It has occurred to me that I only have 2 ½ weeks left before I’m off on my adventures. It is scary to think of all the work still to be done!
Today and tomorrow I have a friend coming up from Red Deer to help with some things with the dogs that I want to get done. We are going to do individual groundwork with each of the 24 ‘A’ team dogs, brushing them all up on holding lines tight and reinforcing what the word ‘HIKE’ means. I’m also hoping that we can find time to get all 8 of the pups (Yahoo, Dot, Meg, Kluane, Nahanni, Terra, Kobuk, and Denali) in harness for the first time. I always enjoy working pups! It is so neat to see their instinct kick in and see them take so quickly to running in harness.
Well, I guess I kinda' let the cat out of the bag…yes, we are down to a pool of 24 ‘A’ team dogs. Out of this pool, 20 will need to be selected for the trip to Minnesota, and barring any disaster, those 20 will be the ones that go up to Alaska. I’m going to hold off naming the dogs until that final cut is made. So watch for the announcement in the next few weeks! I must admit, there have been and will be some more tough decisions to make.
This past weekend was another good one of running. We did around 100 miles. Unfortunately, the frozen, snow-less roads are starting to take their toll on the dog’s feet. Nothing too serious, but foot massages and some ointments were definitely called for at the end of the day.
On Sunday we were heading down our muskeg trail when a couple whitetail deer bounced out in front of Mark’s team. We went from a good, steady pace to warp speed in about 2 seconds. A Porsche would have had a hard time keeping up us!! That bumpy, frozen ground was hard on the ol’ quad drivers – I think it took a full 5 minutes for my eyeballs to stop rattling in my head!!! Sure was fun for the dogs though! It was a weekend full of wildlife, we had sightings of a few more whitetails, a couple coyotes and a beautiful Great Horned Owl – very enjoyable!
Saturday we ventured down south to the community of Tawatinaw. The trails were really good and except for coming close to running the team down the Tawatinaw Ski Hill the run was nice and uneventful. Coming home along a little road that winds along next to the Tawatinaw River, we were stopped by a few surprised residents that weren’t aware there were dog teams living and training in the area. The dogs always love the opportunity to visit and get some scratches and petting. Rough, tough sled dog – HA- they are a bunch of big lap dogs!!
Well, today is Election Day in Canada, so I’m off to pay my respects to all those who so bravely fought and died to maintain this right for us! I hope my fellow Canadians will do the same and vote – regardless of whether or not we like the choices presented to us! Hopefully, we will fair better then our friends south of the border and will be able to announce a winner tonight!