Full Moon News

March full moon

How wonderful it is to still be mushing on good snow!   Last year it was in the 60’s and no snow; what a difference this year.  I stepped off the trail yesterday and went up over my knees.  It has been nice and cold at night and that has kept the trails in really good shape.  Trip season has just ended and I am filled with wonderful memories of  dear returnees and newbies playing with the dogs, doing the harnessing dance and gliding down our sweet trails with the biggest smiles.  What a fun winter it was.  And luckily for us…. it’s not over: took out one of my dream teams this morning:  Trondheim and Lemmikki in lead, Emma T. (who really likes to go fast) and Skipper and with a whole winter of conditioning and great trails, they flew.  It was the icing on the cake of winter.  Bobbi also took out her first team on her own and is loving it.   Hope to get quite a few more early morning runs in.


One highlight was celebrating Wintermoon’s 25 anniversary with a group of 7 friends at the Start and Restart of the Iditarod.  It was amazing to be with the best canine and human athletes in the world and to feel part of the Great Race.  The mushers were so open and friendly.  And we were able to be on the “inside” : working with mushers Jan Steeves and Bob Chlupach as handlers and with the Iditarod “pee” team collecting urine samples for drug testing.  Visiting Dee Dee Jonrowe’s kennel was another highlight and it was wonderful to follow her and have her come in 10th place.  Aliy Zirkle held an open house that really gave insight into her kennel and we also met some of her dogs.  What a close finish, again, for her and we congratulate her on a tremendous 2nd place.  The Alaska Native Cultural Center, Iditarod Headquarters, Run with the Reindeer, the Coastal Trail,… so many wonderful things we saw and did.  It was a great group of women wh0 shared this and I thank them.  There will be a presentation on Tales and Tails of the Iditarod by 3 of the Minnesota participants at Heart in the Earth July 12-14 too.


And yes, there will be a 20th Anniversary of Summersun  Heart in the Earth July 12-14 at Wintermoon Summersun.  We have some great speakers and activities lined up with more to come:  Karen Noyce, DNR Bear Researcher, Pam Thompson, medicinal herbs,  Dotty Bacon, acu-pressure, Iditarod Tales…. with kayaking, hiking, canoeing, sauna, massage and more…


The huskies all did great this winter.  Probably most improved is Urho (Finnish for courageous) who really started running in lead and even single lead.  He has matured a lot this past year, maybe because he has a kong which he plays with 24/7.  My take on it is he watched Trondheim play with his kong and learned from him – they both retrieve it and try to catch it in the air.  His sisters Tahti and Mayatuk both did well too altho Mayatuk is a little stubborn with taking the commands.  It has been hard to have some of the elders: Odin, Malcom, Jude, Sparky and Ida really slow down and this might be their last season running.  Wing is retired and has totally taken to being a cabin husky.


At 7 am on the first day of spring, as if to welcome it,  I heard a pack of wolves howl off to the east. I don’t ever remember hearing them  at that time before.   They have been very active and very close lately.  Two trips ago, we were mushing on the Inuit Trail and started seeing little bits of deer fur and blood, then more….  Half way between the Bunk-her trail and the Dogwood, the wolves had killed a deer about 10 feet off the trail and there was nothing left.  It had been in the last 24 hours and we had not heard anything.  There has also been lots of scat on the trails.


It has been fun to have past handlers come for visits.  Cara (from the winter Bear and Oh-too were pups) has been living in N.C. and came up last week and was interested in looking at some land in Brimson.  Jenny (from Raven puppy days) brought her husband and adorable daughter and son up for some mushing.  They live in Mpls.  Alisa is going to school now in the Twin Cities and has a blog: the rooted life.  And Barbara left this week to drive back to Seattle and work again this summer for Washington Trails Association.  We will so miss her great connection with the dogs and hard work.


Handler Bobbi is still here and yesterday we started tapping some maples for syruping.  It has been the requisite cold nights and warm days and so we are hoping we get some sap. We will also be working on the Raventrail as that has lots of maples for us to tap.


We are also starting to plan for Kayak Trips this summer.  If you have a group of 6-9, the place is yours and we can tailor the trip to your needs.  Also many dates where you can sign up as an individual or with a friend.  Give yourself the gift of connecting with the peace of nature and the fun of being on the water kayaking.  No experience is necessary.


Our pair of boreal chickadees are still here and a delight to see.  They have been enjoying eating dog food out of the dog’s buckets.  The pine grosbeaks have left for the season replaced by red polls and finches.  The pine marten is still running around visiting the feeders too.



2 Comments So Far

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  1. Vivian
    April 1, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Each month I enjoy dipping into the world of Wintermoon from the outside with the Full Moon News. I am always grateful to be in the Northwoods for a long weekend each year, but these updates help sustain me. Having visited 3 times now, I feel that I know the environment, the dogs and the wonderfulness of Kathleen pretty well. It is magical. I look forward to my next trip. Having ‘halfway’ conquered the Yukon by driving and handling dogs with a racing musher…so many stories to tell…I already long the inner peace of Wintermoon. Both worlds are amazing and I have learned so much, but something always brings me back to how good I feel when I am with a group at Wintermoon. Thanks Kathleen for everything thing you do to make us better people and for giving us these updates! Viv-Haw

  2. Kathleen
    April 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Thanks Viv-haw and we are grateful for you being part of Wintermoon. Trips are done now so let’s talk about winter adventures.

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