Just around the bend…
The start of race season is almost here, although you wouldn’t guess it looking at the ground…we lack a very important component of dog mushing: snow! With the Sheep Mountain scheduled to start a week from today, we are crossing our fingers and paws here in Alaska that we get about a foot of snow over the next three days. December 11th is the date that the race will give word as to whether or not it will be cancelled due to lack of the powdery white stuff.
The team is up to 60 mile runs and is looking pretty good. We have had a few of the usual training ups and downs, a sore wrist and shoulder, a few dogs who think their food looks better in their bowl than on their hips, and a bug that has slowly crept through the yard. On the bright side, the dogs are happy to be in team, are passing other teams like a freight train, and all have good-looking feet (meaning they don’t have splits or raspberries that are common foot injuries from training).
Yesterday evening Alyssa and I attended the annual Yukon Quest Auction in Fairbanks. It is the Quest’s largest fundraiser, with both silent and live auctions. There are free beer and wine tastings and lots of socialization amongst mushers and fans alike. Past Yukon Quest mushers wear tuxedos and serve attendees h’orderves…I think it is the only time you could see this happen. We had a lot of fun and ended up winning a dog jacket and dog t-shirt (to prevent harness rub).
Tomorrow morning we are off to train in the White Mountains. I will be practicing my checkpoint/rest routine while the dogs will be practicing how to rest. Look forward to some photos from the trail soon.