Winter is rolling along here at Spitfire Kennels. We've had really warm weather and then 'cold' weather, snow and rain. The trails are fast and icy, but they are there and I'm not complaining. Our first race is coming up fast and though it's just a 100-miler, I'm still a little unsure. I'm going into it with no expectations, I just want the dogs to have fun and I want our two yearlings in training (Mr. Lahey and Bubbles) to have a great experience camping and running around other teams and on some new trail. We did a camping trip a few days ago - ran four hours, rested four and ran three - the everyone did great. Bubbles had a hard time settling down at the camp spot, but she eventually realized that everyone around her was resting and so, about an hour before our scheduled departure, she too rested. I had to load Sipsi in the sled on the way home as she had a little hitch in her stride, but I still haven't been able to find the source of her discomfort. I took out a team for a quick 20-miler yesterday before work and she looked better, but still not 100 per cent. She may be out for a while. Tomorrow we'll take two teams (we'll have to borrow a few dogs) on a five to six-hour run and then hopefully do another camping trip overnight on the weekend. The trails here are harder than I'm used to, but it's been great for building my confidence in sled driving. The day after our little camping trip, I was so sore, I couldn't believe it. I didn't drink much water out there and I'm guessing that's why although I did have a few spills around a tight corner and a creek crossing. The wind kicked up on our trip and we had to cross some exposed ridges which forced me to continuously wrestle with my sled to keep it from blowing down the mountain....memories of last year's GinGin 200 came flooding back though this time it wasn't half as bad.
Work is also rolling along and we've got several tours booked from now until April. Rich and I are getting a little itchy to get out of here for a side trip with the dogs, but it doesn't make financial sense as we have 100s of miles right out of our back yard, so we'll wait.
The pups - Audrey, Ty and Linus - have officially gone from cutie pies to obnoxious. They love running loose but in the house, they are terrors...still cute, I have to admit. They eat like alligators and are super friendly. Our other pups - Cinch, Alice and Ruby are also still enjoying puppyhood and are getting braver by the day. We let them loose and they run down the trail, sometimes gone for a while, but they always come back tired and happy.
Roy is Roy. Spoiled with the run of dog yard and the cabin. Old man Bully is still in the race team and has actually been leading for a lot of the runs. The rest of the dogs are in good shape and good spirits which makes me happy.
OK, not very interesting, but an update nonetheless.
Photos to come.