Friday, 27 February 2004

February 27, 2004 Back Together

Remember the quote I shared with you all a while back about things falling apart so they can fall back together?? Well, I’m beginning to hear clunks and clicks of things falling into place around here! Wahoo!!

Mark and I did get out for our trip to Skwentna, leaving early Monday morning as the temperatures had dropped into the mid 20’s (F). It did get pretty warm during the heat of the day, but the dogs did great in spite of it. Although this was a serious training run (140 miles) for the dogs, I endeavored to make it as enjoyable as possible for Mark. We only traveled during daylight hours, I tried to keep him well fed and watered, and he got to sleep in a comfy bed at the Skwentna Roadhouse J. Camilla and Kara (‘The NEW Camilla’, as Mark is now calling her – and that is a high compliment from him) did try to kill him once by leaping over a 6 foot cliff on the river, but everyone came through the incident well and Mark as a good story to tell for it – always a plus. 

I’ve done that trip many a time, but never outside of a race and it was a sheer delight for me to do the trip with no clock running. Mark asked at one point whether I would have liked this team the first time I did Knik and my reply was that I would have been THRILLED to have this team on any race I’ve ever done in the past. They are solid, strong and want to GO like no dog team I’ve ever had before. I am proud and I am EXCITED! 

Jamie Nelson is back in the area after her trip up to Kotzebue. She was over at the house almost as soon as she got off the plane and I was thrilled to be able to bring her up to speed on all that is going on with us. I think I chattered at her for a solid ½ hour or so before taking a breath. She knows the dogs, myself and our goals so well - add her years of experience to the mix and she is a terrific sounding board for me. She is a big part of the ‘equation’ that makes up our team – I’m very lucky to have her in my life.

This morning was our Pre Race Vet Checks. Although, you can do this for free through the Iditarod just prior to the Race, it is our preference to have our own ‘Alaska’ vet, Dr. Bryan Baetsle at the Big Lake Susitna Veterinary Hospital, do them privately. Iditarod allows that with certain experienced vets, as Dr. Baetsle is and we believe the more personalized attention gives us a better feel for the true health of the dogs. 

The vet check offered us no surprises, which was good. We did cut one dog from the team but that decision had really been made before we walked into the Clinic this morning. The dog is Kobuk and although neither Dr. Baetsle nor I could give you any clear, concrete reasons the dog isn’t going on Iditarod, both of us had ‘gut’ feelings that things were not 100% with him and it was both our decisions that this year not be his year to go to Nome. 

Really good news is that ‘The Evil One’, aka Olena (she still has the Clinic convinced she isn’t Evil – HA) is no longer pregnant and has been given the ‘go ahead’ to run. I’m overjoyed! 
Oh – and did I mention it has been snowing all morning in Willow?????


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