickiest group of people this summer with the different cultures, Jess has had someone refuse to be givin a tour by her simply because she was a female. At one of our rest stops (since the dogs are running in 70 degree sunlight) the guy asked Matt and I what the difference in a very heavy indian accent: "What is the difference between these (the dogs) an an australian kangaroo?" It took all I had not to laugh! Matt however calmly explained that Kangaroo's have a pouch and hop on two feet while the dogs walk on four.
Well after wakeing up at 5 to feed the dogs by 6 am and not sleeping well becuase I'm as sick as a dog I'm gonna go try and sleep a lil bit. More tomorrow!
oh here we go top of the kennel down:
Chester, Rain, Kobuk, Polar (f), Alligator, Batman, Eagle, Maule, Susie, Bertha, Buckley, Casper, Emerie, Ed, Franky, Maggot, Par, Polar (m), George, Laniy, Moose, Salty, Stach, Griffin, Abby!

<3 Pipes

(I've earned the nickname pipes, I'll let you try and guess what it is before I tell you :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Going up to the Ice today! 11:15 flight out! AHH wicked excited! talk to you all soon!


Monday, June 1, 2009

ughh! still waiting

(mom and dad asked for more info... so here's the best I can do until something new happens (-: ) Up to the Ice tomorrow! 2:15, its about time! I'm starting to go a lil crazy sitting around waiting to do something! I've walked just about everywhere I feel comfortable going alone, there are some trails around here somewhere I'll check them out next time I'm down. I'm not sure when I'll be down, Rick seems to be rather unorganized.... so it may be awhile, or I may be down the next day, I'll tell you something though I hope things pick up, that way it'll get my mind off of being away from everyone I care about! lets see today I made myself stay in bed until 7:30, got up had breakfast, got freaked out by Jamie screaming after picking up her shirt and having a huge spider crawl off of it... so I picked up all the clothes in my room and made sure they were in my zippered bag closed! AHH she said she's killed 6 so far... then watched some movies with Jess and Jamie, had some lunch, went on a walk, went and picked up my package Gail sent me! :-) Thanks Gaily! watched pirates and took a nap in the sun coming in our window, had dinner and went for a walk with Jess to pick up Robert from Coastal, (who is exactly like Zack Adams! except with a southern accent haha) came back and now... listening to the new Dave Matthews!!! its wicked good if you haven't heard it! (I'm already being made fun of for saying wicked and soda (instead of pop) alrighty well I'm out for now, more later hopefully with info about the ICE!