Today we did one of the coolest things ever. We went dog sledding in the White Mountains of New Hampshire! This was pretty high on my New England winter bucket list and I'm so happy we were able to have this experience. We went with a company called Muddy Paws Rescue. All of their Siberian and Alaska Huskie sled dogs were rescued from tough situations. Some ran the Iditarod back in their prime and were then abandoned and replaced with younger dogs. Others were saved from puppy mills, and some were house dogs that were abused. Now 140 dogs call New Hampshire home and get to run their hearts out. Once retired, they can be adopted as pets or remain at Muddy Paws to live out their days with their fluffy friends.
>> Scroll To The Bottom to skip my rambling and see the video!<<
The first part of our day included meeting the dogs and learning how to harness them. Every dog had their own look and personality. I didn't know how many other breads are intentionally bread into huskies (particularly the Alaskan Huskies) to make them what they are today. Bread like Great Danes, Wippets, Pointers, and German Shepherds are all a part of these dogs. This makes for a million combinations of coats, sizes, and shapes. The Siberian Huskie is what most people think of when they picture a sled dog. And of course their beautiful eyes.
^^ This is Jack. This is his last season. After a long career he will retire and is up for adoption. We basically became best friends. I tried to sneak him home with me.
^ This is Frost. I love her smirk.
Next we learned how to harness the dogs. We had 12 dogs on our team.
When these dogs get hooked up they are ready to go. It's amazing how excited they are to run. But then, one of the shyer dogs got out of her harness and got loose. All of a sudden the dogs went absolutely crazy! Caleb and I just stood in the middle of 140 huge huskies going insane while the mushers attempted to calmly catch Snow White. Video of the madness below:
After our mushers successfully wrangled Snow White. Caleb and I bundled up in the sled and off we went!
Below are two videos of our ride. Our musher even taught us how to drive the sled! I wasn't exactly heavy enough to put all my weight on the brake- but Caleb did great! I think I'm going to convince him to get our own team...
Clearly, an awesome experience.
And our second destination is....
That's right! Getting over to the west coast to hike plenty of mountains and swim in plenty of rivers was on the top of our Spring To Do list. So April 9th we will make the journey from coast to coast to live in Boise, Idaho. When our recruiter first told us about this Idaho job, we had no idea what to think. Honestly, my first thought was "potato country". But as soon as we did a little googling, we realized Boise is an adorable city at the foot of some pretty incredible mountains...
Although the snow here has been...well...an experience-- a record breaking experience-- we are ready for some sunshine and naps in a hammock.
We will be working at two St. Luke's hospitals. One closer to the mountains and one in downtown Boise. The downtown hospital is right by Boise State's campus. (The legendary blue football field. See pic below). Super sad we won't be there during the school year!
After stopping through to see family, we will begin our cross country road trip. We will be making a detour to my favorite state- Colorado -for me to take a Trauma Nursing certification. Caleb will have to entertain himself by biking around Colorado Springs while I'm stuck in class... After some Denver fun, we will be heading up to Yellowstone National Park before heading to Idaho. Not the most direct route- but it certainly will be beautiful!
This first assignment has flown by, and although we absolutely love The Elliot and will miss everyone we have gotten to know there, we are ready our next adventure. West Coast Bound!!
We are all settled here in Manchester, NH! We have been here about two weeks and are getting used to this new life of travel nursing. Despite the unbelievable cold temps of twenty plus below, we are nice and cozy in our tiny, 600 square foot, cape cod apartment. Many have been asking about it, so here is a little tour:
Here she is! Adorable. We are in the top floor apartment. (So nice for working nights!!) We have a side door entrance and a back door that exits into a little parking lot in back. Which is good because I was not looking forward to my car getting buried on the street by a snow plow...
Our tiny little living room. What makes this space doable is the storage. Every piece in the apartment has like five drawers. Yes I've filled them all. The entertainment unit on the left also holds our little tv that we brought along. Good thing we brought it because Caleb refuses to watch movies on "that thing" (the old Tv that was there). "That thing is archaic", he says. So it just sits there haha. We also have a huge closet and a stackable washer/dryer unit in the left corner, not-pictured.
