North Wapiti Siberian
Iditarod 2008 - Tales from the Trail
December 6, 2007
NorthWapiti Teams Have a Super Day with Super
Mark, I and 20 of the dogs had really fun day
yesterday. We loaded up the truck - good experience for rookies,
Bingo, X and Irving who had never been on a truck trip before
-and headed over to Sangudo, home of our newest sponsors - the
Bambers/Royal Elk/SuperDog Pet Treats.
Don and Holly have an incredible piece of land overlooking the
Pembina River valley. Grazing contently down the hill from the
house are 170 or so bull elk that were the start of their Royal
Once we got the dogs all dropped and settled around the dog
truck, Don took us for a tour of their onsite plants that
manufacture their Royal Elk EVA capsules for humans and a
separate plant that makes the Super Dog Pet treats.
It is a really interesting process and Don's passion for his
business shows through in how well organized and sparkling clean
the facilities are!
After our tour and a wonderful lunch of elk hot dogs (yum!), we
hooked up 2 teams and headed off to explore some of the
multitude of trails on the Bamber's huge ranch. Unfortunately
there really wasn't enough snow to be sledding yet - well,
enough to sled, just not enough to STOP. Mark had Don and
Holly's daughter, Shirley riding along so we had someone to help
with the dogs and give directions when we got off the trails we
were supposed to be on!!
About 4 miles into the run we met up at a lovely campground
with Don and his brother, Dave. Dave climbed into my sled for
the next part of the journey.
Now, I don't think Dave would at all mind if I mention that he,
well..let's just say he weighs a bit more then his niece does.
Anyway, off we headed on a beautiful trail that ran along the
banks of the Pembina. The woods were filled with animal tracks
and I even saw a few eagle nests high in the trees. Just
Then we came to a hill that certainly made the dogs earn their
kibble in getting us up it. As is usually the case after you
climb a big hill - the trail started downwards. Shirley
mentioned to Mark that the next hill was 'kinda steep and
rocky'. Well, 'kinda steep and rocky' is not a huge problem IF
you have a fair base of snow - which you might remember me
mentioning - we didn't. Mark made it most of the way down the
hill before losing it. When I crested the hill and saw the
wreckage at the bottom of the hill, it was too late for me to
try and stop my team. We did a semi control free fall down the
top part of the hill and I honestly thought Dave and I were
going to make it without crashing - up to the second we crashed.
We slid to a stop inches from Mark and Shirley. Mark and I
quickly determined that all passengers were okay and began the
careful job of up righting the sleds without losing teams.
Once underway again, Mark questioned Shirley about what was up
head on the trails and we decided that the trails really weren't
safe enough until several more inches of snow fell. We turned
the two teams around, climbed the 'Rock Hill' (boy, once we had
to climb it, it became apparent that it was truly a steep and
rocky hill!!!), and headed back to the house.
Once safely back to the truck, we extracted Dave from my sled
and had a good laugh about the crashes. Dave and Shirley were
great sports about the whole thing. Mark and I were just
grateful that everyone was okay!
We put Mark's team away and turned my crew around so I could
give Holly a short ride. Thankfully, that one was 'incident
The dogs were unharnessed, staked out on the truck and fed
before we headed up to the house for hot chocolate and coffee
before a wonderful dinner.
Mark and I pulled back into our yard about 9 pm. Kathryn had
the rest of the yard taken care of (Sweeet) and pitched in
unloading and feeding the group that we had taken with us, so we
everyone settled and filled with dinner in short time.
It was a long day for sure, but a fun one - and I'm very excited
to head back again and see those trails with just a bit more
snow on them.
Photos of the day can be found at -
Many thanks to Don, Holly, Dave, and Shirley for a terrific day.
We are really thrilled to be associated with folks like the
Bambers and we look forward to a long and successful
relationship between NorthWapiti and Super Dog!!!!
Karen's Diary - Iditarod 2008 Edition
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