Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nothing much but love to give you

Well, I'm back down to one job, am full-swing into fall training and getting ready to move at the end of this month. Currently, it's 7:30 in the morning and I'm watching Rich give Roy chips for cheap tricks. Roy can 'sit,' 'shake,' 'run away looking like he just saw a ghost,' and 'lay down.' Good Roy Boy. The real dogs are doing really well in harness. The first couple of runs were on a brand new trail with plenty of distractions (loose dogs) and tribulations (no leaders), so needless to say it was kind of frustrating for musher and dogs alike. But we've been running some young dogs up front and have been pleasantly surprised at all the potential. We started at 4 miles and will stay there for about another week before bumping up to six and then hopefully 10 by the first week of October. But we'll see how it goes. We've got 18 running dogs and have divided them up into three, six-dog teams. We run 12 dogs at a time alternating the six-dog teams so that every dog runs two days in a row and then has one day off. I love fall training (until, of course, it's November and we're still on a four-wheeler doing 40-mile runs at 40-below) because the dogs are new and fresh, and we watch them improve with every run. I keep forgetting my camera but photos are coming soon.
Soon Rich and I will be moving down the road to a cabin on property owned by friends and fellow mushers Jason and Kelly. The cabin is very small but extremely adorable and we'll be going back to no water or power. That means wood heat, hauling water and a generator. This time though, we have a battery bank and a propane fridge and stove. I'm really excited for winter for a few reasons: it will be significantly warmer here in Homer than in Fairbanks, we have hundreds of miles of tough trails directly from our dog yard and a supply of fresh fish heads all winter. Bring it on!
Rich will continue to work at the winery as will I, but he's also taking classes at the college and will help me train the team for races. I'm hoping he'll race a little this year too because he's quite good at it. But if not, I'm really excited just to camp out with the teams and get to know the area.
I guess that's it for now.

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