Friday, January 29, 2010

Monday Morning in Alaska
Monica's Travel Journal Continued
(part 6)

After Sunday afternoon's near tragic sled ride, I awoke Monday morning ACHING all over. Late last summer, I had enrolled in a 12 week "Boot Camp" at our local gym where the instructor (an award winning body builder) had done her best to kill me! I had continued going FAITHFULLY twice every week until the second to to the last class when I wrenched my shoulder forcing myself to lift too much weight on the shoulder press machine. That ended my personal career in body building...though, if you know my short, fat self, body building probably was not ever a realistic goal for me in the first place! My point, though, is that NEVER in my eleven week career of body building had I EVER been as SORE as I was when I awoke Monday morning after my brush with death on the sled of terror. It appears that riding in a sled behind speeding Iran is a better full body work-out than anything my body building instructor had ever thought to devise! When it takes every OUNCE of your strength to keep yourself from being hurled from a speeding sled, you wind up using muscles you never even knew you had!

So, it was that I awoke Monday morning feeling like a very, very old woman! Unfortunately for me, I awoke on MISSOURI time, not Alaskan time. It was probably the pain in my aching muscles that drove me out of bed. Mind you, I had been awake for 36 hours straight upon my arrival in Nome Saturday evening and had also, on Sunday morning, awoken at 6 am Alaskan time (a late 9 am Missouri time). On that morning, I had puttered around a bit and let the dogs out and back in again. Iran and Lisa had snoozed on. So, I had donned my coat and gone back to bed. (Lisa had PROMISED me she would awaken me by 9:15 am so we could make it to church on time. As it turned out, by the time she and Iran drug themselves out of bed at 9:15 am, I was asleep once more...and, as they are forever pointing out to me, SNORING LOUDLY! Lisa didn't have the heart to awaken me. Well, actually she DID tiptoe to my door and whisper, "Monica...Monica..." a few times, but how was I suppose to hear her over my snoring???? Besides that, I had two quilts and the down filled hood of my coat covering my head! I probably could not have heard her whispering even if I HADN'T been snoring as loud as jet on take-off! So, what did Lisa do? Just gave up and went and took her shower! She did not attempt to awaken me again until 10:00! Mind you, Sunday School STARTS at 10:00!!! I was beside myself when I realized it was already time to LEAVE and I was still in my PJs with oily hair! I can do a 60 second shower, but REALLY!!! We came dragging into Sunday School quite late, and it was all my fault...sort of!

Unlike Sunday morning, Monday morning when I again awoke before Lisa and Iran, still on Missouri time, I wasn't able to go back to sleep. Maybe I was just afraid to go back to sleep for fear Lisa would forget to awaken me once more and I would miss the whole day!!! At any rate, I played with the dogs (who were still beside themselves with joy at being together!) and then I went upstairs and ate more of the DELICIOUS banana cake that dear, sweet Terry had left as a welcoming gift to us there in her cabin. It had been delicious the night before and it was every bit as delicious Monday morning for breakfast! In fact it was so good, that I had to have a second piece with my ice cold Dr. Pepper! Then I moseyed back downstairs and amused myself by reviewing all the photos on my camera. Hours later, (around 10:45 am, if my memory serves me right) Lazy Lisa and Iran FINALLY drug themselves out of bed. I was beginning to see how it was with these Alaskans! They don't wake up until the first weak, gray light of dawn begins to spread across the Artic sky! Lisa seemed faintly annoyed that I hadn't awakened her! I pointed out that it wasn't as though I hadn't made enough NOISE to alert them that I was up and about! To which, she honestly could point out that she and Iran had certainly not concealed that they were up and moving about the morning before, yet, having returned to bed that second time, I had slept on obliviously! So, we made a pact, from now on if EITHER of us awoke before the other (so long as it was at least 6am Alaskan time) we would awaken the other person...so that we would not waste any of our week together sleeping unnecessarily! Sounded like a great plan! Tuesday morning, though, I would see that it was a lost cause! There is NO DRAGGING Lisa or Iran out of bed before 10 am! It is a wonder that they consistantly make it to work on time! They certainly can't drag themselves out of bed early on the days when they aren't scheduled to work!!!

But, back to MONDAY morning! I occupied myself for hours and hours as I waited for Lisa and Iran to emerge from hibernation! When they did finally wake up, I joined them for a second breakfast--more banana cake and ice cold Dr. Pepper! We had a huge box filled with MRE's there at the cabin, but, as it turned out, never had call to eat a single one of them! (Lisa and Iran had stocked up on the MRE's when Terry had first offered them use of the cabin. They had envisioned a CABIN. What they found was a beautiful house that had a regular gas stove and all the normal amenities of a regular home, minus running water. It DOES have running water in the summer (from a well), but none in the winter.)

After breakfast, Lisa and Iran played "Get him, Gabby! GET HIM!!!". Iran would walk threateningly towards Gabs and Lisa would yell out the attack command (get him!) and Gabby would go all Kujo on Iran!

She is really quite intimidating when she is rushing you with her snapping teeth bared, barking furiously! Delighted, I asked Iran to try and get Ransom to do that. Mind you, since she was 10 weeks old, we have come down like a ton of bricks on Ransom for ANY show of aggression towards strangers...but, here in Alaska, it didn't seem like such a horrible thing for her to know how to attack on command! Well, as soon as Ransom realized she was not going to get into trouble for being aggressive, she joined into the game with gusto! Iran only agitated her a few times, but that was all it took for her to grow fully into her German Shepherdness, as we would see the next day at the first glimpse of the serial killer stalking us out at the isolated cabin. But that is much later in the story!

Well, there we were at the cabin, no serial killer (yet) to occupy our minds...and, we had forgotten the cards, so I couldn't teach Lisa and Iran Nertz as planned. We had discovered the TV there was too old to connect to our DVD player, so we couldn't watch "White Fang" as planned. We had forgotten to bring bottled water, trash bags, and numerous other "neccesities" and thought it would be ever so nice to have the laptop so we could watch "White Fang" there at the cabin, so, Lisa and I thought we ought to make a run back to the house in Nome to gather up all these things! Iran really didn't want us dragging more junk to the cabin. He had already spent his whole day Saturday packing in everything that had been on Lisa's list up to that point and he, pragmatically, was already eyeing what we DID have there and was calculating how many trips up that long, snowy trail it was going to take just to get THAT stuff back to the Mariner, parked up on the road a mile from the cabin. Iran said that if we were going to haul MORE stuff to th cabin, we should take BACK to Nome some of the stuff already there...even exchange...his idea of a compromise (since he didn't want us bringing ANYTHING else back to begin with). Iran lost. Well, I mean, we TRIED...but, all we could find to take back to Nome was one or two small items that would easily fit in our pockets and that seemed rather pointless, so we didn't even bring back those few small items! (We NEEDED everything we had there...at least we thought we MIGHT need it!) Poor Iran...it would not be the last time he was outvoted. And, poor us...it would not be the last time that in RETROSPECT we realized we SHOULD have listened to Iran!

(to be continued)

(By the way, the above picture was not doctored. It is an actual action shot of Gabby and Ransom playing in their typical manner. They look pretty fierce when they play-fight! Too bad Ransom is out of focus!)

1 comment:

  1. It's cool to see others that know about Nertz. You should definitely check out http://www.playnertz.com/ , the site for the National Nertz Association. There is a bunch of interesting Nertz information, videos, and photos there AND you can play Nertz on-line for free. I recommend it to all Nertz players! So cool. =)

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