Thursday, April 5, 2012

Last Long Run Of The Season

The team hanging out after a snack during a 20 minute break
a few miles past the half way point.
I really enjoy traveling through tall spruce trees.

Seven dogs and I took advantage of this beautiful day to go on a 48 mile run, sadly it will most likely be our last rally long run of the season. With spring quickly taking over and a lot of things to do over the next month before packing up the dogs and heading south, it's finally time to think about putting the sleds away until next winter.

The weather was absolutely beautiful with sunny skies, a very light breeze, and temperatures hanging out around +30F. The team handled the warm weather just fine and I really enjoyed it, the run took 5 1/2 hours and I never had to put anything more than a hoodie on to stay warm. I stopped the team a couple times for a quick snack of meat or a little kibble and we stopped several times very shortly to let the dogs bite or roll in the snow. We took a 20 minute break just over half way through the run, and the dogs seemed to appreciate the snack, but then were impatient about having to wait to keep moving down the trail.

Pip after he successfully turned the team
around by himself at the half way point.
Pip really got a chance to show me how much he has learned this winter. He is still a young dog, not quite two years old yet, but all winter he has been proving himself a valuable member of the team and a bright up and coming lead dog. I have been running pip in swing or double lead (next to another lead dog) all winter and finally today decided to see what Pip can do on his own, and wow am I impressed. I moved Pip up from swing (right behind the lead dog) to single lead just to see what would happen. Well Pip took off down the trail just like an old pro, he proceeded to lead the team for the next 37 miles all by himself. He flawlessly led us over multiple long glare ice patches, down new trails, and past snow machiners stopped on the trail taking a break and chatting. If Pip keeps up the good work he could very well be one of my main race leaders next winter.

In spite of not doing any more long runs this season, it is still far from over. The team and I and a few friends and their teams will be heading to the White Mountains this weekend for a final white mountains run this winter, probably only covering about 20 miles. The weather forecast is saying temperatures over the next few days and through the weekend are supposed to be around +40 to +50f so we should probably wave good buy to the snow. If the trails keep holding up I am going to try and get a few more short runs in with the puppies in addition to the white mountains weekend trip. Also the Kobuk 440 sled dog race will be starting on April 12th in Kotzebue Alaska. We will not be participating in this race, but for more info on it and to follow it please click here .

In early May the dogs and I will be heading to Skagway to work on the Denver glacier for the summer for  a company called Alaska Icefield Expeditions giving dog sledding tours. We will be living on the glacier for the summer with no internet access except on my days off which will hopefully be once a week. I will try to update my blog as much as possible about life on the glacier and I will also try to get a few more blog posts up before we leave. To learn more about Alaska Icefield Expeditions please click here .

Last Sunday Robert and I headed up to the whites for an eighteen mile run with our friends Martin and his daughter Hollie. Martin and I each drove a team of dogs, Robert drove the snow machine and Hollie took turns riding with each of us. We had a lot of fun and it was good experience for the puppies. I took advantage of us trucking the dogs some where for a short run to bring along a few of the pups to give them the experience. I brought Gus one of the yearlings who is behind the other yearlings in his training and Charley and Tramp two of the ten month old pups that were born at our kennel last spring. All the young dogs did terrific just like they'd seen it and done it all before. Below are some pictures from last Sunday.

Hollie demonstrating snow depth.
My team.
Martins team, and Robert on the Snow machine.
The view from the trail.

No comments:

Post a Comment