Well, another day - another Race plan. Now it seems that that Iditarod will be bypassing Cripple, Ophir, and Iditarod and instead, doing a 'down and back' trail on the Yukon. I must say, that basically sounds boring, but I fully appreciate that the Iditarod Trail Committee is having to take drastic steps on this weird, weird weather year. I had heard rumours of the trail heading north into the Huslia area or north of Elim into Candle for some extra miles and I think both of those routes would have been great, as we would have seen some new country. Apparently though, the logistics of making that happen so close to Race Day were overwhelming.
After working on it for quite a while, I finally had a Race plan for 'Race Route B' that I was really happy with. Now it is back to the drawing board to come up with a plan for 'Race Route C'. I've always said that success on the Iditarod has alot to do with being able to change gears and quickly deal with changes in plans - this year will just prove that out on a big scale.
The dogs continue to do well. We had a number of really solid long runs out in Lake Louise last week. They are running strong, eating great, and in TERRIFIC moods. What more could I ask for??? The only downside to the runs was that Mark appears to have cracked or broken a rib. He crashed on a nasty 90 % corner on our run last Wednesday (I will admit - I crashed on the same corner - but I was 'smart' enough to break the fall with my face instead of my ribs). He is still moving around, but it is quite a bit slower then normal for him. Luckily, the runs we have planned next week at Wolverine Lodge will be short easy ones and that will be much easier for him.
And, for those of you (like his Mom, who I'm sure is reading this!) that think I should take mercy on him and give him next week off of running dogs - all I have to say is what Mark says to me everytime I trash my body behind a dog team - 'COWBOY UP, BABE'. :) And anyway, those of you that know Mark well, know that he is just like a dogteam - if he decides he is not doing something - he just flatly does not do it - so I'm positive he would make it very clear if he didn't want to run dogs anymore.
We added a new dog to the kennel yesterday. Moses has come to us from Bob Chlupach and Rick Outwin's kennel. Some of you may remember Hilda, Hector and Herman that we picked up from Bob and Rick last summer. Moses is a different bloodline from them - but he is a solid, hardworking 3 year old that we are excited to have joining us. In fact, Moses already comes with a proven race record - last season he finished the Quest 250 in a team of Alaskan Huskies - a wonderful feat for any Siberian, yet alone a 2 year old. Next winter, I'm thinking I'd like to try that Race in preparation for a future run at the Quest. Maybe Moses will share his knowledge of that trail with his teammates! I will try to get him to pose for some pictures out in the yard today.
There is a new Iditarod book out on the market. Jeff Schultz "Dogs of the Iditarod" is a wonderful, picture filled volume on the real stars of Iditarod. If any of you find a copy, make sure to take a gander at page 33 - you might recognize the smiling faces of Gus, Camilla, Grover, Jake and the rest of the 2001 NorthWapiti kennels Iditarod team! Very exciting!
Well that is the news for this morning.