Thank you to everyone that made a donation or sponsored dogs for the 2014 Iditarod. All the dogs are currently available to sponsor, dog food can be purchased, and any type of donation is very much appreciated for the 2015 Iditarod. Without your help, we could not make in to the starting line! Please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about being a sponsor.
I am currently signed up for the following races for the 2015 season!
Gin Gin 200 January 2nd Finished 13th out of 39 Teams
Northern Light's 300 January 23rd Knik 200 Postponed to January 31st Tustumena 200 February 7th Iditarod March 7th
Training has been going well. The trails were is good shape but with some warmer weather a few weeks ago and light rain they are very hard packed and icy. I was training with a dogsled but have decided today January 8th to go back on the 4 wheeler as it is safer with a larger team. All the dogs are doing well.
Gin Gin 200 Sled Dog Race Summary
Since the Knik 200 race is postponed till the end of January I had decided to enter the Gin Gin 200 which took place January 2, 2015 at 6:00 pm. This is the 1st race I have ever started at night. I was a little nervous as this was a new race for me and a new trail with some hills. Anna & I each loaded up our own 10 dogs and left on Thursday afternoon to make the drive to Glennallen where we would stay the night before the race. The dogs that made the trip listed from lead to wheel dog were: Yukon, Brown, Canyon, Black, Kodiak, Grizzly, Festus, Goodyear, Mick & McKinley. I chose these 10 as I thought they were ready and my best 10 at the time. It's always hard to pick the ones to take and leave the rest at home. We woke up the next morning and made the drive north to Meier's Lake which is the start of the race. We unloaded our sleds and packed them so we were ready for the race. A Vet check & mandatory equipment check was done on each mushers team. Anna & I feed our dogs and went inside for the musher meeting. I drew number 19 which I was very happy with. Each musher had to carry all the supplies and food for the team as there were no drop bags for this race. I started the race with all the dog coats on the dogs as it was going to be cold. The team looked very good as we caught up to a few teams in front of us. The trail travels on a few lakes, along the road and then we travel on the Denali Highway which is closed during the winter months. The terrain is a lot of rolling hills with a few steep ones. I stopped once and snacked the dogs, once I reached the 5 hour mark (45 miles) of running I decided to stop the team, put down straw and give them an hour rest. I had caught up to Anna which she also had stopped to rest her team. Kristy caught up to us shortly thereafter. The temperatures didn't seem that bad, maybe around 0-10 above with no wind. Several mushers had passed us while we were resting. Once back on the trail, we were all headed to Alpine Lodge which is about 40 more miles on the highway. All of our teams looked great. We had passed several teams that were now snacking there teams. The northern lights were out and a full moon made the view spectacular. There was no use for the headlamp as it was bright enough out. The team and I made it to Alpine Lodge where I parked them, snacked them, put down straw, took off all the booties, got hot waterwhich was supplied by the lodge and fed them a big meal. I walked up to the lodge had a meal then took a nap for about an 1 1/2. I rested he team for 5 hours, I fed the team and got them prepared for the 32 mile loop. It was a clear and sunny day to enjoy the scenery. About 12 miles into my run, we started to see the front teams pass by us head on to the return run to Alpine Lodge. They looked very cold and frosty as they had left before the sun had came up. The team and I had now finished the loop and were back at Alpine Lodge for another 5 hour rest plus the time differential from our starting position. I took care of the team with the usual chores and let them rest. The entire team looked very good and I was happy with there performance at this point in the race. I went back up to the lodge, hung some gear up to dry by the stove, had some soup and took about an hour nap. Alpine Lodge is a very nice place to stay and they have plenty of hot water to fill up your thermos to take with you on the trail. I then started to pack up my sled, feed the dogs and get ready for the final 84 miles back to the finish at Meier's Lake. I was talking to Anna & Kristy and said, I am kinda nervous as I hope the dogs were ready to head back through all the hills that we went through on the way here. They both said you will be fine and that I had a good dog team. We heard that the temperatures were going to be -30 along some parts of the trail so I made sure I was dressed properly. All 10 dogs were ready to go and we left at 6:48pm. The team was really moving and you could feel the temperatures dropping fast as we mushed along the trail. We had passed a few teams and my team was doing very well going up the hills. I stopped several times to snack the dogs and decided that I was going to make our run straight back instead of an hour break like I did on the way there. The moon and northern lights was just amazing! You really have to see it in person as that is the only way to capture the real affect. Again no headlamp was needed as it was so bright out. The trail was a lot faster going back, as it has been traveled over by all the teams. The hills seemed to get taller and that seemed to slow us down a bit, but we keep on moving. Once we were at the top of the this hill on the Denali Highway, it was all down hill trail from here. I took a few pictures of the northern lights while going down the trail hoping that they would turn out so I could share them with everyone. We were now off the Denali Highway and had about 18 miles to the finish. The dogs knew we were going home and picked up speed. I thought I saw a few teams in front of me, but was not sure as I was tired and they also didn't have any headlamps on. Well as we keep on moving, sure enough I saw 3 teams in front of us. It took us some time to catch them, and we had passed one team. The other teams were off the lakes and going through the woods so we could not pass them as it's to tight of an area. We saw the lights of Meier's Lake Lodge and it was a happy feeling to be able to make it without any issues at all with the team. I had finished with all 10 happy, healthy dogs in 13th place out of 39 teams! It was really cold out! I parked the team, gave them a fish snack and started to unhook all the dogs from the sled. Once they were staked out along the truck I prepared them a big hot meal and saw Anna come in shortly behind me in 17th place. We finished up our dog chores, loaded up the dogs and went inside to have a bite to eat as I was not feeling very well. Since I'm diabetic, I need to snack myself along the trail to keep my blood sugar up. This is very important to do but I didn't and my sugar was under 20 which most people would have passed out by now. I am always worried about taking care of the dogs and tend to put myself last, but I learned my lesson this time. I will snack myself when I snack my dogs. With it being cold out, it's very hard to test your blood sugar while moving along the trail as the test meter tends to freeze up. I am very happy with how the team and I performed on our 1st race of the season! All the dogs gave 100% on this race and Brown did an excellent job for her first time in lead on a race. They will have several days off and then we will be back again training for our next race in a few weeks. Thanks to all the volunteers for making this race possible! Hope you enjoyed our story!
On the way to complete the 32 mile loop.
Kodiak in front and Grizzly in back resting at Alpine Lodge
Canyon and Black resting at Alpine Lodge
New liter of pups born December 25 & 26!
On December 25th & 26th Hawk had her 1st liter of pups! She had a total of 9 but the smallest one died several days later as it was not strong enough to make it. The other 8 pups are doing great and there eyes are just starting to open. Yukon is the father of this liter. I have decided to name them after the reindeers as of now.