Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No need to be coy, Roy

I'll be on the move again in a few weeks. I'm heading to the Medenhall Glacier in Juneau to work for Alaska Icefield Expeditions taking guests out on dog team across the glacier. I'm taking 20 of our dogs and borrowing 10 more from a friend in Willow. I'm really excited about this opportunity to have the dogs running, even if just a little, in the off-season. I'll miss the winery (saying that they've been good to me is the understatement of the century) but working with the dogs on a glacier is a chance I don't want to pass up. Rich will hold down the fort here and get our ducks in a row for next season. Roy, Audrey, Linus and Ty will stay here with Rich. This season is winding down but we still have tons of snow and we still have tours booked into April. Even though I couldn't get it together to race at all this year, I feel like we accomplished a lot with the dogs. They ran a lot with no pressure or stress and our little tour business has been more successful than we anticipated. We're excited to expand next season and get back into racing. Both Rich and I have a few races we want to do next winter and hopefully I can save enough money on glacier so I won't have to work much during the training/racing season.
More details to come.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dye my eyes and call me pretty

Rich's parents have been here for a week and we've had a great time. They needed to de-stress and simply relax so we hung around Homer and went dogsledding up at our place. The time went too fast as usual and they are heading out today. Thanks for everything Bob and Lou Ann!
I've got some news but I'll wait to share that. Meanwhile, here are a whole lot of photos from the past couple days. We've got some big tours coming up this weekend and we're looking forward to them. The snow is plentiful and the weather has been beautiful. I love spring mushing!

I call this one 'Bob with puppies.' The weather was so warm yesterday, we just sat outside all afternoon.

Bob took this one of Lou Ann during a puppy attack.

Flying puppy! Our puppies are jumping for joy!

Omar cooling off during a run.

Lou driving her mini-team with Lahey and Bully in lead. Bob's close behind with his own team.

Bob working the trail with Capiche and Drake in lead.

Dog butts.

This is my attempt at a Yummy Chummy sponsorship. 'Even sled dogs will do stupid pet tricks for a Yummy Chummy!'

Lou dumped Rich on the trail.

I gave the dogs a break and hooked up Rich. Hup, hup, Rich!

Heelllloooooo....Bob took this cute one of Mr. Lahey.

Bully doesn't need a Yummy Chummy to high five Rich. Bob took this one, too.

Snuggling with Audrey who looks absolutely terrified.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I made it down the coast in 17 hours

It's calm. Clear and calm. We've been enveloped in a crazy blizzard since we arrived home from Anchorage Sunday night. The storm actually started Thursday night, we dug out Friday morning and hit the road for Iditarod start. The storm took a break Sunday and then started up again Sunday night. As much as I complain about the weather here (it's so easy) the blizzard was actually a little bit fun. Rich and I have been digging dogs out constantly, picking up their houses and setting them atop the huge drifts. Within hours, the houses would be completely buried and we head out to rescue them again. The most interesting thing about it to me, was that the dogs didn't seem to care. They were out with wagging tails, playing with each other never fazed by the gusting winds and huge drifts building up around them. Of course Roy and Bully were inside for the entirety (they also came to Anchorage with us) and we brought Capiche in as she is located at the end of the dog lot and her house was getting buried the fastest. She's good in the house unless you leave her in unsupervised and then she tries to jump on the counters/tables. She knocked the computer off the 'table' when we were outside and now we're missing the ':' key.
The Iditarod start was a lot of fun and it was nice to see friends and fellow mushers that we haven't talked to in over a year.
Last week, before we left for the big city, we were hired to help with a three-day tour hosted by Adventure Alaska based out of Hope. Because of the weather moving in and at the risk of getting stuck out at the remote lodge we were using, we made a decision to cut the tour short by a day. We were all disappointed, but the safety of clients and dogs must come first and in the end, we made a great choice. Mine and Rich's people were amazing and I think they had a great time running dogs. Actually, all seven clients were really nice and very understanding of the situation. Rich and I are looking forward to doing more multi-day trips in the future.
Anyway, I think that's all the news that isn't, so here are some photos from the past week or so.

Digging to the outhouse...hurry! hurry!

My peeps: Larry and Jeannie from California. They drove their own teams and were fantastic!

Rich and his peeps: Diane and Bob, a very kind and generous couple also from California.

Our friend and Rich's running mate in the 2008 Iditarod, Trent Herbst is back for another 1,000-miler to Nome. Go Trent!!

High-fives all around at the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage. That's Ken and Gwen over to the far right.

The one, the only, Jeff King. King has had a great season thus far and has said this will be his last Iditarod. I think he has the momentum to pull off a fifth win. Here he is at the ceremonial start on skis with a G-pole sled. I wonder how his Iditarider felt about staring at King's butt for 11 miles...

Iditarod veteran Karen Ramstead is from Alberta. She is awesome and as tough as nails. We love our Maple Leaf mittens!

Schnuelle for governor? Absolutely! Sebastian also has the drive and motivation to pull off a win this's heating up to be a great race!

The man: Sebastian Schnuelle from Whitehorse.

Home sweet Homer.