Greetings from Alaska!! Bob, the dogs, and I arrived safely at Maureen's place in Willow at around 11pm yesterday. The household: Maureen, Aussie Iditarod musher Neen Brown and her son, Josh, were all kind enough to wait up for us. We fed and watered our critters and then gabbed until well past 1am! It's nice to be back up here!
The trip up was certainly an adventure. The roads were one giant skating rink, there were semis and cars in the ditch, as well as many tracks in the snow where others had gone in. The truck handled very well and with 1000 + lbs of dogs and an equal amount of humans and gear we certainly had lots of weight to help keep us on track. We did see a large variety of wildlife on the way up - the standard: deer, coyotes, and moose, as well as buffalo, caribou, a fox, and even got a nice good look at a lynx. That was very cool! We were also welcomed to the Yukon by a fabulous display of Northern Lights! Just beautiful!
The next few days will be busy ones. We need to get the dogs settled out in the yard, us settled in the house, the sleds geared up and, most important (and fun!) the dogs out on the trails. The snow conditions look great. Maureen says that there is still some overflow in some areas, but that will be good experience for the dogs and I will go, specifically, looking for some of those spots. I just can't wait to get out to Stevens Lake, Windy Lake and some of the other beautiful spots out on the trails.
I'm still planning on running the Klondike next weekend. It looks like that will be a pretty busy race too, many Iditarod rookies are using that as one of their qualifiers this year. That includes Neen and our Alaska neighbor, Blake Freking. Speaking of Blake, he is running Earl and Natalie Norris' Anadyr team this year, he did his first Iditarod qualifier last weekend, the Knik 200, and finished 7th!! What a great results. My congratulations to him! Those of you interested in finding out more about Blake and his awesome Siberian team can check out his website at http://www.ssanadyr.com/.
Well, the dogs spent the night sleeping on the truck. They are going to want to get out and get breakfast pretty quick! I will probably be getting a chance to keep the diary pretty updated for the next while. I'll try to do around 2 a week for the next few weeks!