On Friday Oct 24 , winter “arrived” with a beautiful eight inch snowfall that immediately changed the season. You could tell the difference in the huskies…. jumping around and playing even more, talking to me, like ‘this is great, let’s go’. And we did but still with the 4 wheeler as it isn’t enough to take out the sleds yet. And it continued… we are well over a foot of snow now, pretty early and so I wonder if it will stay.
Aut-win, as naturalist Larry Weber aptly calls it, is usually filled with dog yard and trail maintenance and sometimes is better suited to drier conditions but we persist. Lots of getting dog houses insulated, repaired, straightened and that is fun as you are working closely with the dogs and they love to help…. sitting in your lap, moving tools and of course cuddling. It’s when we tell each other stories, I tell them of their ancestors who were such good lead dogs, or the time when we were going down Petrell Creek and the ice began to make funny noises, or the whiteout when we couldn’t see two feet in front of us…. and they tell me about really wanting to run with Trondheim, or could they go out again today, that they really liked the new bones and how about going somewhere in the truck. I like trying to think like a dog, feel their feelings and know that we are sharing something we both love.
Recently I was running a team and telling my helper Natalie about the dogs. It just so happened that there was Sulu in lead, he’s from Martin Buser’s bloodlines, 4 time Iditarod winner; then there was Newton, he’s from Lance Mackey bloodlines, 4 time Iditarod winner, then Urho, he’s from Susan Butcher bloodlines, 4 time Iditarod winner and Kesha, Swingley bloodlines, 4 time Iditarod winner. I love my dogs for who they are but it did seem a little impressive where they have come from.
Training and conditioning is going great. All of the dogs seem inspired and are really pulling with gusto. This time of year it is about getting some good miles on, building the muscles and no injuries. The Lemmikki pups are doing well and we are just starting with the Amaroq pups. The star is Osa, a little one year old female who takes after her great aunt Tillie (Craig’s dog) to the point we call her TJ – Tillie Junior. She has the same sweet disposition, loves people and always likes to end up with the belly rub. She is pulling so very well too, very mature and I can see her as a wonderful lead dog like her grandmother Lemmikki and great aunt Tillie (pictured behind her on the gangline).
We had a great Trails weekend and many thanks to Mel, Judy, Mary, Alyssa and Natalie for some great work. We cleared a new section on the Dogwood/Raventrail that David had chainsawed to avoid going over some big ! rocks (kivi country). It will be so much safer and straightens the trail some. We had fun loading the pickup with shavings for putting on the rocks on the trails and getting a nice section of the Grouse nipped. And there was amazing cherry pie from Mary, cherry wine from Alyssa’s dad and of course garlic. Thanks for all the wonderful treats and good company. And it was the premier of the
2018 CALENDAR ! The vet fund benefit calendar is off the press and is so fun with pics of Wintermoon women doing yoga, in the garden, playing with huskies, rolling in the snow, cuddling with the elders, …. they are for sale for $20. + $5. P & H.
The excitement for mushing season is building and there are still a few trips with openings. Perhaps we need a respite in the outdoors with nature as our inspiration even more that ever before. Dogs too are wonderful healers and who couldn’t use a little more love. Our goal isn’t to go farther and faster, but to go with meaning and deeper. Running with huskies is one of the most amazing experiences and we want it to be fun and safe.