The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Is That a Paddle in Your Pocket?

The Future Home of Team Ineka: Is That a Paddle in Your Pocket?

The next few posts I will be playing catch up. I haven’t posted any articles for the past week or so. I had to take full advantage of my “help” here. My wife, Michele and Kyle are only here for about a week and I had my laptop buried in a pile of boxes and tools and today just got a moment to try to catch up my loyal readers on the quest to make the biggest fool of myself in the history of Earth. I am so thankful for all of your comments and kind words and I am glad you are telling your friends about my little blog. Julie and Julia: EAT YOUR HEART OUT!

On Friday we quickly realized that one of the most important pieces of equipment that just HAD to be on the 3200 mile trek in the U-Haul was a piece of junk. It was our 12-year old “brush trimmer.” Before it was packed Michele’s dad was adamant that it would start. No problem, he said.

We took it out and tried to start it and it leaked gas like a sieve. I headed to the Willow True-value hardware store. A quaint little place that has a smidgen of resemblance to that ultra-cool hardware store hangout on the old TV show, Home Improvement, (but not quite) and picked up a piece of fuel line and a cool burn barrel with neat Alaska theme cut-outs.

I brought back the fuel line and replaced it. You guys have to remember that I am about as handy with a set of tools as a blind man in a blizzard with mittens on. I attempted to start the trimmer to no avail and Michele started calling around to see if we could find a place to repair it or at least find one for rent for the day.

We found a little equipment rental shop in Wasilla that said they would “look at it” and we headed down to the city. The guy said it would be a few days before he got to it so we called Home Depot. They said that they had two of the brush trimmers but one was broken and the other was rented out. We resigned ourselves that the weeds would have to wait and headed over to Taco del Mar for lunch.

While munching on tacos Kyle ran into a guy he met on the road and they talked for a bit. I couldn’t help but think, how in the world can you run into a guy that you met thousands of miles from here in the middle of no-where at a taco shoppe in the middle of no-where?

As we finished up our lunch I noticed I missed a call on my iPhone. I called the number back and it was the Home Depot. The operator transferred us to the tool rental department and the guy said: “I’m glad you called back because number one, I am not allowed to leave you a message and number two you have an hour to come and get this brush trimmer if you want it.”

I said we were just finishing our lunch and we will be there in 15 minutes. We headed up the hill to the store and completed the paperwork to rent the trimmer. As we were heading to the tool cage a lady walked out to unlock the gate and she had a key on a board the size of a 1×6 board and I fleetingly made an off-collar joke: “Is that a paddle in your pocket…” Michele and Kyle got so embarrassed that they walked off and the lady said, “yeah, you bet!”

We were then bestowed by the biggest brush trimmer known to man. All the sudden I saw the light and I heard something that you may hear from a church choir in the background. It sounded like: “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…” you know what I am talking about, don’t you?

This beast made our brush trimmer that we just HAD to have look like a garden weasel. This piece of equipment could literally cut down the Amazon Rain Forest I think. It was so heavy that we had to rent ramps to get it in the truck.

We headed back home to get started on the biggest project to date and little did I know that this would be the hardest I have ever worked in my life but I will tell that story tomorrow.

August 20, 2010

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Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Doctor Radio | Denver Dog Works


Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and The Dog Doctor Radio Show