Fiddling Around

This is the newest song I am learning and I am quite in love with it.
http://soundcloud.com/alexandermitchell-fiddle/03-track-03

Can you imagine playing it on top of a mountain with a view like this?

Denali National Park backpacking
Denali National Park, take a few years ago with my much crappier camera.
But THIS is where I am taking it next week. This will be the fiddle’s first official back packing trip. Eagle Summit,  about 125 miles north east of Fairbanks.  For those of you familiar with the Yukon Quest, yes, this is THAT Eagle Summit.
Eagle Summit, Alaska
I’ll have to find a way to strap it on my pack but I’m confident I have enough straps to do it lol. I’m not going very far.

Oh yea, I took this picture at 11:45 pm a couple of years ago.  They don’t call us the Land of the Midnight Sun for nothing.

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It’s almost Yukon Quest time.

http://yukonquest.com/

There are 24 mushers signed up for this year’s Toughest Race on Earth.  I think it is going to be another cold one.  Then again, it’s almost always brutally cold on the Quest.

I have been really looking forward to this.  Well, I look forward to it every year of course but it seems like this is the ONLY thing I have had to look forward to this winter.  That’s not correct really as March IS my favorite month and it is tiptoeing our way as I write.

Here is last year’s fine adventure, Yukon Quest 2011. 

Here is my Adventures in Handling from 2010, if you care to see the other side of the job.

Here is what the checkpoint looks like in the summer.  4th of July and Mile 101 Fun. It’s really beautiful.  I plan on going back packing up around Eagle Summit this summer.  Anyone want to go with me?

Being a cook at the checkpoint is a unique experience to say the least.  I try not to feel like “the lunch lady” as I really don’t fit the bill.  But I do like my job at 101.  Other then the awesome co-workers I get to hang out with, I think the main reason is that it puts me in a place to care for the cold, tired, hungry, and sometimes heartbroken mushers (and the occasional handler).  It feels good to do it, even if “it” is as simple as handing them a bacon and egg sandwich on their way back out into the cold.

The checkpoint is between the two main summits of the race, the formidable Eagle Summit and the devious Rosebud Summit.  Such a pretty name isn’t it?  Here is a story of the rescue that took place in 2006 where mushers had to be rescued by military helicopters.

http://www.newsminerextra.com/quest06/news/2006/02/15/seventh-musher-rescued-by-helicopter/

Being at Mile 101 gives one a unique vantage point.  The stories that we get to hear and see are as varied as the mushers who are living them.  Meeting the mushers when they are high and on top of the world with their success, down in the dumps with fatigue and frustration, frostbitten, or angry as a wet hornet’s nest certainly makes for an interesting work environment.  As I have said before though, these sometimes are a person’s private story, not to be callously shared with a blogging public.  That would be up to the individual, to share their own story.

I’ve bought a laptop from a friend.  He shipped it 10 days ago.  I just hope that it shows up on time.  If it does, please feel free to follow what happenings I am able to post on my Facebook page.

Georganne Hurt-Hampton

Anyways, that’s all for now dearies.