Saturday, January 30, 2010

Running when it's cold.

Today was cold, it was -12 degrees without the windchill when we left the house this morning. I was wearing so much I could barely move when hooking up the dogs. But with the team I have now I don't have to move much on the sled, just stay warm and upright. I wish I was able to get a picture of the snowmobile tour guide trying to help me zip up my coveralls... and then me trying to put my parka on after that. My camelback hose froze almost before we left the parking lot and that was under my down jacket, coveralls and parka, but I stayed relatively warm for the duration of the run. I was last to leave the parking lot. Stacy left with her 6 dog team, which included my dog Schnee, then we got Heather and her 9 dog team out. It took me a while to get going in all my layers but we caught up to Heather at about Mile 7. Then the two of us caught up to Stacy right before we entered the Little River Campground, we did a nice loop in the campground and stop for lunch before going back up and over the mountain. Carmine the new dog from Christine Richardson is working out great! I included a video that other mushers will probably apprechiate more than others. I have been battling with dogs trying to teach them how to "on the fly poop" and he does it very well! and disregard the musher talking, she was really really cold...

Heather's team ( forgive me if I spell names incorrectly) Maya and Watson in lead then Rein House, Mud, Zukie, Garnet, Smirk and Brewster.

Stacy's team Trapper and Casey in Lead, Fava and Schnee in Team and Marl and Flint in Wheel

My Team! Ellie and Eli in Lead, Carmine and Jersey, and Dubs and Munchkin in wheel.

Schnee enjoying the car ride home

The band of Goobers! Ta DOG!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

at least we don't have to drive anywhere...

So the nearly 2 inches of rain that happened Monday took us back to training with the ATV.... Not the most fun in the world but gets the job done. We checked out some local trails but they were solid sheets of ice and too dangerous! We found about 15 miles of roads with 3 turn arounds. I did run Flash who has been not coughing the last two days, and you can see Schnee's big hairy white butt right in front of the ATV. The new addition Carmine was very curious looking around but his tug was tight and he seemed to like running next to Munchkin! I have been calling around and the only place with any "trails" is Eden Mountain Lodge but it is also 2 hours away. I haven't cleaned my house since December, totally gross! So on the ATV again today. Oh and it is snowing so hopefully this weekend we will be back on the sled!

Monday, January 25, 2010

We always stay so busy!

The dogs have been logging some serious ride time in the truck the last couple of days. Last Thursday we drove up to the Collins Pond area in Hyde Park Vermont. But before we got there... well, we got to Richmond, I realized I forgot the drop chains ( the tethers to keep the dogs attached to the truck before and after the run), so we drove home and then went back out and met up with Barb and Stacy. It was a great run, we did two loops around the ponds doing a few head on passes with Barb, but never saw Stacy. It was a short run, only 13 miles but the terrain is similar to the fun run we went to on Saturday. I brought Stacy's Trapper and Marl with me so we could transport them to the fun run for her. Then Barb and I went to Lunch! After a great Meal at Frida's in Stowe we parked at a nearby park to let the dogs out. I attempted cross country skiing again, failing, i fell 3 times in less than a 1/4 mile stretch...Then we headed over to the Stoweflake to help Rob and gang with tours. We got home late and I was pretty tired, but we got up early the next day to go out running again.

Friday we had a interview for Vermont Sports Magazine and had pictures taken. That was something new for all of us! Dubs is kinda camera angry and kept barking at the camera. Hormones were in the air too, so of course there was a lot of humping going on at the truck which made everyone laugh. Schnee wouldn't leave Flash alone and Jersey was flirting very hard with Marl and Trapper. They got some moving shots of the team and then we were off on a nice 25 mile run. Up one side of the mountain, down the other than back up and down again to our truck. At the 1/2 mark we had a nice "picnic" the dogs had venison, I had beef jerky. the dogs were not really into stopping which was good but I didn't get to the rest of my lunch. They caught their second wind at about mile 18 and then were roaring up the hills! I was very proud of them and Trapper, who despite never gone on such a long run kept up nicely. I got to try out a lot of different leader positions and dog combinations along the way. The weather was great, sunny and in the 20s, and there were few snowmobiles about. When we got home there was lots of playing going on with Trapper and Marl being there and the dogs stayed out until almost 9 at night!

Saturday was a big day too. We got up at 3am, yes 3am! Lee and I met up with everyone in Waterbury and then drove down to Wonalancet, NH. There were about 15 teams that participated in the Wonalancet Fun Run, a benefit for the Patriot Siberian Husky Rescue. We came in 3rd in the 4-6 dog class. I ran Eli and Ellie in Lead, Munchkin in single team, and Jersey and Dubs in Wheel. The dogs loved the trail as it was mostly wooded windy trails that kept them excited. I had some steering issues, I think one runner is tilted funny, which kept me on my toes around all those corners! There were lots of bridges to go over and even a Boy Scout troop sledding on part of the trail! Ellie did not want to go past the bright plastic sleds and giggling kids but Eli true to form pulled her and the rest of the team up the hill past the distractions! Eli is a surprise leader. We got him in May from a true recreational team and he continues to amaze me! He is not very good about turns but he makes up for it in his drive and on-bys! Oh and there were some steep steep hills that just about killed me to run up. ( need to get my running shoes out again!) After the race we celebrated Barb's Birthday at a neat restaurant in Meredith NH and then treked over the Canaan to Christine Richardson's Seal Cove Kennel. We met with Christine to pick up a new , in order to compete in the 30 miler at the 100 mile Wilderness Race we needed one more dog; Flash is still out due to his Chronic Bronchitis. We emailed back and forth and Lee and I decided that her dog Carmine would be a great addition to our team. He was being very shy at her house but is already coming out of his shell 2 days later. He seems to be getting along with everyone just fine so far. After picking him up we finally started our journey home. Lee and I were so exhausted we went straight to bed after unpacking gear and feeding dogs. Thursday to Saturday we were in the car for over 400 miles and the dogs ran about 50! I can't wait for tomorrow to try out Carmine, hopefully we get more snow than rain tonight and I don't have to get the ATV out! Till next time. - Elizabeth

Monday, January 18, 2010

Starting Out with Ta Dog!

Ta Dog! Racing Huskies

Life is about to get even busier than ever, we are going to our first dog mushing event of the year on Saturday. The Wonalancet Fun Run. We are signed up for 4 other events, big and small. This blog will serve as a communicator for all my supportive friends and family to track how we are doing.

Since October the dogs and I have been increasingly busy training, we have already done a few 25 mile runs and plan on many more in the coming weeks. The 400th training mile has come and gone in a flash. Last year we only had about 250 miles at this time of year.

We added a great dog named Eli to the team last May and Schnee has "retired" from my team and is now running with friends when we can get her out there. She has become a professional snuggler instead of speedy race dog, celebrating her 10th birthday just a few weeks ago. The puppies are now two and in strong adult bodies. Ellie is quickly becoming a great command leader. Munchkin got HUGE and is a big force on the team. Flash was diagnosed with Canine Chronic Bronchitis but with drugs and running he is doing great. Dubs is not showing sign of aging and is ripped like usual and Jersey is just a hard pulling goober.

We are looking forward to continued racing success. Our plans for this year include the 30miler at the 100 Mile Wilderness Race in Greenville, ME, Sandwich Notch 20miler in NH, Stratford Nighthawk race in Stratford NH, the 15/15 category, and we are still waiting for a slot at the CanAm for the 30miler in Fort Kent, ME.