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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On the Road Again....


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We hit the dust road today!!!  A few days later then originally planned, as our early schedule of racing this week was put on hold, when the race organizers had to reschedule till late January because of snow conditions.

We are all but finally packed with personal items, as we will be carrying 50 dogs, 40 days worth of dog food, 1 snowmachine, 6 racing sleds, and a bunch of other useful/useless equipment. You never know what we might need, so for that reason , we bring lots of gear.The bigger more room you have the more stuff we bring, and with a 16 foot enclosed car hauler, we have lots of room.

Training this winter has been as close to perfect as you can get. Since Early October, when training begin till today, we have only missed a handful of runs. Trains became perfect, soon after the first snowfall, back in late October, and we have been able to run further out of our yard then any time in the past. simply put, its been really good.

The dogs are all running really well, we are still working 38 dogs for the stage race, and have each run 3 runs of 31 miles.They have been very strong, we are training differently then in years past, and its clear to see how strong they are and running faster and harder each mile.  for all the runs at 31 miles the teams have gone faster every 5 miles, starting off a an easy slower pace, we gently decrease the mat pressure till the team is running at our desired speed. I am really anxious to see how this team stacks up against the others.

Our first destination is West Yellowstone Montana, where we will set up training camp for the next 3 weeks, we like this place because its at a higher elevation, and the railas there are awesome, tons of options, and a ski doo/ dog friendly area.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, and a happy new year...

7:24 am pst 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jingle Bells-
Merry Christmas- less then 5 days till the 25th- and I hope everyone has all of their gifts and shopping done.... We finished on Saturday, when I sent Lina in to town to buy herself a present....

Its been nice here, but getting cool again, nothing like last week, but temps near -25 at night, and day time highs of -17.

Training is going well, both set of stage race teams have no run 2 x 27 miles, and are running very well. Ive been going a little slower at the start, less then 15 mph for the first 5 miles, and having them finish a bit stronger. its nice to have the team power home.

Sam and her boys came up on Friday, the brought their snow machines and have been putting on lots of miles cruising their sleds. Its fun to watch all the boys play together- Im sure they will have stories to tell once they get a little older.

This week we have been putting our race diet together- its been going well, we grind, then mix 1250lbs of food each day, we let it mix in a giant mixing tub for about 30 minutes, before we put into pails, to be used during the racing season.

Not sure about our Dec 26th departure, as we talked with the race organizers, and they are short of snow. hopefully they get some and we can leave on schedule. if not, we are making alternate plans to leave a few weeks later.

I hope everyone has a happy, safe and enjoyable holiday-

pics from the last few days..

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9:29 am pst 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CHILLY
Its been cold here for 1 week now, temps are finally rising. Looking forward to some -20s, after the weekends day time highs of -35.

we had to take a few days off running during the cold snap, but have run the last 2 days. Trails are very good. And today we went 27 miles without having to double up on any sections. This is the most miles of trail we have ever had from our kennel. We have 7 separate extensions ranging from 2-5 miles.

Dave and Sue were back from their first race, and did very well, he won the 6 dog class and finished 5Th in the 12 dog race. he ran 4 adults and 14 yearlings. They said they had a good time, with very good trails, it was cold their, but all mushers battled the elements to have a early first race. Special thanks to the town of Enterprise, and all the race crew who made the event possible.

We loaded the main dogs onto the truck, and now we are working 40 dogs with the routine drop schedule. I am very happy with the improved deck we made this summer for the truck, the box looks really good on it. This week we will be making our winters race diet, 5000 lbs will be ground and mixed, before being put into 100  -  5 gallon buckets.

Now we are less then 2 weeks from our departure for the race circuit. we will leave on the 26th and drive to Wyoming, where we will run our first race of the season in Pinedale. its a 2 day, 12 dog race, 28 miles per day. Their will also be a 6 dog, 14 mile race. we have plans to be their a few days prior to get a run on the dogs before the race.

Recent reports from Anchorage, and they have snow, hopefully they will get the correct weather to make some good trails for racing and training. We will go to Anchorage immediately following the Stage Stop race.

Talk to you all later/

9:53 pm pst 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snowy days.

Too much snow!!! We are winter farmers, and now there is too much snow, it has been snowing for the last 3-4 days, and all it does is increase our work load to maintain trails. Fortunately we have a really good base, and trials are still in very good condition.

Main teams have been running 26 miles, after today, both groups of 2 x 10 dog teams will have 2 runs at this distance. with a high pressure moving in, we are going to get some very cold weather through the weekend, so we will likely be able have a few days rest before the cold lifts next week.

Dave and Sue came here on Tuesday, and ran 3 teams yesterday. They will be representing our kennel at the First race of the season in Enterprise NWT. Unfortunately we will not be able to attend this year, but hope all mushers who attend have a good fun race.  Thanks to all the people who make it happen.

pics are from the last couple days...


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Terry back from a short run with the yearlings.

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Lina and Birch puppies having some dinner...

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A few ghost from legends gone by-- here is my team passing Doc Lombard, and Ross the Boss...

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Terry and Ariane take a group of summer pups for their 2nd ever harness run.. Duke driving in lead, with old timer BIBBY on point.


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Take your choice, Bunny Boots or else...

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Dave Johnson coming home after a 8 mile tune up run, here he is driving Julie and Chubby in lead,

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A Swedish FECKA- Tea and sweets... and maybe some Glug....
8:59 am pst 

Monday, December 7, 2009

photos from saturday December- 5th.
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pics from Saturday run- main teams went a shorter- 14 mile run. snowing with winds.


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Lina finishing strong- Eva and Blaze in lead-

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Back in the yard after our shortest run in nearly 1 month. we will increase distance today and do our longest run of the season.


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2nd group of teams back in the yard- it did clear off later in the day- we got about 2 inches from this snowfall

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Gucci and Thelma home after a short run, covered in snow from the daily flurries.


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Out on the trails after  the days run- we took our 2 leveling drags to move the new snow around- later that night we hit it with the packers- average sped when we pulled these drags was 8 miles per hour.
2 people who can really appreciate these photos, as they are both master trail makers themselves- Bill Kormuller and Bill Waddell.  Hey guys how do they look???
9:03 am pst 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Days.


4 days into December, and we have been running on schedule. we took the dogs on a 2nd 23 mile run, then loaded to the dog truck for a run at an alternate trail, we went 20  miles on old logging roads, and snow machine trails. Today we will run the teams out of the yard, probably do a shorter run. We have continued our religious 1 day on 1 day off schedule since early October. The dogs are all running very well, and have increased their power. we have the option to run on some very big hills, (for this area), and the dogs are just powering up them. We are running 4 x 10 dog teams for the stage race- and Im sure it'll make  difference when we hook them into 12 dog teams for the race.

In my previous years running of the stage race, 2004 and 2005- we ran 12 dogs nearly every stage, out of 18 or so stages, I can only recall running 10 dogs, twice, all other times I went with 12. I feel if you got the dogs- hook-em up- some like to rest more dogs, but I think by resting 2 more dogs, you are making it more difficult on the other 10. In previous years, I was fortunate to have 2 separate sets of leaders, and I rotated them out daily. Not sure if we will be able to do that , because of the 2 teams we will be running, but that will be the goal.

We did recieve a small amount of snow, just enough to cushin the trail, Lukily this year we have not had any winds- but the forecast is calling for a change of weather, and it may get windy.

Our German handler, Manuel Spiller, has made a very nice video- please check it out, and let us know what you think...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMlM9GHBjrU

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7:33 am pst 


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