Friday, 14 January 2000

January 14, 2000

I should know better then to say that I was going to have plenty of time to post diary entries - that was a sure fire way to make sure I was going stay busy :)

Tomorrow is the start of the Klondike 300 Race, which I have decided to run. It will be good experience for some of the younger dogs, like Chester, Orion, Draco, Grover, Smiley and Gus. Camilla will not be going with us. She is in heat and the risk that she will cause problems with my younger 'testosterone charged' males is too great! I'm sure most of us remember what it is like to try and concentrate with hormones 'a'raging'. Grover is actually at the vet in Big Lake this morning. He, and the rest of the dogs, passed their vet check yesterday with flying colors, but I was aware that some vets at previous races had sometimes heard something a little off in Grover's heartbeat. I have great respect for Dr. Jim Leach, who is head vet for this race, so I asked his opinion on it. It was of concern to him, and therefore to me, so Grover is getting an ultrasound done on his heart this morning. I'm very hopeful that all will be proven well and that Grover will be joining us on our run this weekend.

I'm running 12 dogs for the Klondike: Orion, Draco, Chester, Gus, Smiley, Grover, Hawk, Striker, Sundance, Doc, Buddy and Spud. Icey has been vet checked in and will step in if Grover is not up to racing. The team was chosen based on who needs the experience, rather then picking my strongest dogs. My goals for this weekend are to finish with all 12 still in harness, so we will be taking our time along the trail. I will make sure to post to the diary as soon as I get back, hopefully sometime on Tuesday.
Things at Maureen's have been going very well. We have been getting lots of good training runs and have been in awe of the beautiful trails that we have discovered. Bob and I had a bad scare last Sunday, the dogs stormed through a difficult section of trail sending both of us crashing into the the snow. The sheer power of the team was too much to hang onto and they got away from us. Luckily, a wonderfully designed snow hook (the 'rollover hook' designed by Rusty Hagen and sold by Cold Spot Feeds in Alaska) did it's job and caught in the snow, holding the team until we could catch up 1/2 mile down the trail. All the dogs were fine. I have a few scrapes and bruises and Bob did some damage to his shoulder, but nothing too terribly serious.

We are really enjoying the company of our Aussie housemates, Neen and her son, Josh. Josh and Bob spend a great deal of time bantering with each other, basically keeping the rest of us doubled over in laughter at their antics! We are teaching them a fair bit of Canadian slang and sayings (eh!) and they are reciprocating (mate!). Neen also is running Klondike this weekend.

Well, I think that is the news and gossip for today. We have a bunch of last minute chores and packing to do today before the Race start tomorrow! I should also mention that there are some of the big names of mushing in the Race - mushing legends Charlie Boulding and Martin Buser, as well as Lynda Plettner, Wayne Curtis, and Mike Nosko. It certainly is a treat to share the trail with so many mushers that I admire.

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