The move has finally started. Although the closing won’t officially “record” until tomorrow, we’ve been moving some things from our old house to the new one. It’s very exciting, but after living here for almost eight years, we’ve collected a lot of stuff. Planning and installing a dog yard at the new house is the other big task. I’ve set up a wiki so that we can keep track of all the things we need to do, and our best guess of when they’ll get done. It’s turning out to be a really good way of planning it all out, and for forcing us to get particular tasks done when we need them done. I wish I’d started it a month ago when we first knew we were likely to be moving.
The photo on the right shows the second load we took over. We’re borrowing a trailer from a friend and it’s turning out to be really helpful. It’s amazing how much stuff it can hold.
I doubt if I’ll be finishing any more books this month, and I haven’t really had much time to seriously consider the Bach Violin Concertos CD. Hopefully we will have settled down in our new house in a couple weeks and things will start returning to normal.
P.S., Anybody want to buy a house?
The oil tank that feeds our furnace sits under the deck on a wooden sled. Over the years the tank has slid downhill to the point that the tubing was starting to bend and kink and I was worried it might actually slide all the way off it’s supports. So it needed to be pulled back up the slope and secured.
The tricky part is that there’s nothing solid enough under the deck to attach a jack or winch to, and the tank is heavy: it’s a 300 gallon tank about two-thirds full. What’s the saying about moving the moon with a long enough lever and a place to stand?
I used a tow rope around the tank, some chain to join the rope to my two-ton winch, and attached the winch to the trailer hitch on the back of the pickup truck. Worked like a charm. I’d fully tension the chain with the winch until the truck just started to move, go under the deck and rock the tank back and forth, causing it to move forward an inch or so. Re-tension the winch and repeat.
I moved the tank about a foot uphill in less than an hour, and blocked the end of the sled so it can’t slide down any more. (Those are our basil plants on the deck in the bottom photo.)
The potluck and race draw are over (Andrea goes out fifth tomorrow, out of thirty teams), and while we were in there, the wind and snow picked up. There's drifting snow all over the place, and even though it's not all that cold out (around 10°F), this wind makes it feel pretty bitter. After the draw we got back to the motel and watered the dogs, which is what's happening in the photo on the right. They'll need to come down to go to the bathroom a couple more times before they (and we!) go to sleep for the night.
The Tok Race of Champions is this weekend, and we're on our way down to participate. Tok is the last race of the season for us, and because it's not in town, it's an entire weekend completely devoted to dogs and racing. The dogs stay in their boxes on the truck while on the road, and as a result, all of our focus is on their care. It's an exhausting weekend, but the community of Tok really puts on a good race, and it's fun to go on one last hurrah with everyone else in the sprint mushing community before the season ends.
The hotel we're staying at advertises wireless Internet, so I'll try to keep this updated when there's a free moment.
The second championship race of the 2007 season was held in North Pole this weekend at the Chena Lakes Recreation Area. It's been about 25 degrees below normal this week in Fairbanks, and Chena Lakes is one of the colder spots in the Interior. It was -45°F on Saturday and -41°F on Sunday in North Pole when I left the house for the track. The races were delayed until 12:30 so that things could warm up a bit, but it was still a chilly -15°F when the four-dog class went out.
It's a short 3.8 mile course for the four-dog class and Andrea and our dogs had the best time of 11:43.1 on Saturday. The second place team was 11.3 seconds behind. On Sunday Andrea lost some ground, but she held on to win the overall race by 1.5 seconds, finishing with a total time of 22:59.2. She got a trophy, three bags of dog food and a check for $50, but I'm pretty sure that getting first place in a championship race is the real reward.