Arctic Man mania begins with weeks of preplanning, packing
As we begin to rant for this edition of SnowRider, Arctic Man planning is in full swing. As is normal around my house, it also coincides with Iditarod, Iron Dog and Fur Rondy planning. As much fun as this sounds on a normal year, I have been given an additional gift this season: My better half has decided to revive her customary trip to Mexico with her sister. So in addition to planning the above events, I get to squeeze in one more item, notifying the Mexican authorities that the Coleman sisters are descending on their country.
The last time this event took place was obviously traumatic for the resort staff. Rather than staying in the “All Inclusive” resort facility, where they were very successful in maintaining a particular blood-alcohol level of tequila, they decided to exit the property and go on a self guided tour, to meet a cousin who happened to be on a cruise that was stopping for a few hours in the same city. How this got by the authorities in the first place has never been completely explained. Normally there is a strict two-Coleman limit in areas that serve drinks with umbrellas in them. This unauthorized gathering eventually led to the foreign policy debacle that eventually gained international notoriety as “LemurGate.” Space limitations (and fear) limit my explanation of this event, ask her yourself.
So, back to the snowmobile thing. We are fortunate that three of the four aforementioned events are close to home and can be planned with little downside. Arctic Man is different. We are hundreds of miles from my tool box or shop, so leaving something behind is a bit more problematic. Not saying that I, I mean we, have ever done that. It’s not like I forgot the snowmobile keys and DESS cords or anything. It’s not that we didn’t realize it until we were attempting to unload at Summit Lake or anything.
For the next few weeks, the ArcticMan to-do list will be edited, divvied up between attendees, items shopped for and staged in the garage where SheWhoMustBeObeyed will put her Mexican packing skills to good use cramming everything into a motorhome that we rent once a year. Checklists will be employed and reviewed weekly until the departure date. Each of the group has a particular specialty, so between the normal eight to 10 folks in our group, we will be able to feed an army, blast enough fireworks to bring a tear to a gorilla’s eye, repair or rebuild almost any make and model of sled in the state, catch the Alaska State Troopers’ film crew by riding a unicycle or heavily modified three wheeler and if all else fails, reset a dislocated shoulder on the trail. Can’t recommend the last event, but we have proven we can do it.
Laptops will be left at home, cell phones hidden only to be used to check in with those less fortunate, firewood will be cremated, and turkeys will be fried. Duckfarts will become one of the basic four food groups. And we might even watch a race.
Thanks to Howard, we will get to spend a week away from schedules, customers, bosses and civilization in general. We will get to spend time with people and equipment watching and if all goes well (and it usually does) we get a week refreshing ourselves before we come back to our respective towns and face the prospect of another tourist season.