I've recently mentioned two phrases that you will often hear at the Kennel: "We've got a lot to do!" and "It's never easy!" You may recall that the latter was prominently featured in a video about some, um, challenges we had driving home from a race. Well, I can now report that one of my own personal favorite sayings -- one that I have used often since I got here two months ago -- has also found its way into the Kennel's phrase book: "You can't make this stuff up!" As you will see, it is prominently featured in this video. Here's the story:
It was snowing lightly as I drove over the mountains from Glennallen back to Two Rivers on Tuesday night, but there was little accumulation and traction remained good. So, I took it easy -- averaging about 35 mph -- and had a pretty decent trip. The drive took longer than "normal" but the miles kept clicking by and in due course I was home in good order.
Well, with the abrupt temperature swing we've just had, the snow that gave me good traction must have melted and then re-frozen, because by the time Aliy, Allen, Bridgett and Bob drove the same road on Wednesday it was nothing but a thick sheet of clear, glare or "black" ice. No matter how careful you are, when you hit that kind of ice you're in trouble.
Big Red ended up with his nose in the show bank, and there was so little traction that neither truck was going anywhere. Even the DOT trucks that were there had no traction and could only move by going in reverse and spreading gravel "ahead" of themselves as they went. What a mess!
The SP Kennel Team was able to get Big Red away from the snow bank, but because every vehicle that tried to drive on ended up off the road, in the ditch or worse, they decided to stay put and visit with the DOT crew for a few hours until things cleared up enough to let them proceed. When they finally got going again, it was many hours of driving at very slow speeds before they cleared the problem area and eventually got back to the Kennel, all safe and sound.
Bridgett and Aliy shot some photos and video of the experience -- about which she said to me, "You can't make this stuff up!" -- and I have edited it into this video. It was so windy that most of the soundtrack is completely inaudible, but I was able to salvage a few parts of it. To fill in the gaps I've dubbed in a song called "Everything Is Great" that just strikes me as fitting the experience.
Now that it is all over and everyone got home safely, I can invite you to enjoy another little episode of Alaskan winter life... You can't make this stuff up!