Saturday 27 January 2007

January 27, 2007 Cache Valley Race -- Day 2, Bear Lake Overlook Checkpoint


We spent a few hours at the Beaver Lake checkpoint today--Karen arrived at about 11am, so she would be able to leave at about 5pm after a mandatory 6-hour rest. She thought the 80-mile leg was a bit too long for the
 rookies and they were really tired.

The dogs were sleeping most of the time we were there; Karen fed them for the second time at about 3pm, and then they went back to sleep.  Karen tried to sleep but was unsuccessful. She did enjoy some of the chili that was available!

I have posted more pictures in the "Cache Valley race" album on the Yahoo news site. The team order was the same as the start except that Dasher was leading for the last leg and Kara was back with JR. Karen said Kara had set a very fast pace for the first 50 miles!

 Lead--Snickers and Dasher
 Swing--Tess and Spider
 Team--JR and Kara
 Team--Watt and Charge
 Team--Q and Crunchie
 Wheel--Herman and Hector

During the time we were there, Mark hadn't arrived yet, but the thought was that he had camped out on the trail during the hottest part of the day and was attempting the long run in two smaller pieces. The team ahead of him
arrived around 4pm, so Karen wasn't sure if his team would be continuing, or calling it quits after 140 miles--it was a lot for the rookies on the team.

One team had already scratched; remaining teams have another 50-mile loop to do (5-6 hours), then could rest again at the Beaver Lake checkpoint, or continue the last 30 miles to the Franklin Basin checkpoint and the finish

Jessie Royer was in first place; if she does the 80 miles as one run, she might finish around midnight--the other teams might finish around 7 or 8 am, depending on how long a break they take during the night. We don't plan to
drive up the mountain that early to watch for finishers, but will attend the banquet tomorrow night to congratulate everyone and share some of our photos in a slide show!


(Photos below by Dan Rehak.  Thanks Heather for sending us the photos!)
Breakfast time!

Karen unloads Jr.


Karen's team at the start.
Karen's team resting at the Checkpoint.
Crunchie & Q

Leaders, Dasher & Snickers

Jr & Kara
Herman & Hector (brothers)
Race rookies, Spider & Tess
Watt & Charge (brothers)

Mark's team at the start.
 (Photos below by Don Rosebrock)

Tuesday 23 January 2007

January 23, 2007 Cache Valley K9 Challenge

Well, as you have all noticed, neither Mark nor I has found the time to sit down and tell the tales of our trip to Saskatchewan yet. I still hope to, at least, get mine done - maybe in the truck on the way to our next race. That is if I get bored of sleeping, which is the first thing I was hoping to catch up on.

Anyway, as I've alluded to in a few posts, being unable to find kennel help has led to some changes to our race plans. The original plan was to go down to Utah for the Cache Valley K9 Challenge and then head straight up to Saskatchewan for the Canadian Challenge. However, after much consideration and fussing over calendars and schedules, it became apparent that one of the races had to go. It makes more sense, in my mind at least, to run two teams in the Utah race, than one team in the Canadian Challenge - so I have advised the folks in Saskatchewan that I won't be attending this year.

For awhile it looked like Utah might be out of the question too. But while it will make for a busy week when we get home and prepare for my departure for Alaska, both Mark and I feel it is important enough for our team that we have committed to making it happen.

So this weekend, you can follow the Cache Valley K9 Challenge online. There are several maps of the race available on the site.

The dogs are all doing very well - sassy and spunky. Although things may change at the last moment, right now it is looking like my team will be:

With Mark's team being:

Don't read too much into what dogs are on what teams - there is a multitude of reasons for why each dog is where.

You might notice that Draco is not on the list. He seems to have an on again/off again limp going on. With his age, I just don't want to push him and risk making something permanent, so he has retired - but I haven't actually told him that yet.

For those who follow the team an are curious about Surge, he was cut from the team (and effectively retired) right before we left for the Sheep Mt race - but he has left us a great legacy, as his children Watt, Charge and Tess are all significant dogs in our team this winter. Draco's babies aren't old enough to race yet, but I'm sure they will be stars too.

I'm afraid that is all for today. Hopefully things will settle down once I'm in Alaska and food drops are in (mid February) and I can get a few more 'newsy' entries done up!


Additional note:
There will be two teams at the Canadian Challenge in the 6 dog class with dogs from our kennel - Mike Carmichael's (Carmacks Siberians) and Rick Austin's (Tucoldturain Siberians). (Mushers bios)
Logo used with permission
BTW - we are very proud of both teams. Rick finished 12th in the La Ronge Neckbone and Mike finished 2nd at the Eagle Cap 100 last weekend! Our congratulations to all!