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Saturday, January 30, 2010

race ready



race ready we are- 23 days in west yellowstone and nearly 6 months prep work has built up to the next 7 days. we are in lander- for tomorrows run of 45 miles- lina will drive 10 dogs and i will run 12-lina starts 2nd and me 4th. it should be a cold morning, but warming as the day progresses. trail is reportedly good.

all dogs and mushers rae happy and healthy, but eager to get started. please check back often, as i know have a computer to access the web from-

visit---   www.wyomingstagestop.org

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pics to be updated.

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jANUARY 1ST- MONTANA- DAY 3 OF TRIP.



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SALLY AND DAD- WATCHING THE ROAD--

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LOOSE DROPPING 49 DOGS IN MONTANA-


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SMOOTH SLEDDING IN JACKSON WYOMING- HERE WE ARE HEADING INTO THE MOUNTAINS-

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LINA ND TEAM DRIVING HARD- THELMA AND HERMAN SETTING THE PACE


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RETURING TO THE STAGING AREA- LOTS OF TRUCKS AND TEAMS.



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VET CHEACK IN JACKSON- HERE LINA IS ASSISITING AS THGE VETS INSERT MICROCHIPS IN THE RACE TEAM FOR IDINTIFCATION- ITS PUT UNDER THE SKIN AND WILL BE USABLE FOR EVER.

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GRAND TETON MOUNTAINS OUTSIDE JACKSON- VERY NICE DAY TO DRIVE TO LANDER FOR STAGE 1.


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INTERVEIW WITH THE TOP ATHLETES.
7:32 pm pst 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dave Johnson sweeps ELKFORD winter classic.



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Dave and Sue Johnson sweep all 3 classes in Elkford BC. Finishing 1st in the 10 dog, 6 dog and 4 dog. The winning teams were made up of yearling dogs from Streeper Kennels. So far this season this group of dogs has 5 first pace wins, 2- 2nd place and a 5th. well done Dave and Sue!!!! next on their schedule they will head north to take on the Alaskan limited class teams. Watch out!!!

All is well for us in Montana. Training has gone super, we ran our stage team their longest pre -race run, and went 47 miles. The dogs did super well, finishing strong and actually their fastest times of the run came during the final few miles. The temps were warm, above freezing, and the trail was OK. we are getting our final numbers for the race, with 2- 16 dog teams, but will keep training 34 dogs in case we want to make some last minute switches.

In comparison to our 2004 victories team at the Stage Stop- I have to say this crew is hands down better then that team, which is a now easy feat, considering that team was riding a 20 race- cross county winning streak. what I do know is, that we are better trainers then before, and I know we will have a better conditioned team. Its hard to describe the felling when your team is coming home from a 3.5 hour run, and they are all charging, wanting to go faster.

Not only are they running well, b ut they are eating everything we give them, and wanting more. We learnt some hard lessons during a stage race in 2005- and since have adjusted our feeding style, the team really looks good, and is acting like crazy dogs prior to each run. Its quite a scene to watch these dogs fly around the truck, playing follow the leader.

We had some friends visit last week, when stage race veteran Stacy Teasley came up from Jackson, she was with her handler. They were picking up a new danler mid-distance sled- and also brought her stage race team, as they wanted to train on the road. They ran a 32 mile trail through the hills and were happy with their team. That evening we went out for pizza and some sociables. it was a nice visit and good to talk dogs with some other mushers.

Lots of races going on , Bill Kornmuller wins Eagle River classic- knocking off some good teams with a  strong 2 day performance- I know Bill gears his team for the Rondy- and his team may be the the team to beat, after a near miss of only 9 seconds last year.

- John Baker, a friend and distance musher from Kotzebue- won the Kusko 300- beating some very good teams. its obvious his team is going to be strong in the iditarod this year.

first race of the year in Manitoba drew a Field of 37 teams!!!! with a lack of snow, province wide- many team wanted to do a race to see how their 2010 team looks. The race was shortened for safety, and rumours of the trail was their was a lack of snow, and lots of rocks and bumps- more snow is desperately needed for that area before the next races will happen.

Our personal computer is still not working, and it will need to see the doctor, so I am unable to add pictures, once its up and running their will be some nice pics of the area and trail so all can see what we have been up to.

with less then 2 weeks till race start, and our longest runs behind us, we will focus on shorter, quicker runs, and get the teams sorted out to the finishing touches.

hope this finds everyone well.
6:20 pm pst 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hello from MONTANA

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We are now in West Yellowstone Monata, we arrived on January 3rd, after a 2 day drive, total milage was 1350 miles. The truck gave us some issues prior to leaving, but after some mechanical work it has been running fine.

We came to this area because the many trail options and higher elevation. This town is at 6700 feet above sea level. It took a few days for the dogs to acclimate, but I think they are near 100% now.

We have run every day since getting here, we bootie every dog, as the trails are smooth, but have 1-3 inches loose on top, this can be hard on feet, and I kn ow its easier to prevent feet problems then it is to heal them, we have been cautious.

We are still working 38 dogs for the stage race, this is our main dogs, we brought 49 with us, but the remaing 11 are made up of yearlings and some older dogs who will not contribute ot our stage race. so answer any questions, we are running the best dogs we own in the stage race.

The stage teams are broken up into 2 groups- of 19 dogs. a 10&9 dog team each day, so far we ran 2 x 25 miles, 1 x 37.4. we will do 37.4 today and again this week, before we do your longest run of 47 miles Early next week, after that the dogs will run shorter and on different trails, adding in some hills and faster runs.

to improve the trails Terry and I have been building trail dragging equipment, we have built a packer, and a snow plow, depending on conditions we pull either of these behind our lead snow-machine every run.

All dogs are doing very well, we have seen some very minor injuries but as a whole the teams look very good, and are starting to get stronger. It will be interesting to see how the teams perform this year with our new training techniques.

West Yellowstone is a dog/snow-machine friendly area, I think its the snowmobiling capital of America, and its easy to tell, with lots of people from all over the country coming here to ride. The hotel is great, for us, but especially the dogs, we have a our separate parking lot, with no others around, and we are able to drop an feed right on site. IT would be hard to get any better.

Lots of racing in many places this week, really happy to report that our yearling team, an by Dave and Sue Johnson are doing very well, they won the 8 dog main event in 100 mile house BC this weekend, and finished d a very respectable 2nd in the 6 and 4 dog class. With the quality of 2 year old we are running its easy to see how beneficial it is to have our yearlings compete and travel on the race circuit.

In the alaskan circuit their is a new top gun, as germa musher, Mike Tetzner has been running very well, he has swept both races in the stae winning the 8 dog and open class the last 2 weeks. He has beatin every top team from the last season rec aes, excluding Bill Kormuller and myself. its good to see an outsider clean up and win races their, kinda like we do when we go their...

Talked with the home kennel, and all is well their, they have received some cold weather and recently some snow, but all dogs are doing well, and they have had some good runs. They have also tied up most of our summer pups and will begin harness breaking them when conditions allow.

I am getting the racing itch, but will have to wait till the end of the month to yell HIKE, glad to see many others are running well, and I look forward to competing against you this winter.

9:17 am pst 


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