Well, definitely the brightest point of my week was that Mark arrived safe and sound from Alberta. The dogs were about as excited as I was to see him - they went nuts when he stepped out into the yard! Especially Sissy, Spud, and Butchie - they are his favorites and they know it!
He brought up with him around 2000lbs of fish, beef, horsemeat, and turkey skins that will be used on the Iditarod. Monday will start packaging up my food drop bags in order to have everything ready for the February 18th due date. Food drops are definitely one of the biggest tasks in preparing for the Race!
We have our appointment scheduled for February 23 to get pre race blood work done on the dogs. This is just one of the many health checks that the dogs go through in order to make sure that they are in great health for Iditarod. I had some blood work done earlier this year, so we will be able to use that as a 'baseline' to judge these results. Along the same line and on the advice of Iditarod Head Vet Tech, Lynette - I have checked and recorded the resting pulse rate of all the dogs. Lynette says that knowing this and keeping track of recovery rates during the race is one of the best ways to monitor your dogs! Great advice!!
Training has been slow this week. The weather has been warm, windy and snowy. That means that every time we have gone out on the trails there has been heavy, snowblown trail to break. It's tiring and hard work, but I keep reminding myself what good experience this will be for the Coast segment of Iditarod. I'm delighted with how well the dogs are handling the task. It is absolutely amazing how the dogs will find the trail under the snow when all traces of it are blown away. The odd occasion that I decide the dogs are wrong about where the trail was we end up flaying around in waist deep snow. I'm learning to keep my mouth shut and trust my leaders! :) I bought myself a new pair of snowshoes yesterday, so today, between running 2 teams, I'm going get out there are do some snowshoeing to get comfortable with them. I'm sick of crashing through the snow!
Right now I'm off to make breakfast and get on with the day!