Sunday, February 27, 2011


Well I've started submitting my book for publishing. Unfortunately, Pantera press  rejected my book. I wasn't confident, I was certain, 'cause confidence is for people who aren't allready sure.
Now Pulp Fiction Press has my work, and I'm waiting for the good news.

On another topic, I've joined two writing websites, called Thumbscribes and Wattpad, and I like them both.
I'm working on getting a job, so if any of my whole one reader knows of any openings in the Brisbane area, let me know (and if you see this gen, just ignore it.)

Well, till next time bloggers, arrivederci

My heroes made into Yugioh cards :D

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Last Day

I couldn't believe it had finally come to this. We were woken up at 8 the next morning, after another late night outside in the snow, with no sign of the Northern Lights I had come so far to see. The morning began as usual, though I was filled with an unending sense of trepidation and...nervousness, I suppose, knowing that, after today, I most likely would never see my five wonderful dogs again.
We set the harnesses, as usual, and took off on the trail. The most memorable element of that last day was definitely the cold. It had been cold all week, but then, after the fresh snowfall the night before and the sky swept into a clean and shining cerulean blue that stretched from horizon to horizon, there were no clouds to keep the heat in, and the meagre yet glorious sunlight there on the roof of the world was incapable of warming our freezing bones. The cold winds cut straight through our gloves and parkas and, I'm ashamed to say, I almost couldn't wait to get back inside.
But the cold was a double edged sword, because with the brilliant sun casting its luminescent presence over the snowfields and crystalline forests the entire country sparkled with fairy dust. Particles of snow floated through the air like dust motes, but caught the light like tiny prisms and cast rainbow light amongst the shadows. The snow drifts were pure white and the perfect flatness of Jackson Lake broken only by the trail stretched off into the distance to the towering behemoths reaching for the skies. When we reached the roads and gentle slopes my dogs began to slow, and I was freezing so I leapt from the sled and landed beside them running, racing my beloved companions as far as I could. I know its stupid, but I swear that the second Sage saw me running beside him, he redoubled his efforts, dragging Micki and the others along with him till the sled caught up with me again, forcing me to surrender and dive back on board.
I must admit, despite the piercing, arctic cold and the lack of any colossal slopes or blind, adrenaline filled corners, that last day had something special to it, i think that running beside my dogs was just as much fun as guiding them around the corners and the high ridges, I felt so wild and free, although I think I'm only just realising that now, one year following my spectacular journey.
When we returned to the dogyard I spent an hour saying goodbye to my dogs, hugging them and taking photos to remember them by. Of course they didn't know what was going on, and I doubt they had felt such a connection to me as I did to them, but I like to think that if I went back, they might show just that little bit more excitement than if they were meeting someone new.
With my farewells said, I returned to the lodge and had one last meal with my fellow adventurers, people who, like me, had no interest in following the mainstream snowgoers, the skiiers and the snowboarders down in Whistler. We were different, we wanted something different. I like to think that, in another age, we would have been the explorers seeking out the lost corners and peering into the deep shadows, but in this world all we can do is ride the sled and explore the most untouched, beautiful and pristine lands at the roof of the world the only way it is meant to be seen, without the roar of engines and puff of smoke, only the pitter patter of paws in the snow. I'm back in my own country now, Australia, but I'll always remember the countryside that made me feel like I was home.

Day 6 - Valley of Mists

A corny title, I know, but the valley we descended into earned the name. The long stretch allowed us to see directly into the valley itself, only a narrow portion between the trees, but enough. Far away, the distant mountains beckoned, sheer, Olympian peaks ascending from the tree blanketed slopes pointed proudly at heaven, and seperating the peaks and slopes was a straight gash of pure white cloud, like a poor television connection cut through the middle by random static. Then we rounded a bend and the valley was visible only though the ice rimmed forest, leafless trees seemed held up by snow, like frosted crystal formations growing in all directions. Squirrels, black as coal, were occasionally visible dashing from icy stalk to icy stalk, shadowy blurrs at the speed we followed the dogs. Then the path took another turn, taking us back into view of the valley, and pointing us directly downhill again. The beauty of this place seemed magnified by the rushing wind and biting ice, the pad of twenty paws digging into the snow, the drag of sled on ice, the unending magnificence of these frozen peaks again made it seem as though I was caught in a dream, in a world of majesty and diamond dust.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 6 - Descent

