Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mushing alone

If you live in a society where everybody lives off the land, aiming for "the best" often means aiming for "good enough". In a mushing context, this means that if you have enough dogs and they are strong and fast enough, well, that's pretty much it. You're not going to breed and train your dogs to be ten percent faster than your neighbour's, if this means feeding the dogs more, hunting less and missing out on berry-picking season.
When the global economy started seeping into mushing societies in the guise of fur traders and gold miners, this all changed. With the advent of money and stores, you could start specializing. And the dog teams became bigger, the sleds larger and more sophisticated. And once big prizes were given in competitions, it could really pay to miss out on berry-picking and concentrate on training instead.
The reason I'm banging on about this is that I'm wondering what the elements of my own private evolution as a musher are.
I haven't the foggiest idea. Mostly, I just like seeing the dogs run. Still, I feel I probably need to do this together with other people more.

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