Friday, 11 January 2013

A Great Suggestion...

I can't count how many times over the years folks have suggested and/or offered trails to us to use. Usually, for one reason or another, it doesn't work out so well. We appreciate the offers, but often the trails are hard to find, difficult to access, inappropriate for dog teams, too short....and then there was the time that I ended up flipping my 4-wheeler over onto my hip and lying on the cold ground for 20 minutes contemplating my mortality before I could move again on a 'it'd be a great trail for a dog team' trail...or the time Mark got back into the dog truck with cracked ribs and me with torn ligaments.....needless to say, we've gotten a bit jaded and cynical about 'new trail recommendations' over the years. 

However for the last few months our friend Markus has been pestering us to come try out the trails 'right out of his backyard' at his new place in Edson, Alberta....and Markus is a little different than most folks.

Markus 'worked' for us as a (correct me if I get this wrong Markus) 'canine waste management technician' starting when he was about 14. He has handled for us on races, driven to Alaska with me, helped out at the start of Iditarod, and driven many 'B' string dog teams out of our yard.
So when he said "you should come out" - even offering his nice, new snowmachine as a 'lure' for Mark - we sat down and figured out a way to make it work.

Since it is a 3 1/2 hour drive, the plan was to drive out one morning, run dogs, spend the night, run dogs the next day and drive home - and that is exactly how it worked!!!

We arrived around noon and quickly got the sled off the truck, dogs unloaded, and snowmachine instructions/trail recommendations from Markus.

Everything went entirely smoothly and we were delighted to find the trails as nice as anything we have run anywhere!

We got a nice solid 40-mile run in before pulling back in at the Husch's. Mark was even lucky enough to 'bag' a wolf sighting on the way home. Apparently, he came around a corner to find a big black wolf checking out our trail. Cool.

Markus and his wife, Allison, treated us to a lovely dinner and we had a enjoyable game of 'Ticket to Ride' before crashing for the night.

Markus and Allison's pet pig WallE. Quite the character!

The next day we woke up to a few inches of new snow but we still hoped to get all the way up to Silver Summit Ski Resort, which is a 60-mile trip.

Again the run was accomplished without any issues!!!

 We took a quick break at this warm up shelter, mostly cause I didn't see Mark wave me by it!!! No harm done!!!

Met the trail groomers on the way out. They had never seen a dog team before and were in awe. Many pets and pictures!!

I was in awe of the incredible 'on by' my team did of the giant beast of a machine while it was still running!! I was VERY proud of them.

Silver Summit Ski Resort. Apparently they are closed due to some problems with their chair lift. I thought it was quiet.

The dogs wanted to give this old, abandoned ski jump a go. We overruled them!!

This sign gave me a moment's pause, but it turned out to be nothing!

There were some good climbs for sure!

 On the way home Mark took the camera and took some pictures of the team and me!

We got back to Edson around 5:00pm, fed and loaded dogs, packed up the truck, turned down Markus and Allison's kind offer to stay for dinner, and headed for home.

Jack says it was a great couple days.

I agreed!!

 As did Mark!!!

Thanks for the suggestion, Markus - and for your and Allison's GREAT hospitality!!!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful break in your normal training routine. I'm jealous !!!

Allie Marie said...

OH SURE, there's a daytime pic to match the one I just ordered! You'll need to put this one in the store too so I can have the set, please!