Thursday, January 04, 2007

How we spent our Christmas vacation

Sorry for the delay in posting. We've been really busy of late preparing food drops for not one but two 1,000 mile races. This has meant cutting up a lot of meat, bagging meat, kibble, booties, socks, etc..... Here Nathan is helping with the cutting but I think he's not saving it for the race dogs.

We just bought a 12" mitre saw and have been using it with the generator for days on end. This is much faster than in previous years when we had to haul the meat over to a neighbours (who had both a saw and electricity) and cut meat for a couple hours each day for weeks on end. Also now we can keep the meat dust and use it for broths at night for the dogs. However Sophie has other ideas on how to clean up the meat dust. Hopefully she doesn't lick too close to that blade.

Also notice Marcellus is in on the action. Any loose dogs we now have head straight for that table.

I also spent a fun-filled week fixing Hugh's dog truck. We couldn't find any heated garages available over Christmas so we ended up bringing two sheets of plywood into the cabin over Christmas so I could paint the side panels of the dog box and install all the hinges and latches on the new doors. It's all finished now and is good to go for this season. I'll have to post a pic on the next update.

Besides the work which never ends we've of coarse been running dogs as well. Christmas was a quiet day. Hugh and I each took out a team of 10 and did a 30-mile run together. We didn't see anyone else out that morning which was good because we took a wrong turn and ended up on the road for a portion before we could jump back on the trail system. Here's one of the lakes we crossed:

Hugh was doing a lot of 80-mile runs from the house to Alligator Lake, Mount Mac, and Fish Lake. Recently though with the warm weather it's not that great of an idea to take the teams up 5,000 ft where it's even warmer, and harder on them to go up the hills in the heat so he's been doing shorter runs and running from Takhini to Braeburn which is flatter and faster. With the warm weather we've also been getting snow everyday. The snow in the trees is over my knee and on the lake where the wind blows in our water hole every day the snow's over my waist. Not good when you fall off the trail. Here's some recent pics of the dog yard taken while Hugh was shovelling off the roof:

We've been figuring out our race plans for this winter. Hugh's signed up for the Kusko300 - one of the only mid-distance races he hasn't before competed in. He would like to do the Cantwell Classic - we're on the waiting list. Then we have the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, and possibly the Kobuk440. We are also possibly sending a team in the YukonQuest 300. I'll be posting more frequent updates during the races to let everyone know how we're getting along. We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! We had a great 2006 and we're looking forward to an even better 2007.


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