Sunday, 11 December 2005

December 11, 2005 Ready, Set, Sit...STAY!

You all probably thought I was somewhere north of Fort Nelson, BC headed for Alaska by now.

Er...ah....nope - I'm sitting at home in front of my computer. It seems, circa 2003, trail conditions in Alaska have taken a sudden turn for the worse. The truck was almost completely packed on Friday night when I got an email from Doug Grilliot saying that the trails up around Willow were falling apart. I had had a few low-key warnings from Jamie West, but was doing my best 'ignore them and they will go away' routine. Doug's email prompted emails and phone calls to a number of friends in Alaska and finally at 9:30pm, I called Markus and postponed our trip.

I understand that the Sheep Mountain Race is still a go (that area is the one area in Alaska with decent training conditions) - however, once that is over I would either have to continue racking up hotel bills there or at Lake Louise to keep miles on the dogs - and frankly, we just can't afford that this year.
It makes much more sense for me to stay at home, where I can continue to at least get miles on the dogs, even if it is with a 4 wheeler. Yesterday I managed to get a nice 33-mile run on the dogs.

So, here we sit. I have a close eye on the weather in Alaska - with trail reports coming in daily from a number of friends. Most of our gear and supplies remained packed and I can probably be out the door on less then 24 hours notice now.

Temperatures in Alaska are sitting right around freezing, with precipitation in the forecast. If that comes as snow, we will probably be okay to hit the road early next week and even might make the Sheep Mountain Race, but if it is rain, we will remain here a while longer.

If any of you have time - snow dances would be appreciated!


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