{Tsuga Siberians}

October 17, 2006 - “Off and Running”

Howdy. Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve updated you all on the team. We’ve been busy…

Fall training has begun.

Dog yard work.  We need more stake outs!

Fall training has begun. The leaves have mostly all fallen from the trees and the mountains have already seen their first coatings of snow. The huskies are as excited as we are for the upcoming season. With all the yearlings from last fall’s litters, we’ve got two teams to train and race. This year Sue and I will both race in the Eagle Lake 100-mile, the Wilderness 100, and the Can-Am 250, all in northern Maine. We have had one team in all these races for the last couple of years, but having two in each is a huge jump! Our big trip of the year will be heading out to northern Minnesota in the end of January where Sue will run a team of the young dogs in the 150 mile Beargrease Mid-distance and I’ll attempt to finish my qualifying for the Yukon Quest by completing the Beargrease Marathon, which at 400 miles is the longest sleddog race in the lower 48! We’ll also fill in the racing schedule with some smaller races around New England to get the young dogs the valuable experience that only a race environment can provide. Our goals for the season are to get qualified for Quest (most important!!) and continue our overall improvement in performance. Finishing races with happy, healthy, big strings of dogs is priority number one. With over 1600 miles of racing in the plan for this winter, we’ve got a very long trail ahead.

2006 Fall Fun(d) Raiser


With our goals being set so high, we knew we were going to need some extra help for this winter. We’ve always gotten by with a little help from our friends, and last month we called on our best friends to come out and support our team. On September the 16th we held what we called our 2006 Fall Fun(d) Raiser here at our home. More than 120 people showed up over the course of the day!! Folks hung out while listening to two bands (thanks to “Tyler Road” and the Raf, Scott, and Manny Experience), milled about the kennel visiting with the huskies, ate some great food (thanks to my Mom especially, but also to Sue’s brothers and Anthony for manning the grills and all those who brought something along to share), and hung around the campfire after dark. We had a brilliant day with the fall colors as bright as the cloudless sky. Special thanks to those folks who contributed fantastic items to our raffle, including- Shaughnessy Forest Products, Marjie Norton and McKenzie Sports, Bert Ellis, Rhonda and Bob O’Hearn, Linda Lopes, Stacy Lopes and Booth Creek, Mel Puga and the Black Bear Lodge, Kip Bartlett, Amy and Mike Gratton, Gail Castonguay, Lidia and Richard Dale-Mesaros, and Christine Richardson. Thanks also to all the folks who took a chance and bought those raffle tickets. A whole bunch of people sponsored dogs while they were here and we’ll post them on each individual dog’s webpage soon!! The Rumney Fire Department Ladies’ Auxilary donated the use of tables and chairs. A bunch of other folks helped in all sorts of different ways including set up, clean-up, running the sponsors and raffle table, cooking, etc. Two ladies very dear to us went way over the top with their efforts to help out with this event and we need to say a very special thanks to Mel and my Mom. You guys are amazing!! In the end, the party was a huge success and we really need to thank EVERYONE who made it here and a good many folks who couldn’t get here but sent help in whatever way they could. THANK YOU ALL. I know it may sound corny, but we honestly couldn’t do it without you. We’re humbled and incredibly Grateful for all you do for us. Thank you.

New Husky Creek Sled


In other sponsorship news, we’ve gained a sled sponsor just when we desperately needed another racing sled to enter two teams in the long races this year. JR and Anna Anderson of Ray, Minnesota have agreed to sponsor us through their business of Husky Creek Sleds. I got a Husky Creek a few years ago after my first attempt at the Can-Am 250. Not having the right sled that first time had some serious consequences. I quickly learned that it’s just not good enough to run several days on end with a sled not suited to the purpose. We did some research and decided to get a Husky Creek at that time. I’ve now put about 4000 miles on that sled over the last 3 winters and with a new coat of poly this fall it still looks, and drives, like new. It’s great to now have support from a company that we already had tremendous faith in, and totally LOVE their product!! Thanks Husky Creek!! Team Tsuga will be proud to race with the new sled and sledbag this winter. We’ve also got our irons in the fire with several other sponsorship opportunities and we hope we can announce some new sponsors soon…

Attending the Northern New England Sled Dog Trade Fair


A couple of weekends ago, we went down to the Northern New England Sled Dog Trade Fair at the Hopkinton Fairgrounds. We brought a couple Husky Creek sleds to show interested folks and Mugs, Jim, Hood, Moon and Zirkle came along, too. It was another great fall day and started with our first frost of the season. Two of the speakers were Jason Barron and Karen Ramstead. We were meeting Jason for the first time but his reputation had preceded him. Jason is about my age and very driven to be a top musher in the Iditarod. He’s well on his way and was raised with sleddogs. His dad has been an Iditarod musher for years. Jason married Harmony under the burled-arch finish line in Nome a few years ago. He’s as much a died-in-the-wool musher as there is. Listening to Jason speak about his way of doing things with training and racing dogs was fantastic. Thanks for taking the time, Jason. For those of you not involved in racing siberians, Karen is from Alberta and has entered the Iditarod 6 times now. She’s been the only siberian team entered most of those years. She’s traveled down this way a few times to speak at events and visited our kennel a couple years ago. She is an excellent speaker and has some great topics for her talks. Thanks for the insight Karen and Jason!! It was a super day of seeing old friends, making a few new ones, and “talking dogs” with a bunch of folks who share our passion for mushing.

Well, sorry this took so long. We’ll get some training updates very soon. Stay tuned….


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