Thursday, January 29, 2009
I think today we'll train the few leftover dogs we have that will sit out this race weekend and then we'll head into town for a bit to have a look around. Love & Hugs to all our friends and family at home.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Tomorrow we are going over to a town called Walker to check out their trail. They have a 2 day mass start race this coming weekend with 4,6,&10 classes.If the trail looks good we may stay and race it. The only down side is if we do that then we really have to boogie home on Sunday. We were planning to do some visiting with Hartum's and Saunderson's on the way back through. It would be nice to get another race in though.
We are having a great time here with Eddy & Amy. It's fun to hear all of Eddy's stories and just to talk dogs all day. Stay tuned tomorrow for our weekend plans. Hello to all at home, were hoping to bring the snow home with us!
Monday, January 26, 2009
We left Daaquam about 5AM, it was snowing and blowing all the way down the hill. Then we stopped the first night at North Bay, Ontario and then yesterday made it to here. The roads have been ok. We hit a pretty good snow storm when we crossed the border at Sault Ste. Marie. We had an uneventful border crossing which is great. The plan is to make it to Eddy & Amy Streeper's today and train there tomorrow. We are going to run over and check out the Casino here though before we leave town. Hope all is well with everyone back home.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
We will write more later when we have internet. Thanks to everyone back home for all their support. Happy trails!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Day 2 went super for us. Finch & Dewalt were great in lead today. The trail has really set up nicely. It was so much faster today. I wish it could have been like this for the 8 dog. Looks like we have the 6th fastest day time but still in 7th place overall. I'm happy with that, especially since we weren't trying to be competitive in this class. My fellow Alaskan, Jennifer Probert was in 10th for the day and moved up to 12th overall. She had to drop a dog from yesterday. We are the fastest USA team so far!
After the race we went and trained all the other dogs. The training trail is so unbelievably nice. We just rode on the sled together and trained 2 teams. We threw the puppies in with the race dogs just so everyone could get to run. Have to go feed. Look for the final results tomorrow. Then we'll be heading home.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The team is "Dewalt" and "Makita" in lead, "Lani" & "Hula" in swing (yearling sisters and pups of Makita) and my house dog "Finch" and yearling "Dukker" in wheel. Not an easy choice to pick the team with so many good dogs just sitting on the truck. The weather warmed up so that's why we left "Kodo" out. He was a little behind on miles from an injury earlier in the season. After seeing how Makita paced herself today thinking she was running 15 miles (she led the open team both days at Ft.Nelson) I may have been better off with someone else in lead with Dewalt. Suprisingly however we are sitting in 7th place. I'm pleased with that especially since we are a bit over trained for this particular race and I expect if we have good clean run we may be able to move up a spot or two. Funny though, I was so focused on the 8 dog race, I don't really mind where we end up in the 6 dog. All the dogs looked real good during the run today. They were not even the least bit tired, not one of them was even panting after the run. Hopefully tomorrow they will realize how short of a run it'll be and get movin a little more. The trail is still real soft. It's not puchy though like it was for the 8 dog. I was a bit nervous that Dewalt and Makita might try to go the 8 dog trail but no problems at all there.
Tomorrow after the race if the training trail is open I think we'll have to get these other guys out. They are getting pretty wild sitting on the truck so much. Everyone is doing great with the loose dropping. We let everyone race around this morning for quite awhile. They were having a great time. Dukker was very playful and would run around with a stick or tree branch in his mouth with all the other boys in hot pursuit. Dukker also sends hug & kisses to his little buddy Chayton back home. He can't wait to see you again.
We are having to do two separate drops because we have females in heat and don't want to take any chances with breedings. It's easier just to keep them separate rather than harp on the boys the whole time they are out. Since "Scooby" is neutered he gets dropped witht the girls since he's boxed with "Chloe". He's the entertainment for the girls. They all like to chase him around. It's like he's the cute kid in the school and all the girls follow him.
