We are back in Willow for the weekend. As most mornings, I was the first one up in the house. I usually spend that time catching up on emails and other computer orientated things, as it is quiet and doesn't wake anyone else up.
So yesterday morning I was typing away at my computer when I swear the table began to roll. I had gotten a pretty good night sleep, so I shouldn't have been too tired. I blinked and tried to clear my eyes, but the rolling didn't stop. When I realized the dog lots were howling and barking I figured out it was probably a small (very small) earthquake. I looked at the clock and remembered the time. Sure enough on the news last night they spoke of a 6 point something earthquake in Cook Inlet at that time yesterday morning. Cool. Not as cool as the one I experienced a few years back when things actually rattled and shook, but still kinda neat.
Anyway, as I mentioned, we are back from Sheep Mountain Lodge for the weekend. The conditions there were fantastic and our runs thoroughly spectacular. Mark, I and all the dogs had a blast. Many consider the trails out of Zack's lodge to be challenging and 'too hilly' but I think they are about perfect. The only thing that makes me nervous there is launching the team. The trail starts off right next to the highway - and I'm always a worry wart about those sort of things, but never once did our leaders even glance at the Glenn Highway. After a few miles of ditch running, the trail hooks up to an old highway and begins to climb - I actually briefly chased a black wolf on that road on our run on Friday - WAY COOL!. Then the trail turns off into a small mountain pass and the scenery gets more then gorgeous.
I actually took over 200 photos on our runs. Some of my favorites can be seen at -
(I tried to load a few of my favorite images this morning, but 'Blogger' would have none of it. Sorry!).
The cabins at Sheep Mt Lodge (http://www.sheepmountainlodge.com/) are lovely and have full kitchenettes in them, so Mark and I had our meals in the cabin and watched a few DVDs between runs and dog drops.
A HUGE thank you to Marlene and Doug Daniels, our dear friends from Montana. While we were putting away dogs after our run on Wednesday Anjanette Steer wandered over to tell us that Marlene had phoned and paid for our cabin for our 3 night stay. What a wonderful and thoughtful surprise!!!! Thanks again Marlene and Doug! We may not have the fastest dog team on the planet - but I undoubtedly have the COOLEST sponsors!!!!!!!
One of the other advantages of our runs at Sheep Mt was that the dogs got to see alot of other dog teams on the trail, as a number of Iditarod mushers were up training in the area. That is a really new experience for the rookies Rocket, Wifi, Wonder, Isis, Flash and Wolvie, and I was very pleased at how well mannered and polite (they are Canadian dogs after all, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised) they were during our passes.
Actually, I was just pleased with the dogs period. They ran well and came back to the truck on Friday's run frisky and happy, despite having done 3 days of hard runs after a long layoff. It really picked up my spirits and helped me stop fretting about our upcoming races.
A few of them seem to have a bit of a 'bug' now, but I'm not really concerned about it. It is just one of those things that happens when you travel with dogs. They should all be over it in a few days.
We are working on our YQ300 drop bags today. It snowed a few inches here yesterday. Enough to make things not quite so slippery, but still not enough to 'fix' the damage the rain and warm temperatures did, so we will probably be heading back to the Lodge tomorrow.
We had hoped to run the Don Bowers 200 next weekend, but they are not sure if the trails are going to be good enough to pull it off - so we will have to keep checking the website - http://www.donbowersmemorialrace.org/ - and see how it goes!
All for this morning! Don't forget to check out those pictures - I was really pleased with how they turned out!