We stopped for a moment, took time to take a few photos, have a snack and drink. Sage, as usual, does not sit still, though at first nothing seems wrong. Laird gives the 'everything ok?' sign, tapping his head, each of us reply in turn, including me at the very back. He sets off down the slope, this one an epic stretch of about five hundred meters down the back of the mountain. One by one we follow, and still everything seems well. Then disaster strikes, and I notice Mickie's harness has been twisted around itself, thanks most likely to Sage's shananigans. In panic I slam on the brakes and stomp the snowhoook into the ground, cementing my team in place. I leap out of the sled and run to Micki, but this spooks big Harry and he takes off, ripping the snowhook out of the ground and sending the other four dogs into an excited frenzy, egging them to run, run, to the ends of the earth. And so they did. In a desperate attempt to stop the sprint I dive for the team line and grab hold of it with one hand, Harry's collar with the other. I struggle to calm my tractor dog, but he doesn't listen to words. He wrenches free, and the ground speeds past underneath my backside, my flailing legs on either side of the bow of the sled, one hand holding myself away from it. I chance to glance down the hill, at the bottom is a sharp, but wide, turn left, and beyond that nothing but forest and a nearly sheer drop to the valley floor. Without a helmsman the only way this sled would go is over the edge, dragging my dogs with it.
My grip failing I kick out ferociously at the sled, knocking it to one side and getting my legs together. Hooking my feet around the prow I am able to right myself and get my hands back on something solid. Climbing to my feet, with the wind rushing past my ears I am able to climb along the frame of the sled until I can get my hands on the handlebars, leaping I get one foot back on the runners and slam the other down on the brake. A fountain of snow spurts up behind the sled and we slow considerably, just in time for the dogs to take the turn, and the sled, luckily, to follow.

Day 6 - Mount Mac

I don't remember what was for breakfast on the day we took the Mount Mackie trail. I remember that I was late to the feedshack in the morning, so instead of feeding the dogs Mary asked me if I would like to help chop the meat. I leapt to the task and was soon hacking away at a frozen chunk of beef (32kgs) with an axe. I don't think it needs to be said that I had fun, and volunteered to be official meat chopper from then on.
The Mount Mackie climb was nothing compared to the climb to Bonville, though far longer it simply wasn't as steep, and the dogs needed little help tugging the sled up the mountain, we were scarce out of breath by the time we reached the top.
I had seen the mountains from the valleys, and the view had been spectacular, majestic, awesome. Now I was seeing the valley from the mountain, and the view was so similar. The broad, flat stretch of ice covered water cut a swaithe through the valley like the facet of a flawless diamond, the mountains reared up behind them like the Titans of Greek mythology, primal beings demanding attention and respect, and yet modest and respectful, hiding from the world here in the wilderness. Photos were necessary.
When we started moving again the first thing that caught my eye was the burned out wreck of a car, no one knows how it got up here on the spine of Thrym, no one knows who put it up here, but everyone seems to agree that its far too much hassle to get it down. But there was little time to contemplate, because we had reached the plataeu, and from here the downhill started.
It wasn't like the Bush trail, or Bonville Ridge, up here on Mt. Mac there was virtually no vegetation bigger than a few scattered, skeleton bushes. No trees to block the view or deflect the wind. We rushed around the curve of the mountain on a broad trail, down shallow hills and up short rises, leaping from crest to crest like hounds born from the snow rushing to return to it. We passed over narrow ridges joining two valleys like bridges, always aware that if we slipped too far to the side we would be buried in the snow, we passed round the mountain, privy to more spectacular views of forest, lake, and magnificent, clear blue sky. It was like a race, each time I caught up to Alan I would stop, hold my dogs back until he was far enough ahead to give my hounds a run, enough to give me the rush I had come to love so much.

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