Taking a break on Firebreak trail.
Wilson & Trip in lead.
Hi there. We hope you all had a
wonderful Thanksgiving. We shared ours with Bill and
Sandy and Renee and Rob. Sue cooked up a wonderful
meal and the dogs sure enjoyed the turkey soup she
made for them, too. The cell phone minutes took a
pretty big hit that day as we got to talk to a bunch
of family and friends back home. We’ve got a few new
things to be thankful for as well. After years of
trying to get some help on our dog food bill, we
have a sponsor for our kibble supply! We have signed
Loyall Dogfood. We first started using their
food this fall after the Northeast representative
and the national nutritionist came to our kennel to
meet us and the dogs just before we hit the road for
Alaska. I really have to thank Mitch Ingerson for
making the introductions that led directly to this
new partnership. He is totally responsible for
getting the ball rolling in our direction. Anyway,
the food is here in Alaska now and we are convinced
it is an excellent feed that our dogs will continue
to excel on. Dog food is of course a major cost for
us and this new venture will significantly help us
in that department. Not to mention that the dogs
love it and are performing very well on it.
Ambler gets to try leading (with Stump).
That leads me straight to an update
on training. In a sentence, the team is doing
awesome! Our training miles are stacking up quickly
now and our longest single run is up to 70 miles.
The dogs are running nearly 200 miles per week now,
and although we were a bit behind on mileage when we
got here, I am very happy with where we are right
now. We’ve got a great mix of hills and flats from
home and we continue to change up the duration and
intensity of the runs to suit the day’s training
goal. We also got another 4-5 inches of snow over
the weekend and that has allowed us to expand our
range and run some more new trail. There is plenty
more yet to see. We have still only really scratched
the surface of the vast trail system around here.
The dogs are having as much fun seeing new places as
we are. Stump continues to be our number one leader.
He is just amazing, but that’s really nothing new.
Wilson and Reba have both made great strides in
their leading ability and I can count on them in all
conditions and situations now, ranking them right up
there with Mugs. Merlin and Trip are the two big
surprises in the leader category, as they have been
doing an awesome job up front, especially with
keeping a very quick pace. Gila, Lotus, Eliza, and
Moon are all getting significant miles in lead and
show continued improvement. That gives us 10 solid
leaders and I expect all, except maybe little Moon,
to make the Quest team. My wonderful Jim just turned
ten years old, and he continues to put more on the
tugline than any dog in our kennel, although Hood,
Logan, and Ambler are right there with him. Gecko,
Curly, Cassin, Esther, and Isis are all fighting
amongst each other for the chance to make the race
Gila & Stump leading in Little Chena
Reba & Mugs leading through snow drifts.
Which leads me to our revised race
plans. We decided just yesterday as we started to
make preparations for a race this weekend that we
simply need to cut back our plans. Not due to the
dogs, but because we just can’t afford to do
everything we want to. Of all the races we had
signed up for, the Sheep Mountain race this weekend
was the one we felt we could do without. Our other
races are better preparation for Quest and we will
stick with doing the GinGin 200 just after Christmas
and the Copper Basin 300, starting on January 10th.
They have longer runs and are more suited to our
team, so although we wanted to go to Sheep Mountain,
we have to be realistic and make the best of what we
Well, I’ve got to go clean the dog yard, feed them
breakfast, get Sue out on her run for the day, and
then fire up the bandsaw to cut a few hundred more
pounds of frozen ground meat. I hope your day is
nearly as good…