~ with a little jewelry thrown in for fun.
So what is Dan up to this summer besides working full time…
This summer the garage has been transformed into the set for “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” the remake. Yes this is the summer of “Dan and the Art of John Deere Skid Steer Loader Maintenance“. Our 1977 (?), leaded gas, skid steer loader has run (well kinda, sometimes) in spite of itself for years. But in the recent past had begun to revolt and mutiny; demanding some TLC. So Dan has been providing said TLC, and I have been regaled with stories about just how much muck can come out of a brake case and carburetor, and how really really disgusting said muck is. Dan reports that after the new carb rebuild kit gets here, and he finishes a few more things the loader will be reborn.
Now I am not interested in the quality of the muck or where it came from. But the loader running again is of great interests to me. It means we can accomplish one of our major kennel improvements this summer; re-model our dog yard. Our plans are to redo the entire area, flatten everything out, put in new poles, all new dog houses, and chains. We certainly think the dogs deserve the best, and are really excited about this project. A project that would not be possible without the Skid Steer Loader. So here’s to Dan & Zen & maintenance!
Well the application signed and turned in, entry has been paid, heck the website even has the mushers listed. Dan Kaduce is running the 2013 Yukon Quest. A few friends have already noticed, and joked to us, that they have him listed as a rookie on his Musher Profile. Yes Dan is many things to many people, but a Quest rookie he is not. Dew Claw first got involved in the Yukon Quest in 1998, when he and a good friend were handling on the race for Fairbanks musher & journalist Tim Mowery. Thus the seeds of a serious distance mushing addiction were planted. The Percy deWolfe and Yukon Quest 250 (the 300 used to be 250 back in those days) were Dan’s introduction to distance racing. Being in Fairbanks were we initially drawn to the Yukon Quest, over the better known Iditarod. Dan and I have both run the race. Dan multiple times, with yours truly as his handler.
Along with our involvement racing, at Dew Claw we also like to help out when we can to support the races. This year I had the pleasure of volunteering in the Yukon Quest booth at the Tanana Valley Fair. I was working with Abbie West, so it is safe to say we had a great time; talking dog, getting excited for this winter, sharing information about the Quest, and selling tickets for the Yukon Quest Summer Raffle.
-Check out fellow Quest musher Abbie West & her Cosmic Canines, and wish her luck as she joins Dan on the 2013 Quest trail.
An annual visit to the Tanana Valley State fair is a mandatory item on my summer ‘to do’ list. Must check out what new food items are being served on sticks, deep fried, or dipped in chocolate. The quilt show is always wonderful; apparently quilting is a common cure for cabin fever in Fairbanks. And stages around the fair grounds showcase different acts. After my shift at the Yukon Quest booth I got out just in time to catch the Fairbanks Red Hackle Pipe Band, bagpipes rock!!!
The Iditarod also has a booth at the Fair, and so I spent some time there as well. Got to be fair, at Dew Claw we love both the 1000 mile races. Was also able to pick up a copy of the 2012 Iditarod race video. (Which is really good, and even has a little snippet with me talking about marathons, ice cream, and why humans are wimps.) You can order yours here: Iditarod Store
A visit to the Fair also includes my annual splurge on something nice for me. When I was younger it was always a fair sweater, one of those big, heavy, colorful, imported, funky wool sweaters. Then I went through a pottery phase, handmade coffee mugs in particular. But the last few years I have been drawn toward some lovely jewelry. Yeah I know, me, jewelry…. how knew?
After my dog fur hat, the sled dog jewelry I wear to every banquet, picnic, event, or evening out is the thing I wear I get asked about the most. Where did you find those cute sled earnings? For the Hat: read hear. And for the sled dog bling, the Fair was always my chance to catch up with Melissa Sanford, Wilderness Expressions. I was wearing some of my sled dog earrings collection, and looking forward to acquiring more. Her sign read says it all, this will be last year at the fair. Fairbanks folks, she does plan to join us for the University Christmas Bazaar (which conflicts with dog mushing so I never make it). Or you can email her for more information about where you can purchase her creations: Melissa Sanford, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also have to give a shout out to another awesome local Alaska metal artist: Alex Lewandowski – Alex Metal Arts, Inc. His work is avaliable online and he also does commission work. I discovered his photos through a mutual friend on facebook and contacted him about this idea I had for a wedding band, dog themed of course. He has been working on some sketches for my custom dream wedding ring. And he will be taking my ideas and making them a metal reality. (coming soon…)