Friday 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.  ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Thursday 30 December 2010

Yet More From the Peace River Trail

We were back running the Peace River Trail yesterday.

My team - sisters Meg and See in lead, Smartie and Kelly, Roscoe and Crunchie, Shooter and Q.

It's just kind of an addicting trail - especially now that some snowmachines have packed things down a bit!

Richard's team - Dasher and Runner in lead, Billie and Wonder, Utin and Wifi, Barq and Irving.

Crunchie spots something interesting on the trail ahead.

Richard getting some loving from Billie

See waits impatiently for a snack.

Wifi and Billie in lead for Richard now.

Those of you that are aware of the book and/or movie "Silence of the North" by Olive Fredrickson (a great read, BTW) will be interested to know that these photos are of the remains of the Goodwin's Halfway House at Tomato Creek where Olive lived from 1911 to about 1916. 

A fascinating trail. I'd like to spend some time on it in the warmer months too!

Anyway, it was a good 50 mile or so run. The dogs are looking good and we have almost narrowed things down to the 24 that will head off to Oregon with us next week for the Eagle Cap Extreme.


Tuesday 28 December 2010

NorthWapiti's Draco

NorthWapiti's Draco
November 5, 1997 - December 27, 2010

Draco had been doing wonderfully and really not showing his age at all until a few weeks ago when he started being a bit of a picky eater. In a blink of an eye it went to him totally refusing food. A trip to the vet basically confirmed that he was likely battling cancer. We tried some meds and moving him into the house but by yesterday he was making his wishes clear. 

He was a big and beautiful boy. A force in harness, successful in the show ring and just a pleasure to have around. 

His daughters Rocket, Bang and Bingo are some of the most significant leaders in the yard right now.

I'm still coming to grips with the thought of him being old. The thought of him being 'gone' is simply inconceivable.

My friend Jackie has told me many times that Draco and his brother, Orion were for her, the embodiment of a 'NorthWapiti' dog. That was/is okay by me - he was a wonderful Siberian in body, spirit and soul.

Goodbye Crazy Whiskers. I hope you know how much you were loved.


Saturday 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

What is Christmas?  It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.  It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.  ~Agnes M. Pahro

Thursday 23 December 2010

Training Update - The Cartoonist

I've had several people ask: "So, how will we know when Richard has completed his training and is ready to take the Pretty Sled Dogs into competition?"

As you can see from the other blog entries and pictures, Richard is a natural at mushing and sleeping in sub-zero temperatures on a picnic table
(that comes from his year of sleeping in the planter),

so its just a matter of getting some more miles under his belt before he'll be ready to mush in competition... but we will all know that he's finally hit his stride and is sufficiently trained in the Karen Ramstead method of mushing when...

He catches himself on fire on the trail.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Back On The PRT

It was below -30C here at the kennel this morning. That is really beyond the temperature tolerance of the ATVs, so it seemed like a good excuse to truck dogs up to the Peace River Trail for a sled run.  
As the dog truck wouldn't for sure start after 4 or 5 hours sitting out at -30, Mark and Bet drove the dogs, Richard and I to the start of the trail. The 'Pit Crew' did a few errands and then Mark studied for an upcoming exam he is taking to kill the rest of the time.

Getting ready to go...

The trail had had no traffic on it since it started dumping snow a week ago.

Add caption

Richard and his team.

My awesome crew.

Richard's team, lead by Dasher and Runner.

Running along the Athabasca River.

There was a lot of wildlife signs down along the river, but we just saw one moose hanging out.

Taking turns breaking trail.

Roscoe and Charge

Heading home into the sunset.

Shortly after this the camera froze and pictures were no longer an option. Those things happen at -30!!!


Sunday 19 December 2010

Yesterday's Run

Thought I'd share a few pictures and a bit of video from our 42 mile run yesterday.

Richard having a 'moment' with his leaders Runner and TopDog

My team with Grit and Rocky in wheel

Richard's team leaving Meanook

Thirty two dogs parked outside the Perryvale store while we pick up the mail.

Drag racing the neighbour's horses.

Gorgeous light at sunset

Sunset over Perryvale

It was very frosty once the sun went down!