Thursday, 10 October 2002

October 10, 2002

Oh my gosh – where does time go. I’m amazed that it has been over a month since my last diary entry. Shame on me! Lots to report on – in fact, so much that it is going to take me several journal entries to catch up!! I’ll start off with some current stuff!!

On the 30th of September I loaded up the dog truck and headed down to Togo, Minnesota for my annual ‘pilgrimage’ to Jamie Nelson’s place. I won’t bore you all with tales of all Jamie has done for me in helping me grow and develop as a musher – most of you have heard that many times before – but I think this time with her is one of the best things I can do for myself and my team as I prepare for Iditarod.

Space on the dog truck dictates that I must make my first ‘cut’ of the season to the main string before this trip. I know those of you that have been kind enough to sponsor dogs in our ‘Sponsor-a-dog’ program are keen to know who came along – I will say that this was the hardest cuts I’ve had to make and some really fine dogs got left in the yard at home (notably Striker, Rosie, Cassie, and Jumper) – but without further ado, here is the list of dogs that are currently in our ‘main string’:

NorthWapiti’s Super Grover – ‘Grover’
NorthWapiti’s Mr. Snuffleupagus – ‘Gus’
NorthWapiti’s Camilla
Ch. NorthWapiti’s Guy Smiley – ‘Smiley’
Ch. NorthWapiti’s Oreo
NorthWapiti’s Draco
NorthWapiti’s Orion the Hunter
NorthWapiti’s Sir Galahad – ‘Surge’
NorthWapiti’s Robert E. Lee – ‘Squeaky’
NorthWapiti’s Kobuk
NorthWapiti’s Denali
NorthWapiti’s Kluane
NorthWapiti’s Nahanni
Chuchinka’s Nikolai II – ‘Nik’
Chuchinka’s Pathfinder – ‘Chester’
Chuchinka’s San Antonio Rose – ‘Kaylinn’
NorthWapiti’s Valkyrie Kara
NorthWapiti’s Freya
NorthWapiti’ Oden
NorthWapiti’s Loki
Alaskan’s Olena of Anadyr
NorthWapiti’s Butch Cassidy
Ch. Kainai’s Anchorman – ‘Mannie’

I feel this is a very strong and solid group of dogs and so far, they are showing that out here. I’ve never had a team pulling as strong and consistently as this batch – especially this early in the season. That certainly has me excited about this coming winter! 

The weather in Minnesota has been good. We’ve been able to get out and run every day, which is terrific. The trails aren’t as muddy as normal, which is a mixed blessing – Jamie insists (and I tend to - reluctantly - agree with her) that nothing builds a team quite as well as learning to pull together through a mud hole – but it is nice not to come back from every run covered in muck!!! 

As always, things are buzzing out here - in addition to myself, Lynzie Bacchas, who is training for this year’s Jr. Iditarod is out. Lynzie is a neat 16 year old with a great amount of ‘dog sense’. I would think she is one to watch on the Jr. Iditarod trails this winter! 

This coming weekend is one of Jamie and Ann Stead’s Boot Camps (you can find out more about their Camps at A number of the participants are repeat Boot Campers that are also friends of mine (including Lori Pedretti – our handler ‘extraordinaire’ from Beargrease last winter)– so I’m really looking forward to seeing them. 

Next weekend is ‘Buttonbox’ – a wonderful, by invitation only weekend that Jamie hosts each year at one of the local campgrounds. Lots of great experience for the dogs and a darn fun time for the humans!! Last year 50 some odd mushers and 397 dogs took over the campground!!
The weekend following that is Jamie’s annual run up to Big Falls – a 120-mile trip, broken up into a number of 20 and 30-mile runs. 

Then the last weekend I’m here is the 2nd Annual Big Dog Bash. It’s geared for Inuit dogs, Malamutes, Samoyeds, and the likes. Rounded off with Jamie’s Alaskan Husky team and my Siberians – it is truly a ‘multi cultural’ dog weekend. (If anyone with ‘Big Dogs’ reading this would like to join us – drop me an email and I will put you in touch with Scott and Terry Miller, who organize the event).

Well, I think that is about it for today. I will try to post some more entries in the next few days to let everyone know about other happenings over the past month!! 

Happy trails!

No comments: