We've attended the fall warm up weekend every year that it's been held (5 years now, click for a nice picture from 2004). While every year is fun, this year was probably the best so far. The weather cooperated - while it was wet and rainy outside of the valley, at Karen and Mark's it was perfectly dry. It was great to renew old acquaintances and meet new people, some whose names were known through email, but whose faces are now known too.
The food was fabulous - and way too abundant. :-) The trails are always great. When our dogs arrived they knew what they were there for - and wouldn't shut up until we ran them. It was a homecoming weekend for Denali (and a few others on our team). We had the chance to run Denali in lead for the first time on our team. Wow!! He was incredible and set a new standard for us on gee/haw response time.
We really enjoyed seeing all the teams and comparing notes with everyone on equipment and dogs. We always pick up a few tips that we can incorporate into our toolbox.
The added bonus of having Dr. Veronica come by and offer a mini-seminar on identifying and treating injuries was great. The information she provided is so important, regardless of whether you run your dogs recreationally or competitively. I think everyone learned something from her talk.
We were the lucky ones that got to sleep in Karen and Mark's new cabin. It was like having a mini house (minus a toilet) - very homey and comfortable.
I know the fall warm up weekend is a bit far for some to travel, but for those nearby - well worth attending. The laughs, the trails, the food, the 'dog talk' and so much more make it a worthwhile event for anyone who can make it. This is a huge opportunity to learn from Karen and get her perspectives on training. Where else can you descend upon an Iditarod musher's home, run their trails, pick their brains and watch them train - all for free (aside from bringing a potluck item or two)?
Thanks Karen and Mark for holding this event, yet again. We had a blast.
Jackie and Rick
TuColdTuRain Siberian Huskies