Stump & Mugs leading the team
Sue with Ambler
Howdy again from the Yukon. We've had some serious troubles
emailing, so I haven't gotten more out to Kim back in NH.
We'll keep trying... If you are trying to contact us by email,
please try us at
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. We had our "Yankee"
Thanksgiving with Moe, Jere, Finn and Maible next door, and a
fine meal it was. I've only made it in to town for one Pats
game, but at least it was the Indy one. I guess we had a bit
of a scare yesterday versus Philly, but it's good to have some
tough games. Too bad the Super
Bowl is during the Quest. It sure will be hard to watch the
game out on the trail at forty below...
The weather has stayed pretty warm, by Yukon standards. Highs
have been from 15-25 degrees and lows have been from 0-15
degrees. We've had numerous dustings of snow, but there is
still only a couple of inches on the ground most places around
here. The sun never hardly gets above the horizon, especially
with the mountains around, so even
midday feels like it's early morning. It's light enough to see
by 9am, but it's dark again before 5. The sun's only actually
"up" from 10-2:30 now and we've got almost another month before
solstice. We don't sit still much when it's light out!We
haven't seen more than a faint glow of the northern lights yet,
but with all the time out in the dark running dogs, we will!
Annie Lake Sunrise
That brings me to the dogs! Our training has progressed way
more quickly than we can do at home. The good trails, cold
temps, and dry ground prevent any of the mud and refrozen mud
and puddles that we battle at home this time of year. Last
week I did a 100 mile day on the sled with 14 dogs out on the
Canol Road (a summer road that's
just trail this time of year.) On that run, I saw 10 other dog
teams and just one snowmobiler. That's not quite the ratio
we're used to. Our "short" runs now are 15-20 miles on the
atv and those are mixed in with some 50 mile trots out the
snow-covered Annie Lake Road right from the cabin, also on the
atv. Tomorrow Sue and I are both loading up the truck and
going back out to the Canol Road and will each run a team with
sleds about 50-60 miles. It'll be Sue's first sled run of the
year and it'll come almost two months before we had both been
on sleds last year at home. The young dogs are doing great so
far this year. Lotus, Trip, Wilson and Reba have all been
doing lots of leading. Logan and Hood are taking after their
father (Jim) and working their tails off every mile of every
run. Cassin has been
a real surprise this year too and if the Quest started
tomorrow, she'd be coming along. The veterans on the team have
to be looking over their shoulders because these young dogs are
working hard to take their jobs. We're still training 24 dogs
and only a few of those aren't being considered for the Quest.
We assess the team every day try to figure who will make the
final cuts in February.
Canol Road Camp
Jim & Hood
1 Ton of Beef
We got our Quest "drivers' packet" the other day in the mail.
It's a bit daunting with all the forms to fill out and all the
advice from the race organization on the vet program, deadlines
for paperwork and drop bags, trail guides, etc. There's a lot
of good information and maybe I'll be able to finish reading it
all before the race starts! We've also been busy getting our
dogfood squared away for the winter. We had brought some
Blackwood with us (Thanks Mitch!!!!) but it's almost all gone
now. We can't get the Blackwood here, but hope to get some in
Alaska next month when we go up for Sheep Mountain 150 and
GinGin 200. We've had to get some other kibble (Inukshuk from
Frank Turner) and just got a ton of 60-pound blocks of frozen
ground beef. We had all sorts of fun cutting that up to usable
sizes with an electric chainsaw. I'm glad that project is
over! Other than that, when we're not running a team, our time
has been filled up in the dawgyard or cutting firewood and
burning brush. I think we've finally got enough firewood to
last us through the winter although I wouldn't even bother
bringing wood like this in the house to burn at home. There is
no hardwood at all here, just spruce, pine and poplar- campfire
wood! Lots of things are different here...
Take care all, and thanks for checking us out.
All for now- Mike.