The kitchen! Which actually feels way bigger than our MD apartment. Super open. Love the open shelving. It requires us to keep everything tidy!
All the dishes in this kitchen are vintage and mismatching. Some days it makes my OCD itch a little bit. But most days I'm embracing the "kitchiness" of it all. Also- there is this set of awesome vintage copper mixing bowels. I'm pretty sure the owner probably got them from a flee market for $3. But I am totally planning on buying a brand new shiny set of bowels and asking the owner if I could trade them out when we move out. ...you think I'm kidding...totally not...
And of course, storing our coffee in these cute wooden boxes is just the best.
Bedroom. And the first mattress that doesn't hurt Caleb's back! It's a miracle! You know what else is a miracle?? That we fit all our clothes in the tiny closet! (not pictured)
Another one of my simple pleasure that makes this place feel like a home. I am obsessed with these candles. Rewined. The jar is a recycled wine bottle and the scents are all inspired by different kinds of wine. This one is a Reisling. Yum, yum.
This was my Christmas present to Caleb. Its a vintage suitcase turned into a traveling bar. I bought an old suitcase from the 60's online, built a frame from the inside, and installed a shelf, pockets, and wine glass holder. It's a fun little addition to our traveling decor. And we can make some pretty fancy cocktails!
Bathroom is tiny- but clean and updated. That is all that matters! My little stroke of travel genius is my 'no bathroom storage solution' below...
Last but not least- our cute little patio. We have spent all of ten minutes out here due to the cold, but it's still adorable. Caleb did make it out one night for a quick pipe smoke but he came back in with blue lips. Fingers crossed for a few unseasonably warm evenings between now and April!
Well that's it! Because our travel company is renting the apartment, we don't pay for utilities. So--- our heat is always cranked!
So for those of you that don't know how this works- let me give you a brief explanation of travel nursing. We work for a company that finds temporary nursing jobs all over the country in both of our specialties. We tell them what states interest us, and they do their best to find us jobs in or around those places. Most assignments last 13 weeks but if we like it, we can extend. Then they set us up in a fully-furnished apartment. Caleb and I told our recruiter to send us to places that are the furthest from our comfort zone. In the beginning we were dreaming big. Alaska! Hawaii! The whole west coast! But as the process began, we had to think a little more realistically. We still want to spend a lot of time out west and in the pacific northwest, but we knew our first assignment would be the toughest to get. Many hospitals are wary of first time travelers and therefore, our choices began to dwindle.
When we left our coworkers in November, everyone thought we were headed to Arizona, Texas, or someplace warm. So did we! But as the interviews began, things kept falling through. There was always a reason. No first time travelers, no ICU positions, no ER position, no hospitals close enough together for each of us, no night shift available- the list went on and on. Our recruiter finally leveled with us. It was time to apply to the cold places...
So in went resumes to Madison-Wisconsin, Omaha-Nebraska, Manchester-New Hampshire, and St. Lois- Missouri! We had always said that the exciting thing about travel nursing is not knowing where we will end up. Sure it's fun to pick out some of our favorite cities, but there is something thrilling about just going wherever the job lands us. After a week of waiting, we got our first assignment for January...
and the winner is...
manchester, new hampshire
Now most of you that know us are laughing right now. Believe me, we were too! So much for "anywhere warm"! But within 20 minutes of getting our interviews, we were so excited. We found out that this cute little New England town in only 50 minutes north of Boston, and about 30 minutes from the boarder of Maine. We love this part of the country in summer, but have never experienced it in the dead of winter! We immediately shifted out thoughts of deserts and cactus, to snow covered Boston streets, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling! Our adventures will just be colder than originally anticipated!
The hospital sounds great. Elliott Hospital is about the size we are both used to and is a Level 2 Trauma Center. Caleb and I will both be working nights and can self-schedule our shifts together. Which is a good thing because I don't know how his car will handle the snow! We can't wait to explore beautiful New England together...but I think we need some better boots...