Quest, Dogsledding, Musher race history, Dog Sled Race
I've just come back from a month on the road and it's time to give you an update of what happened. (Actually I am just doing this to have an excuse to not do my taxes! :-)
We (22 dogs, my handler Sandro and myself) left Whitehorse early on January 1, with the goal to run Knik 200, Klondike 300, and spend two weeks in between in Sheep Mountain, where we prepared the Iditarod food drop. Here a view of the Matanuska Glacier as we drove by.
The Knik 200 had hard fast trails, I placed
8th (like last year) and Sandro 15th. All dogs mastered the race well, but
did not have the speed that some of the front runners displayed. The dogs
seem pretty set on Iditarod speed already, which is a good sign. Like last
year we enjoyed the hospitality of Gene and Lynn Smith where we got
spoiled with our own dog yard, and gallons of cowboy coffee every morning!
The picture above was taken at the start of the Klondike 300 two weeks
after the Knik. All dogs are still in the trucks, the silent before the
The first teams are starting to move to the
start line in the Klondike 300. Over 3 feet of fresh snow in some areas we
passed through made for a tough race, but as we started with 16 dogs it
was good going. I placed 5th after a tight race with the other front
runners Matt Hayashida, Ken Anderson, Cim Smyth, Ray Redington Jr. and
Jessie Royer. Five of us rolled into the last checkpoint like a freight
train within one minute. Matt was over an hour ahead, but did get caught
up by Cim towards the end. Again we did not match the speed of the guys
ahead of us, but it seems like the team is very solid for Iditarod.
At Sheep Mountain we set up our temporary dog yard and did a few training runs. Dee Larson rented us her homestead just like she'd done last year. It is a great set up for training and the "necessary evil" that comes with long-distance mushing: Food drops.
One full day we spent at the band saw cutting all sorts of meat: horse, beef, tripe, poultry skin, salmon, and beaver. We brought my bandsaw over from Canada. Have bandsaw - will travel!
We took a day off and drove over to the Glennallen area to watch the Copper Basin 300 and meet friends there. Here is Sebastian going through the Tolsona checkpoint in his usual fashion: His butt firmly pressed down on his seat.
There's more than just dog food. All sorts
of goodies were packed for myself for each checkpoint.
Sandro kept a good mood through the whole
process. Here he is bagging dried fruit.
Done! All bags are filled with dog food,
musher food and gear, lined up and ready to be closed.
On our way home we made a detour through Glennallen and Paxson and went up to Fairbanks, where we delivered the food drops to Scott at 49er Feeds. He will store them and deliver them to Iditarod in February. After a 13 hour drive through blowing snow and snowdrifts we arrived home to find everything in perfect order, thanks to my other handler Kyla. The temperatures dropped to 51 below Celsius (-60 Fahrenheit) the first night at home, so now I really have nothing else to do than taxes! We'll spend February at home, except for a quick trip to Fairbanks to get the bloodwork done on my dogs as required by Iditarod. In late February we are going back to Knik and on March 1 we'll start the Iditarod, 1000 miles from Anchorage to Nome
WELCOME HOME! (This is the thermometer on my truck. Note that the hand got to this point in a COUNTERclockwise motion! It certainly was not 50some above when this was taken.)