[at-l] Mudbutt Update

Jan Leitschuh janl2 at mindspring.com
Thu Feb 15 22:47:05 CST 2007

Many of you remember Anna, aka Mudbutt, a member of this forum.
She hasn't slowed down - she's... well, I have her permission to post her note here.
It's hilarious:

 "Ok.....so you know that show Northern Exposure?  A few buildings, a bush plane
and lots and lots of snow?   Picture that but way, way smaller!   It is official...I
am in the Arctic Circle!  
     I got up this morning and took a bush flight here and let me say, it was quite
an experience!!  My friend Nicole talked about these small airplanes being hard 
if you are prone to motion sickness.  Well I don't know what she was talking
about!!  It was smooth as silk!!  That is......until we hit the mountain range. 
Now, the plane seats four, and I was only about two feet away from the pilot, so
I got a good look at him when we started to rock and roll.  After my butt actually
left the seat for the second time, I thought for sure that he was going to yell,
"We are going down!!".  (And being a woman who is convinced that her destiny
will one day be written up in the pages of Readers Digest Magazine, I had already
memorized the locations of the fire extingusher, the first aid kits and the survival
equipment!).  But no.....the pilot just yawned and stretched.  So I guess that it
was not our day to be immortalized under the headline, "Three Total Strangers
Crash in the Arctic Circle....Two Survive After Feasting On The Remains Of  Southern
   We did spend the better part of the hour like a kernal in a pop corn machine,
but I enjoyed every second of it.  I was actually disapointed when he pointed the
nose down and landed on a long white avenue of snow.  But then I looked around and
saw how beautiful it is here.  We have landed in Bettles, a community 35 miles North
of the Arctic Circle and accesible only by air.  There are about a dozen buildings
scattered around, but the place looks deserted.  Maybe it is because it is a balmy
0 degrees and everyone is inside! I get the impression that Bettles is a sort of
gateway to the complete wilderness that is North of us.  Several of the buildings
are boarded up and have signs advertising fly fishing tours and such.  However, 
there is no gas station, Krogers, or McDonalds!  Needless to say, I love it and 
it is home for the next few days.
      The lodge is something like a big house and looks like every hiker hostel 
I have ever been in.  I walked through the front door into a room with well-worn
furniture circled around a book shelf filled with old movies and paperbacks.  The
'gift-shop' consists of a bookshelf with some Native crafts on it and there
are three booths for us to eat our meals in.  I immediately felt totally at home.
     After settling in, I went out for a walk to get the lay of the land.  Everything,
and I do mean everything, is white!!  Since there is very little traffic to speak
of, the snow stays really clean.  Today, the sun was shining and the sky was bright
blue.  The lodge sits down in the middle of a circle of mountains and they are also
completely and totally white.  I just love it!  I walked until I couldn't feel
my thighs or face anymore, reveling in the idea that I am actually here.
    When I found my way back into the warmth of the Lodge, I was greeted by the 
owners getting ready to go back outside again.  It turns out that yesterday a couple
actually got married here, and they were about to get their pictures taken with 
a dog sled team, so out I went back into the cold.  There was no way I was missing
a chance to see a dog sled team close up!!  It was awesome, awesome, awesome!  The
dogs are smaller than I expected, and the musher explained that the bigger dogs,
like my friend Dana's, are susceptible to a lot of shouder problems, so you 
don't see them used very much anymore.  Also, I expected them to be a bit unfriendly....I
mean, they are work dogs right?  Well, I now smell like eight different kind of 
dog, and I may never get the hair off of my clothes!  My hands froze to death as
they competed for my attention and I scratched their wet tummys.  And it was totally
worth it.
      I have so much more to say, but I will save some for tomorrow.  I expect to
be up all night looking at the Northern Lights and tomorrow I am going to a Native
village and than dog sledding!  As for my friends, I am carrying around a sort of
ache because all I can think is how much you would all love this.  Yes, Nicole, 
you would have thrown up everywhere in the plane......Christine, you would be miserably
cold.....and Dana, you would probably get arrested for refusing to stop petting 
the dogs  :)..........but trust me ya'll, it would totally be worth it.  :) 
              Love, Anna aka Mud Butt
PS- I should probably keep this to myself but my friend Michael, the guitarist for
the Border Collies, has confessed to me that he, in fact, is the father of Anna 
Nicole Smith's baby.  Just thought you should know....."

"When all is said and done here at the ending of the day, I look out on this
world and it still takes my breath away..."
"Robin's Song" Small Potatoes

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