The moon was indeed super, closer and brighter, in the sky last night and reflecting off the snow always adds to the magical feeling. It is transition time, days much shorter and nights a lot colder. It does take the body time to adjust but I always feel grateful that I welcome winter.
The huskies are definitely in a different mood than the lazy days of summer. Jumping and eager to be picked to go on the training runs, they are such good examples of loving your work. And such fun to be part of this energy.
Tillie, Qimmiq and Jax are back ! Craig’s super trio have come back up North for the sledding season and are doing great. Jax is 2 months recovered from a successful surgery for bloat. It is a very life threatening condition and he was very lucky to get the care he did from Craig and U of M Emergency Vets.
Besides getting the huskies ready for mushing, we have been working diligently on the trails. It is amazing to be able to have our own private trails and it takes a bit of time to maintain them. The Inuit trail is getting special attention as it has had a bumpy section down in the tamaracks. Lots of logs, boughs and straw are making it into a super highway. But the feeling, with the tall majestic spruce and eastern larches is one of serenity and peacefulness.
We have had over 21 ” of snowfall so far this season, about 4 above normal. It had been quite cold in early November so the ground froze but now we have had some warm days and the snow has settled a bit. It is still white and there are some good predictions for snow this week.
There are still a few openings dogsledding trips this season if you would like to join us for some exhilaration, teamwork, present moment joy, a connection to the past and connection to nature. New Years weekend, January 5-7 & 12-14 and possibly March 16-18 for men and women.
The 2018 Outdoors and Husky Loving Women Calendar is available with fun new photos of friends doing what we love – playing with huskies, yoga, gardening, outhousing, saunaing, rolling in the snow after sauna…. all a benefit for the veterinary fund. $25. includes postage and handling.
It was great to have ’17 winter handler Lynn here for a couple weeks helping out. The dogs love her and she loves the dogs, especially Oh-too who got to come into her cabin every night.
We wish everyone a happy Holidays and more than ever, may it be filled with some peace and joy and hope. If necessary, turn off twitter, find a dog to hug and go outside!
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.
The “PUPS” will be 1 1/2 this month and are still acting like very playful youngsters. They love their loose run and play time and are all getting along very well, a good sign for when they are in the teams this winter. They also go on “harness” walks and all are pulling well – not surprising since Lemmikki, queen of the dogyard, is their grandmother. Sigurd – mr. furrowed brow is still the thoughtful one, Monk – mouthy monkey, Osa – ms. congeniality and rub my tummy, Wing – sensitive onlooker and Susi – like her ‘wolf in Finnish’ name is observant and independent. They are so wonderful, a joy to be around and I am excited to introduce them to mushing this winter. (Not that all my huskies are not wonderful and a joy, they are and a perfect antidote to these crazy times.) There is only one elder who will not be pulling this winter, Lydia, and hopefully she will be the cabin dog. So we will have lots and lots of good energy on the trail this winter.
We have started training with the 4 wheeler and it is going very well. Skipper here is 10 and doing great. I have a number of very experienced 8-11 year old leaders – Trondheim, Lemmikki, Sulu, Tahti, Urho, and they are sharing it with lots of 2-4 year olds. 7 year old leaders Kesha and Sami have been doing fantastic too. There are 18 that are 4 and under and it feels like a lot of wild energy that we hope to channel down the trail; it is looking very good.
There are still openings on trips throughout the winter mushing season and the dates are under Trips: Dogsledding. As our friend Dee Dee Jonrowe says in Iditarod Dreams about mushing: “wow, this is fun, I feel so alive and excited.” I have been rereading her 1995 book because it always inspires me about the upcoming season and also because she just announced the 2018 Iditarod will be her last. She stands as one of the most achieved woman mushers having run over 30 Iditarods, 16 top 10 finishes including 2 second place and 4 fourth place. We wish her the very best.
And Cindy Gallea too, who we hear will be running Iditarod again. Always fun to have a Minnesota woman running the race. More on her story later….
TRAILS WEEKEND OCTOBER 20-22
All are invited to join us for a trail clearing3 on Sunday morning with time to play/run with the huskies and relax too. It is usually nipping the pesky brush that grows up but we might work a little on a new section too. Arrive anytime on Friday or even Saturday morning. And we will be unveiling the 2018 Outdoorsy and Husky Loving Women Calendar, a benefit for the vet fund.
2018 Outdoorsy & Husky Loving Women CALENDAR for sale
It’s a benefit for the vet fund. The practice at Wintermoon is to be a forever home for all of our huskies and it is usually later in life that trips to the vet become more frequent and costly. We appreciate any support towards keeping our huskies healthy. Each month is a tasteful glimpse at life in the Northwoods doing all the things we love, like the one above, playing with huskies. Calendar & shipping/handling : $25. please make payable to Kathleen Anderson – 3388 Petrell Rd – Brimson, MN 55602.
We have 400 acres of forest and quiet here in the Northwoods and I have built 2 cabins that we “share”, If you are interested in either 3 or 6 weeks, let me know. They are private, furnished, maintenance free and a great get-away. Let me know if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org .
It has been a very wet late summer and fall, lots of shoveling gravel in the dog yard, can’t plant garlic yet, luckily no fire danger. We are probably close to 10 inches over normal rainfall. All we can hope is that this trend continues through winter !