Time to go take care of dogs. More on the race after the heat tomorrow.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Nathan and I decided to stick around and hope maybe the trail would get a little better after some dog team traffic. We still have the chance to race the 6-dog if we decide we want to. So after the race today we walked about 2 or so miles out on the trail. I really can't believe how much better it looks after 2 days of racing. It's still far from perfect. It's still pretty soft but not so punchy. When we were on our way walking back in, we ran into our fellow Alaskan musher Jennifer Probert. She was checking out the trail too. So we'll give it another go tomorrow. Just got the draw for tomorrow. Great both Jennifer & I get to start at the back of the pack. There's 33 6-dog teams that are supposed to start the race. All our dogs look good. The next big decision for us is which of our dogs will run the 6-dog race. Plan is to go with Dewalt & Kodo in lead. Dar will have to sit this one out. Not a good trail for a dog recovering from a muscle injury. He's pretty well healed but don't want to take a chance. Also thinking we'll take some of the yearlings, Dukker, Lani & Hula are the best. We'll have a look at everone in the morning and make the last minute choice then. Hugs to all back home. Thank you for your thoughtful words to us after our big disapointment in the 8 dog.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
So off we were to Edmonton. We got a late start so we didn't make it in to Mark & Brooke Hartum's until real late. So instead of waking their family up, we slept in the truck in their driveway and got up at 6AM to move the dogs over to their dog box trailer. Nathan then headed off to drop the truck off and i stayed with the dogs back at the Hartum residence. My battery is going dead so I'll stop for now and add more tomorrow.
8 dog race begins tomorrow, January17th. Dogs look pretty good. They will be happy to be out of their boxes and running I'm sure. Lots of unknowns here at this race it appears. Even the race marshall has some big concrens.
Hugs to all our family back home.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Arrived on January 15th at
Saturday, January 10, 2009
In a mass start race all the teams hook up at the same time and then leave their post when the green flag drops. The idea is that you want to be the first team to the corner where the big wide trail funnels into about an 8 foot trail. I was probably a little too conservative trying to avoid tangles and ended up in the middle of the pack. Teams were running side by side with another one ahead and sometimes 2 more right behind. When some of the teams try to pass, dogs are biting out at one another. It is quite a site to see and be in the middle of! Before the race began I had decided the most important thing, even above winning, to avoid at all costs hurting anyone, since this would be my team for the world championships. About 2 miles into the race, you exit the lake and are on a trail about 14 feet wide. That’s where I made my move both days. On Saturday I was 3rd off the lake and planned to chase the 2 lead teams at least through the turn-around point. After the ½ way point I let my team go. At one point while I was trying to get around the other 2 teams we were all 3 lined up – side by side - going down the trail. Finally one of the teams slowed to let me by but the other one wouldn’t give trail. Eventually we managed to pull away although not too far. My team did very well considering how close the other teams were traveling behind us. You have to have super lead dogs for this kind of racing – and I was real proud of Dar and Dewalt for the outstanding job they did. We crossed the finish line first and won the race!
Each day of racing is counted as a separate race, so if you have one bad day, you can make it up the other day. On Sunday we were next to last getting off the lake, someone ran into my leader real hard with their sled so I just hit my breaks and let everyone go by. I figured I would pass them all on the wide trail after we got off the lake. One day of racing wasn’t worth winning and not having my leaders for
Nathan ran the open class with all the yearlings. When we arrived in
The Streeper family put on an incredible race. They did a fantastic job on the trail and were very helpful to everyone. Debby Streeper and her helpers made an excellent dinner for all the racers on Saturday night. On Sunday night we all gathered at the Streeper house for leftover dinner and a recap of the race weekend. Despite the extremely cold weather – we are still glad we came and raced. It was a great experience and really nice to see all the Streeper again. Next stop was
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
they will still make it to Quebec, they are entirely at the mercy of the repair shop (and availability of diesel engine parts) in Canada, so there is no way to be sure now. They are hoping to be able to stay with a musher in the Edmonton area since they cannot leave 30 dogs on the truck while it
is being repaired! We will update as info comes in.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
We wanted to make it to Ft. Nelson in time to train on Wednesday but since that didn't happen, we did a short run today just to let the dogs strech out. It's very cold so that helped make the decision to go a little shorter. We trained 2 teams and both ran 7.5 miles. Everyone looks good. The trails at the Streeper kennel are real nice and all of the family is so wonderful to us. A big thanks to Buddy for taking time out to show us the trail today so we could train. Looks like Nathan will run the open with mostly the yearlings, and Terry Streeper has me talked into running the 10-dog. I'm not to sure about it though since it's a mass start race. I'll most likely only have 8 dogs left to run. If our leader "Dar" is healed up & ready to go he should be a real bonus to my team. He got bit in the knee during one of the very rare dog fights we have in our kennel. We ran him today & if he still looks ok tomorrow he will lead my team along with our newest superstar "Dewalt". Nathan is planning to take "Makita" & "Nora" in lead for his team.
Happy New Year to everyone back home. Thanks for all of your support. Love & Hugs to our families, especially Chayton & Kasey (our nephew & niece).