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.