Thursday, December 22, 2005

Here's Hugh about to stop the team in the start chute to prevent a huge tangle. Posted by Picasa

This is Hugh's team. Omen and Blaze are in lead at the start but Omen had the brakes on so Mertyle, Blondie and Titan are trying to overtake them.  Posted by Picasa

This is the team Dean was running in the Sheep Mtn race. Here we see Colby and her son Watson in lead, with Scotty and her other son Walter on the left side. Posted by Picasa

Sheep Mountain

Well we're back from our 10 days in Tok and Eureka where we went to find some snow and to race in the Sheep Mtn 150 mile race. The race went really well. Hugh had all newer dogs that he wanted to try out and that needed some race experience and Dean had mostly younger dogs and inexperienced dogs. There was about 2 new feet of snow on the Thursday but the groomers were out and it ended up being a really fast trail. The first 10 teams were within a half hour of each other meaning any small mistake was hard to recover from. Hugh's first problems happened out of the starting chute. He had Omen and Blaze in lead and Omen decided she didn't really want to go. First she put on the brakes and then she turned the team around. In the end Hugh put Mertyle in lead and they were off only slightly ahead of the team leaving 2 minutes behind. Later in the first 50 mile stretch Oscar started slowing down but being the big dog that he is, Hugh wasn't able to put him in the sled so he had to slow the team down to his pace. He was dropped at the first checkpoint at Eureka. Leaving Eureka that night Dozer decided he didn't like his partner Zuril so much and within seconds of his first growl he laid into his neck and wouldn't let go. It took three of us over 5 minutes to pry him off and switch spots with Jim. This was another 5 minute delay in time. Hugh had Flame and Blaze in lead this time and Flame set an amazing pace through the mountains. They caught and overtook quite a few teams before they returned to Eureka for the second layover. The third section was the return trail to Sheep Mtn. All the dogs did great but Hugh knew he wouldn't be in the top 5 paying positions so he let them go at thier own pace and came in 9th with a happy dog team. Lance Mackey the leader through the race ended up scratching only 20 miles from the finish due to a sick dog team and an injured hand that happened near the start of the race but was becoming more swollen. The top 3 teams were Ken Anderson, Sebastian, and Melanie Gould. Wanted to say thanks to Zack Steer for a great race and Jim and Darla at Eureka lodge for welcoming us and letting us train prior to the race. I've attached a few photos of the two teams from the start of the race that are also posted on

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Guess who's the poster boy for this year's Yukon Quest poster - yep that's Hugh and the Laughing Eyes kennel dogs on the Yukon River, just leaving the Eagle checkpoint. Posted by Picasa

Here's Hugh with Dozer (before he ate his door) and Oscar (giving Hugh a kiss). These two will be a major force in our team this year. Posted by Picasa

Here's the dog yard in full morning howl - too bad there's no audio. This is what happens to the dog yard when they get left behind from a run. Posted by Picasa

Here's what we've been working on for the past few weeks. It's almost done here - just the final touches need to be added. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 02, 2005

One of "Those" Weeks

Been a looong past few weeeks. First Mother Nature blew her lid unleashing a three day rainstorm that not only depleted most of our snow but encased everything in ice. We put sand down in the driveway as well as the dogyard so that we could even move our feet-yikes!! Guess it's our turn to deal with her wrath-- since the clouds disappeared the temps. have plummetted some 50 degrees F. Usually just above zero in the day, fifteen-twenty below at night. Stars have been brilliant of late though not too much aurora activity. Just ran the pooches with the 4-wheeler on a 30 mile run this morning. A tad boring not being on the sled anymore but the safety of the team comes 1st. Besides they get a bit more of a workout this way. Unfortunately sitting down I'm definately a bit colder compared to standing on the back of the runners. Our new dogbox is almost complete, Tamra will put a pic in our next update. For those of you who haven't heard yet we have the honor this year of not only being on the 2006 YukonQuest poster but on the Label of 'Lead Dog Ale' as well. Past sponsors as well as family will be recieving a poster for the holidays, anyone else who would like one please feel free to let us know. Now back to reality- in this life there are always peaks and valleys, how one deals with obstacles creates their future. Truck's finally fixed then the generator breaks down, rain then cold, the list is endless yet with a positive attitude this DREAM will continue to flourish. As many of you know we have not only one but TWO teams competing in both the Quest and Iditarod this season. Dean Rosiar will be running a team for the kennel as well this year in hopes of becoming the 1st rookie musher to complete both major 1,000 mile races in the same year. Having spent a few months now with this kid from Ohio has been an intriguing experience. At the tender age of 22 he has the determination but still much to learn. This is a great opportunity to show off all our dogs unique abilities as well as make history by being the 1st kennel to have 2 teams in BOTH major long-distance races. For those of you who have been following this unique journey over the years it's amazing to watch our growth over the last few seasons. Much of our successes are a direct result of not only experience but a lil' lady named Tamra Reynolds. Somehow she has been able to organize and simplify all the mushing mayhem that we encounter on a daily basis. Speaking with tourists this past summer I often remarked how the toughest part of racing was actually the weeks leading up to the event; purchasing the necessary supplies to outfit the squads properly. "Being Prepared" has been my 'achilles heel' in the past hopefully this year we'll be able to rectify this situation. We're ahead of last year's schedule having already bought a few thousand booties, lithium batteries and some of the dogfood as well. What we need to focus on now is to raise enough money to buy about 4,000 lbs of different frozen meats, pay for shipping of drop bags for Iditarod, and pay for gas and entry fees for a few mid-distance training races. Most of the mid-distance races usually involve a one to two day drive- there's a reason Alaska's nickname is the GREATLAND. Many of you have been huge supporters of the "Laughing Eyes Kennel Experience" for some 10 years now- we thank you whole heartedly. Without other's financial investment the dogs would never have a chance to shine! To show off their incredible courage, strength, stamina and LOVE; they truly are man's best friend. It humbles me everyday to be in their presence and realize what a lucky person I am (despite the endless hours of work and pooper scooping). If any of you are ever interested in visiting and enjoying the feel of being a dogmusher on a short trip you are more than welcome. Please feel free to send us any questions via e-mail or by phone. If there's one thing I've learned over the years it's: "Where there's a Will, there's a Way." Through the Good Graces of the Great Almighty we'll once again be able to create a memorable and beautiful portrait in the days and weeks to come. This season promises to be one to remember!! If you'd like to become apart of the team please e-mail us at Sponsorships are best sent to our winter training address: Box 11269, Whitehorse, YT, Y1A 6N5, Canada. Again, hope you all enjoy the SHOW!!! Tamra, Hugh and The Laughing Eyes Kennel Crew.