North Wapiti Siberian
February 28, 2001
What a difference a few days makes! When I last signed off, on Sunday morning, it was snowing and trail conditions were darn near perfect. At 5am Monday morning it was 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Tuesday morning the temperatures were still as warm and it began raining. At around 4pm yesterday SHEETS of rain were driving against the window. The trail has deteriorated horribly. Word is that the restart of the Race will now be in Willow instead of Wasilla. Feet of warm snow have fallen on the trail around Finger Lake. I’m thinking this will be a year that not a lot of records are broken – but who knows what the Alaskan weather holds in store for us next week.
The weather has changed our running plans somewhat. On Monday, Mark and I each ran a team 40 miles. I had planned on that being our last long run, but still wanted to get the dogs out for a short run on both Tuesday and today. With the weather what it was yesterday, we decided against running and again today, it is far too slippery and icy around here to take the dogs out. The risk of them injuring themselves on the slick trails is too high. So it looks like they are off until the Ceremonial Start on Saturday. That won’t hurt them any, in fact the extra time off might be really good for them. They have a good number of miles on them this season, they are spunky, and strong – all and all ready to go!! I still haven’t narrowed the team down to a final 16. I think I have it down to 17 or 18, but those last cuts are turning out to be some tough decisions! (I will post the line up once I have made the final choices!)
Monday’s run was a good one, despite the fact that I actually got closer to a moose then I ever want to get again. I knew coming around the corner that something was there – I was hoping it was another dog team. It wasn’t. Less then 2-dog lengths in front of Grover and Orion was a big cow moose, luckily she choose to run off into the bush instead of stake her claim on the trail. Phew!
Yesterday we drove up to Talkeetna for the day. Talkeetna is a small town at the base of Denali. The Mountain did not grace us with an appearance, it remained hidden in the clouds, but it was swill a nice visit. We got the chance to visit Dave and Barb Totten’s new Gallery in town and a quick visit out to their new house. I always love the chance to visit with the Tottens and see Dave’s artwork.
Well, today we are washing harnesses, drying sled bags, and organizing all the gear for my sled. Tomorrow is the mandatory Mushers' Meeting and the big Banquet down at the Sullivan Area. I’m going to try to get one or two more posts in before I leave on Sunday. Like last year, Mark will be posting during the actual Race, I think he may even grace us with one or two before that, in the next day or so. Watch for that J.