Better late, than never. However, we only got about an inch or two, but it was enough to let us get on the sleds this past week. Oddly, while the weather changed and brought snow, it seemed to make a radical leap into the cool temperatures. We went from lows in the 30s and 40’s to a week in the minuses. Nothing too severe yet, but we did have one run that got down to minus 13. The dogs loved it, and it really jacked up their metabolism.
This dusting of snow doesn’t offer much in the way of using the brakes of the sled, so team sizes have had to be small, typically 8-10 dogs with a ton if weight in the sled bag, but the dogs seem to be enjoying the transition. We don’t really have enough snow at the house for sleds, so we’ve had to truck the dogs to sue the sleds. In the neighborhood we’re still training on fourwheelers, but going back and fourth between the small teams on a sled and the larger teams on a wheeler has been great cross-training. Also, both offer great control, so we’re no running to swiftly, particularly on downhills, which can lead to early season wrist and shoulder injuries, since their isn’t much snow cushion under the dogs paws.
In order to stretch miles in the neighborhood we have also been running a lot of secret spots, and a few not-so secret spots, but ones that are unusual for this time of year. We’ve been dropping onto several lakes in the interior of Cohoe Loop which we run regularly on sleds, but we’re on them now on the fourwheeler. It’s quite an odd site (I’ll try to get pictures soon), and while we waited for it to be cool enough to attempt, someone else must have been a little less patient, since there are obvious signs of where a fourwheeler had broken through the ice in places. This will be fun to, later in the year on sleds, go over these now frozen-into-place sections. NOT! It’s going to suck hitting the deep ruts on every run.
As far as sponsorship goes, we got another one this week, which makes three in three weeks. In addition to Kassik’s Kenai Brew Stop, and Alaskan Hardgear, this week the contractor who is building our house offered to give us several walls within the home in tongue-and-groove wood as sponsorship. This was a welcome offer, which will make the new house feel even cozier. The building process is almost complete. We had hoped to be in by Thanksgiving, but that may be cutting it too close, but we will defiantly be in by Christmas. After 8 years of lugging around water jugs for ourselves and the dogs, it will be nice to have hot, running water on demand. In the meantime, the dogs have not complained about coming into our current cabin to nap on the couch after a big run.
Also, check back to our blog soon, our kennel has recently grown by one more dog, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise anymore than that. Check later this week for the full story.