Well, we are nearing the 11th hour before GO time at the big race and at this stage of the game we are breathing a huge sigh of relief. Why? Mainly, because we’ve made it this far without any major issues. Knock on wood! Anyone that has done this gig will understand; as the process can make a person very superstitious. Like right now, I’m freaking out that I might be jinxing myself by even talking about it. No bad juju….NONE!
The things that can happen when you’re on the road with 36 dogs for 4 weeks is mind boggling and it always seems that weird things happen just hours before the race starts. How is it that you can have a great dog that makes it through endless miles of training back home and then you get out here and the dog is injured in the first 12 mile run? Yeah, we don’t know either. Your dogs are all getting along great and then BAM a major fight ensues. Dogs all go in the truck healthy after your last run and then BAM; mysterious injuries show up as the dogs come out of the box. Mushers and handlers are perfectly healthy and then BAM; someone gets the flu. BAM; musher slams head in a bear proof dumpster and sees stars for a week. Yes, this happened to Ryan and, thankfully, he’s all good now! BAM; dog gets toe stuck in door, BAM; dog cuts itself on who knows what, BAM; dog is struggling with altitude sickness, BAM; dogs catch a bug, BAM; dogs have mysterious lumps, BAM; dog swallows a booty or chews a harness or something, BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM! This is stress folks and it starts to make you weird.
Weird as in, I wouldn’t think twice about wearing a rabbit foot necklace! I have banned certain jackets and I’m fully in support of wearing the same underwear every day; IF, and only IF, it is your lucky underwear!! I find myself talking out loud; not sure to who. Frankly, anyone that will listen and spread good juju will work. For crap’s sake, the Streeper team posted a picture of themselves cleaning the truck with the caption, “A clean run, starts with a clean truck!” So guess what we did? We cleaned the damn truck! Unfortunately, we noticed today that due to the rain and mud it is a total mess again. So now I’m freaking out that we better clean the truck again. Thanks guys for putting that craziness in my brain. Now, I get to spend my hours of handling time performing, “Wash ON, Wash Off!”
After you live with your crew for a couple weeks in close quarters; everyone starts getting a little weird. The other day Kat was admiring a knife in the display case that had a handle with a wing and skull and cross bones. Then she looked at me with a strange look in her eyes. Holy hell, thank goodness we have separate rooms right now and I can lock the door!
Husbands get weird; not wives just the husbands….. trust me on this! Mine has a fluorescent yellow or lime green stocking cap and a fluorescent orangepajamas ball cap that he insists on wearing with his ugly grey/green parka. He loves this disaster ensemble. I think that he believes it might be akin to lucky underwear or something, but for me this mismatchy ensemble is more like unlucky underwear and; therefore, I must hide it. However, if I hide it and it really is lucky ….. then what?!?!? I told you he was weird!
Teams that have beaten us in the past wear spandex leggings; now the guys are looking at one piece suits and you can see the question marks floating above their heads. It’s scary; real scary! This morning, Al was admiring a one piece fleece pajama looking thing that he thought would look great with the logo on the back! Holy hell; now we’ve got handlers carrying skull knives and wearing pajamas to the races! However, this fits perfectly with the glow in the dark husband that thinks he’s still in the eighties! It’s hard being the only non-weird one in this group. Not a single one of them understands why they can’t step on cracks in the ice, why they mustn’t look at black cats, why they have to circle the truck 2x before getting inside, why you shouldn’t walk under a ladder or lay your hat on a bed and they really don’t get why if you dream of lizards you have a secret enemy. Man, why do I have to be the only normal one around here?!?!?
Yep, we are all wierded out at the Magnusson Racing truck and seriously ready to get this thing rolling; so we can get back to normal … HA!! As you know, there is more weird to come in the next 8 days so stay tuned.