Hello and welcome to our blog. We have been getting many requests to join in on blogging so here we go. I hope you all enjoy the "view". Be sure to check us out at www.earthsonglodge.com for detailed information.

EarthSong Lodge in pictures

EarthSong Lodge in pictures

The view of a lifetime

The view of a lifetime
Denali in March 2012

Caribou and Sled Dogs

Caribou and Sled Dogs

two minutes of sunshine at -16 below

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh so chilly

Dearest friends,
Oh so chilly when I woke up this morning...the themometer read...-16 below, so I lit a few of my favorite candles with warm scents of vanilla sugar, pushed a button on the "Kuerig" coffeemaker for instant aromatic coffee from my fav brand lately, Caribou coffee. I am looking forward to the very quick glimpse of the sun rising over the mountains...we are speaking of maybe TWO minutes before hiding behind the peak until tomorrow.
Jon and JJ took two teams of sled dogs out breaking trail, three hours of frosty feet and dogs.
It's a strange and wonderful feeling to bake banana bread with lots of chocolate chips, warming the kitchen and greeting Jon after his outing with the sled dogs. Now it's time to make a turkey/veggie pot pie for dinner...after all, how else can one warm up...indulging in comfort food.
Happy thoughts only,
PS...I wish you could pop over for a slice of warm banana bread...and a drizzle of sunshine.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Down to Homer

Tomorrow Karin, JJ, and I are heading to Homer to move our belongings out and close the house down. We purchased the beautiful home on the ridge three years ago, but have not spent as much time down there as we hoped. Add the amazing amount of snowfall in recent years in Homer (at one time last year we had a spot on the roof with 9' of snow), and you end up with a place hard to maintain when Jon is guiding dog sled trips all winter. We love the area and community, and will be looking at other lower-elevation options.

With about a half-foot of new snow, we have some better mushing conditions out now. The tundra is still bumpy, but we have some decent trails, and will soon be ready to start our day guided trips. Speaking of trips, we have some new dog mushing trip specials on our website: www.earthsonglodge.com. Check them out if you want to experience Denali the "real" way. There was a meeting on Monday at Denali National Park HQ between me and some park staff, going over the guiding operation. We have a new park kennels manager, with mushing experience but no park mushing time. Denali is a bit different from other places, so she'll be in for an exciting winter. We were again shot down for park cabin use. For those of you not in-the-know, the dog sled guiding business was able to use all 15 park patrol cabins for winter guiding from the 1970's through to about 1990. The permit was re-written and the cabins were deleted. I have tried consistantly since then to get them back, with only getting one cabin (Lower Toklat Cabin) back. The frustrating part is the goal posts seem to be moving, as the reasoning behind the policy evolves as points are contradicted. With more cabin use, I am able to offer a more varied service to a greater number of potential guests. But nothing will change for the near future. We'll still do the trips we've done in the past, and still make winter camping as comfy as it can get...with wood stove and hot tent.

Don't think we'll post anything until after Thanksgiving, so a happy holiday to you all. Stay healthy, be safe, carpe diem.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dog Sledding Season 2010-2011 Has Begun

Karin and Jon are back at the lodge, after a trip up from the Lower 48 in their new truck, and the focus now is training the dogs for sledding trips. We only have a few inches of snow, but that hasn't stopped the sled training. The dogs are doing 8-10 mile days, and by the end of next week they should be doing 15-18 milers. Our new pups, the Star Trek DS-9 litter, are all in team and looking like pros...except for Kira, who hasn't quite figured out this whole dog team thing. We're looking forward to a great year, and already have about ten multi-day trips booked. For our few blog readers out there considering a trip, let me know you read this blog and I'll give you a discounted rate. What a deal!

While on vacation we unfortunately lost our oldest dog, Picard. He had an excellent season last year, especially for a dog going on 13 years. Picard got sick for a few days, and we finally lost him about two weeks ago. Coincidentally, his retired sister Guinin in Washington State also died that same week of cancer. Picard was our perennial swing dog, a reliable back-up to whichever dog was up in lead. We'll miss him greatly.

Along with dog sled training, Karin and I are working on a number of projects in and around the lodge. Last summer we focused a lot on the grounds and upgrading some of the systems. We will be putting a lot of effort into Henry's Coffeehouse, making it not only a great place to eat and see the slide show, but also a place available for guests to hang out, play games, get online, etc. The main lodge building will undergo another season of interior work, and with luck, an addition.

Winter is also a time for us to catch up on family. We were lucky enough to visit the East Coast and family with our daughter Sera this fall. Next weekend is our grandson Taegan's fifth birthday, and all the kids and grandkids will be at the lodge for Thanksgiving. After a "quiet" holiday last year in Homer, it should be just the opposite in 2010.

As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, we wish all our friends out there a great winter.

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