Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Sled and a Crazy Day

When I got home from Kentucky there was a message on my machine.  Dave Klumb of Laughing Husky Enterprises finished my new dog sled, which I had commissioned last fall.

The sled is representative of an early 20th century "traveling sled" that became very popular during the Klonkyke and various Alaska gold stampedes.  Based on an ancient Siberian native design, it's a basket sled built smaller and lighter than the freighting sleds of the period, but nonetheless large and stout enough to carry all of the provisions and equipment needed to support a musher and team as they traveled long distances in harsh trail and weather conditions.  The only significant modern alterations to the historical design is the "bar" type brake, which I feel is safer and more secure than the spring-board type that was used historically, and black plastic runner shoes, which are more easily replaced than the iron or steel shoes of history.

New "Traveling Sled" by Dave Klumb

The "wave" in the cap rails is an intentional design feature that allows the rail to flex as the sled traverses rough trails.  It is that natural flexibility that makes this type of sled more durable and less likely to break in rough conditions.

Dave did a masterful job for a very reasonable price.  While I was picking up my sled I had a chance to view a work in progress that is even more impressive.  On this new sled under construction, Dave is using no metal hardware at all, which was uncommon even back in those days. If there is ever a "Hall of Fame" of dog sled builders, Dave should be it's first inductee.

I had some other errands to run in town, including a health care appointment.  With a bit of time to kill, I decided a stop at one of our local espresso stands was in order.  MISTAKE.  When I tried to roll down the window of the truck to order my coffee, the side window stuck in the frame, slipped out of the track, and then dropped down into the bottom of the door.  That meant driving home in sub-zero weather with a big, wide open hole blowing cold air into the cab.  I'm hoping I can repair that myself, but I'm not terribly confident.  Removal of the door panel doesn't look to be particularly straight forward, and I'd hate to break either the panel or the window glass.  We'll just have to see how that goes.  I'm not going to worry about it today.

Last night I went out to the Hot Springs with a friend for supper and a good long soak in the rock pool.  It was a beautiful evening with clear skies and of course the foggy hot-water mist blowing gently over the pool.  The temperature of the water was "just right" in the hot-spots and we stayed later than I would have expected.  When I got home I turned off the alarm clock, and got a good night of sleep as a result.

Plans today?  Well, we'll just see how the day goes.

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