It has been awhile since I 'took' you folks on a training run with us, so since I found my digital camera (which had been missing for over a month) yesterday - it seemed like a good time! So here we go.....
DSCF0002.jpg - Entrance to the yard. I needed to do some pictures for a friend that is working on a project for me, so that's why I took these ones.
DSCF0003.jpg - Our NorthWapiti kennels sign. The dog carved in the sign is Meomar's Miss Liberty, our first Siberian.
DSCF0004.jpg - Coming through the gates.
DSCF0005.jpg - Most of the dogs are turned loose to run up to the 'ready chains'. Kara, Holly and Dasher are milling around with Snickers in this picture - and, of course, Fly is in the middle of the action!
DSCF0008.jpg - Off and running. My team for the day consisted of Sprite and Kara in lead, then Holly and Dasher, Hector and Herman, Crunchie and Grover, Moses and Draco, Surge and Jr, and Loki and Odie. Mark's team was Snickers and Smiley in lead (Camilla was supposed to be leading, but she has a sore toe and stayed home), then Olena and Nahanni, Hilda and Pepsi, Barq and Skor, Chester and Denali, Batdog, and Squeaky and Gus.
DSCF0009.jpg - Climbing the 'Sand Hill' out of the valley. This is not as steep as our driveway, but still a mile of solid uphill. Pictures never do it justice.
DSCF0010.jpg - Looking back into the valley from close to halfway up the hill. Our place would be on the far left of the picture - back in the pine trees. The neighbor kids refer to our place as 'Down in the Pines'.
DSCF0011.jpg - Still climbing the Sand Hill. Look at Loki and Odie digging in! Loki is the dog on the right. He has a black tip on his tail - Odie has a white one. Otherwise they look pretty similar!
DSCF0014.jpg - Past the worst of the hill. Now it is a gradually climb for the next 1/2 mile. I love the winding trail through here.
DSCF0016.jpg - We've crossed the highway and are running down the gravel road now. You can just catch a glimpse of Mark and his team in my rearview mirror.
DSCF0018.jpg - Jr, Surge, Loki and Odie after I stopped to sort out a tangle up front.
DSCF0019.jpg - The cause of the tangle - the infamous Porkchop and his almost as annoying mother, Timber. Porkchop and Timber live just down the road from us and love running into the team barking and snarling when we pass. Two seconds after this picture was taken Porkchop charged up into my leaders faces snapping and barking. The dogs all know not to rise to his challenge and generally pass by without problems. Dasher is terrified of him though and has been tangling herself up lately when she sees him.
DSCF0020.jpg - My 4 wheeler. I usually put about 1500 - 2000 miles a year on it, so it is set up well for me. That's my GPS on the left so I know how far we have gone, big spotlight for night running, milk crate for extra gloves, dog snacks, my snacks, etc.
DSCF0021.jpg - Off the roads and heading over to one of our wooded trails. This field used to be all woods, but has been logged in the passed year.
DSCF0022.jpg - Many of the trails we use were put in to access gas wells in the area. This is one of the area wells.
DSCF0023.jpg - Woods
DSCF0024.jpg - This trail is all muskeg (wild peat moss!). Except for winter, when it is frozen, it is basically impossible to travel through.
DSCF0025.jpg - A 'rubbing tree' used by male deer and moose to polish their antlers so they look more handsome for the females and more fearsome to other males!
DSCF0026.jpg - This one is definitely used by a moose, as the rubs extend way over my head.
DSCF0027.jpg - This trail is very, very rough and bumpy - but still fun to go through.
DSCF0028.jpg - A tamarac tree. Most people seeing tamaracs for the first time think they are dead, but they are not - they actually shed their needles each winter.
DSCF0029.jpg - Some tight and bumpy turns.
DSCF0030.jpg - Notice how many of the dogs are standing at different heights from their teammates, that will give you and idea of just how very bumpy this trail is.
DSCF0032.jpg - Tamarac forest. In the fall they all turn a brilliant yellow before losing their needles. Very pretty!
DSCF0035.jpg - Willows 'pruned' by moose.
DSCF0036.jpg - Into pretty pines.
DSCF0037.jpg - Taking a quick break. Actually it was so Mark and I could make a quick trip into the woods - all that bouncing is tough on the kidneys!
DSCF0038.jpg - Hector and Herman get a good roll in the snow. Notice Moses and Draco - they had a bit of a scrap earlier on in the run and are trying to stay as far away from each other as possible. :)
DSCF0039.jpg - Holly on the left of the picture, Dasher on the right.
DSCF0040.jpg - Sprite
DSCF0042.jpg - The 'Big Dog' - Mark
DSCF0043.jpg - Hector (left), Herman (right)
DSCF0044.jpg - Moses and Draco still trying to avoid each other.
DSCF0045.jpg - I never say they have to like each other, but they do have to run next to each other without causing problems. Draco is trying hard to pretend Moses isn't really there.
DSCF0046.jpg - Surge and Jr.
DSCF0047.jpg - Odie (looking at the camera) and Loki hip checking him. It's some favorite, weird game of his.
DSCF0048.jpg - Loki (left), Odie (right)
DSCF0049.jpg - signs we've passed through!
DSCF0050.jpg - Getting ready to go.
DSCF0051.jpg - skull hanging in a tree. No idea why it is there!
DSCF0052.jpg - Back on the roads. Notice the herd of horses on the left.
DSCF0054.jpg - Squeaky and Gus.
DSCF0056.jpg - Skor with the booties on. He had some sore pads a while back and we are still taking some precautions with him.
DSCF0057.jpg - Squeaky (red dog), Gus (piebald) and Batdog (grey)
DSCF0058.jpg - A head on pass with a truck.
DSCF0060.jpg - Beehives wrapped up for the winter.
DSCF0061.jpg - There is actually a coyote sitting in the middle of this picture, but the camera doesn't show him well. He seemed fascinated with the dog teams.
DSCF0062.jpg - Sidegait under a load - The amazing Barq.
DSCF0064.jpg - loping down a country road.
DSCF0065.jpg - Snack time! Snickers and Smiley can't wait!
DSCF0066.jpg - Barq
DSCF0067.jpg - Barq decides to see what is under the snow.
DSCF0068.jpg - Iditarod veterans know to take advantage of break times. Gus and Squeaky.
DSCF0070.jpg - Batdog rolling in the snow.
DSCF0071.jpg - Batdog
DSCF0072.jpg - Sprite and Kara
DSCF0073.jpg - Getting dark.
DSCF0080.jpg - Dark
The rest of the shots are just weird ones of the various lights and lighted collars on the dogs in the dark. We got back into the yard shortly after 6pm after a nice solid 30 mile run!
Thanks for coming along!