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Besides Mushing…

Last year, a teenage visitor was riding in my sled and asked me: “So what else do you guys do besides mushing?” I thought about it. Then I asked her to clarify: “What else do we like to do, or what else do we actually do?”

Being a long distance musher (and being married to one) is a total lifestyle commitment. Providing quality training and optimal care for our dogs consumes essentially all of our time and energy. We also have the added responsibility and good fortune of being able to bring visitors into our kennel and onto our trail system for tours. Lucky for all of us: we wouldn’t have it any other way!

We do have one other huge commitment on our plate right now, which is building our home. When Jeff is not working seasonally at a local gold mine, or spending time with the dogs, he is busy constructing our house. Jeff and I (but mostly Jeff) have done everything you see pictured below. From the easier stuff like clearing the building site and drawing the floor plans, to the terrifying stuff like placing roof rafters and hanging Tyvek – this amazing guy has done it all. Much of Jeff’s abilities and confidence were passed down to him by his late father, Eric Deeter. Any gaps in his education he has been able to fill in with advice from neighbors and friends. Those same neighbors and friends have also been quick to lend a hand for some heavy lifting and time-sensitive projects like roofing during one of Alaska’s rainiest summers on record. HUGE THANKS to all of you: you know who you are. For more pictures from our Adventures in Building, check out our facebook page: www.facebook.com/blacksprucedogsleddinga person standing next to a forest

Step 1: Clear our building site, mark the dimensions of our house and dig holes for the SonoTube foundation.

a pile of hay

Step 2: Place SonoTubes in holes. Backfill holes with dirt, gravel and sand, then fill SonoTubes with concrete.

a building with snow on the ground

Step 3: Ask our friends to help us place very large, heavy beams onto SonoTubes.

a person sitting on a bench in the snow

Step 4: Put a floor on our beams.

a group of people standing in front of a building

Step 5: Build walls and loft floor. Again, ask friends to come help us stand up heavy exterior walls.

a close up of an old building

Step 6: Put on the roof rafters.

a group of people standing on a beach

Step 7: Recruit your friends again! If it’s not raining and it’s not windy — quick, get the roof on!

a group of men on a field

Step 8: Take a minute to enjoy the view from the rooftop.

a truck is parked in front of a house covered in snow

Step 9: Wrap it up with Tyvek.

This is where we are now. So what’s next? Windows, doors, insulation, wiring… But more importantly: the dogs. When we find some free time again, we will make another blog update. Until then, thanks for following!

KattiJo

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