Tuesday, 29 January 2008

January 29, 2008 Greetings From Alaska!

Well, finally GREETINGS from Alaska!!!  We arrived in Alaska last Wednesday evening and have been busy getting settled in, getting the dogs back into the game, and preparing for my drop bags.

The drive up was pretty nice and uneventful. We did see a fair amount of wildlife - moose, caribou, elk, deer, and buffalo which is always nice (as long as they are not in your lane of the road!!) Just a few miles before the US border a critter trotted out in front of the truck. A few moments of "It's a wolf", "No, it's a coyote" ensued until it stopped on the shoulder of the road, looked directly at us and ended the argument - "Wolf" we both said at the same time. It was a very beautiful rich, sable colored wolf and he was very content to stand just off the shoulder of the road and watch us go by. Neat to get such a close look at him.

The border crossing was without incident, even though the border guard did ask for the health certificates on the dogs and did spent a lot of time going over them, unlike at the Montana/Alberta border a few weeks back, they passed scrutiny. And yes, they were EXACTLY the same certificates.

Thanks to some wonky Alaskan weather, our dog yard was rather snowed in when we got here, but 96 husky feet and 6 human feet (Mark, mine and Harry's) make pretty short work of getting things packed down and the dogs settled in. Many of their stakeouts are sporting new doghouses, so there much sniffing, peeing and darting in and out of dog house doors.

Mark and I were as thrilled to find the guest room (aka OUR room) sporting a new bed - we refrained from sniffing or peeing on it though.

There are also a few new inhabitants at WestRunner Kennels - Toby the handsome 'downstairs' cat, who thinks he is a living fur ruff - and Ashleigh, the neurotic, but cute, little border collie x spaniel house dog. Oh, and of course, Romeo the horse. He is the one that had a 'parting of the ways' with Jamie late this summer, resulting in a number of broken ribs and a punctured lung - for Jamie, not Romeo!! Romeo seems no worse the wear from the incident, Jamie is still moving slower then normal.

We opted not to run the Don Bowers race this past weekend - not because there was anything wrong with the dogs or us - we just felt it was all too rushed with our trip up here and all to be at the starting line in 'ready to race' shape for Friday. We have, however, had the dogs out on a number of runs already. Everyone is doing pretty well, although they have slipped a bit out of the 'groove' they had going on the Seeley 200 and at home. I know with a bit of patience on our part, they will find it again.

The rookies - Bingo, X, and Runner are taking everything is stride. Togo seems fascinated by the deep snow and is distracted time and time again by the tops of small trees sticking up out of the drifts. We crossed a road yesterday on our travels and he went across on two legs to better get a look at a road sign. What a dork!

A few of the girls are in heat, which is actually good, as they should be more then finished by the time Iditarod rolls around.

Anyway, that is about all the news for right now. The dogs are getting a day off today and we are running into Anchorage to do a Costco run for my drop bags.

Don't worry - I haven't forgot about my Seeley 200 story!!


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