Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Blog Site

For Christmas my hubby got me started up on a web page.
So for the last few days I have been working on the site... many hours of frustration with many changes made.

One big change that has come about is the new blog site that came with the web page.
I think I may miss this particular blog site though.. it has many options that I have become comfortable with.
However I seem to do okay with change..... so.... I am going to give it a chance.

Please follow me here at this site not only contains my blog, but photos and video as well.

Thanks to all those that have hung around here.... I do hope to gain a larger audience in the near future as I head off to the Quest adventure as dog handler and then on to gaining support for my own trip to the Yukon and the Percy.

Happy reading and see you at the Outback Huskies web page (gee that sounds pretty cool!).

Monday, December 24, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again

We celebrated Christmas Eve on the 22nd and our Christmas Day yesterday...

It was all the way it was suppose to be minus the Xmas Eve campfire, deciding that -28 was a little too chilly to be sitting outside for any length of time.

Our Christmas morning consisted of running the dogs
And it was a COLD one!

Coming home to bacon, eggs, hash browns and Belgium waffles.... yummy!!

Stockings and exchanging gifts between myself, the hubby and my girl.

After a day of lazing around in Xmas Jammie's we ran up to my sisters for an amazing turkey dinner ending with a extremely fun filled full of laughs evening of games.

Yes it was all how it is suppose to be... yet here I am on the actual Eve of Christmas feeling kinda sad and bummed out, my hubby having left to be with our son, his mom and sister in Toronto for the week.

Silly of me really... am I missing my hubby?  He's only been gone for a couple of hours now.
I AM missing my son?  Big time!!!
I am with my girl, and that's a good thing as it makes me smile inside and out.

AND tomorrow we head into the mountains to go dog sledding for the day!!!!

Yet, still I am a little sad... I miss my two men.... we should all be together on this day...

BUT we do get to head to my favorite place to take the dogs, and this time I get to share it with my girl... I'm very excited about that... the trails all to ourselves!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Greatest Adventure Ever!!!

I have been ever so neglectful of my blog this past little while.

Yeah, a little I suppose.  This time of year always seems to have so much going on.... but I'm up at 4:30 every morning, so that isn't much of an excuse.

Well.. yeah, when you get up at  4:30 every morning that tends to happen... but I'm not tired when I first wake up, so again, no excuse.

Writers Block?
Yes and no.  I have the most amazing news to share, and have had so much going on that I say, shame on me for not getting on here earlier!
My writers block had come from feeling super dis-heartened and feeling myself dropping into depression.    I find that if I don't write about what brings me down either here or on paper I can avoid that deep dark pit.

So I am back... with SO much to tell.

The local race is over and for my little team was a success!
School/work has been amazing as always and we are now on Christmas break.
My family, wonderful as always.
My fur kids have been running beautifully and we are now onto longer runs and working on our haw gee training.

So many stories to share.     
                     And I do want to tell all.    
                                                  But I can't.      
                                                                    Not right now.

A most amazing opportunity knocked on my door this past Wednesday.

No seriously it did actually knock.
Sitting at home playing on my computer, dogs laying at my feet, beside me and behind me on the couch.  Enjoying the quiet and peacefulness of the moment when a knock taps every so lightly on my front door.
A musher friend of mine has come to ask me if I want to go to the Quest.


It turns out that a long distance musher he knows is desperately looking for handlers for the upcoming race this February and that my musher friend had thought of me... did I want to go?
It would mean at least 3 weeks away from home, my dogs and work.


How does one take that much time off of work?

But it's the Quest!  And I've spoken of volunteering for that race... was thinking of 2015 as a matter of fact... and this would be better.. MUCH better... a perfect position to be in for the race.  I would be part of a team racing the Quest!
The more I thought about it the more excited I became.
It was all I could think of.
Thursday morning couldn't come fast enough so that I could get to work and speak to my bosses.

This time of year is nutty at school, it was also our turkey supper which meant feeding over 400 kids and adults.  Finished off with a school dance for the kids.
Yeah.. not a great time to approach someone with a request to take 3 weeks off of work in just over a month.
I had to wait until the next morning to find out if it would be something we could swing... and lucky for me I have the best bosses ever!!!!!

After a couple of phone calls and a wonderful chat with Randy Mackenzie I have joined team Controlled Chaos for the Yukon Quest!

Pinch me!

I will attempt to get a new battery for my lap top so that I may bring it along and blog this terrific adventure.... 
Have you always wanted to know what a handler does in a big race such as this?
You'll hear about it here!

I'll also be updating Randy's site stories and the adventure from the musher himself. .. so make sure that you follow team Controlled Chaos there as well.

And speaking of following... he could always use more support... be it a cheering squad and followers on facebook, and the more word that gets out the better opportunity for the team to gain extra last minute sponsors which are always needed for a huge venture such as this.

Check him out!

I'm serious.. click on the links I've shared here and check him out.

And make sure you follow 'us' (uncontrolled giggle) during the race... the Toughest Race on Earth... The Yukon Quest!!! 

Well y'all I'm off to get my fur kids ready... we are heading out early on the trails this morning to practice our haw gees... All I can think about is this upcoming adventure, but daily life does carry on.

You'll be hearing more from me as I prepare myself for 2 weeks of cold and lack of sleep.. lots of work and many many miles on the road of the Yukon and Alaska  (______________) *insert girly squeal of excitement here*

                  Later all.... I'll leave you with a picture of the day... my handsome boy Rocky.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mushers' Meeting

The first sprint race of the season is here.

Are we ready? 

As ready as we'll ever be.  We don't have as many miles under our paws as I would have liked for this, but ya gotta start somewhere.
I am also not entered in the skijouring class which makes me sad, but I don't have a dog ready to run two 4 miles back to back as would have to happen.... actually I'll be completely honest, I don't think I'm ready to ski the 4 miles myself!

The race this weekend is for bragging rights, a trophy and all for fun. 
I am not in the top 3 for the 4 dog open class that I've entered and although I'm not saying we don't have fast dogs.. we do... but we have a Sibe on our team which slows us down just enough for the other faster Alaskans to rip past us on the trail.
I can't wait to have my two fast babies ski trained to enter the skijour class and see what we can really do... soon enough.

I will admit it publicly... I'm not a huge fan of sprint racing with the sled.
My heart beats a mile a minute.
I get caught up in the rush of getting the dogs hooked up just moments before being called to the starting chute... dogs ramped up and screaming loudly to be let loose.
The take off..... the speed... the feeling of not being in control at all for that brief moment as you find your 'sled legs'
I don't breath up until that point.

The scariest part of today is the fact that we have yet been on our sprint sled this year. In fact the dogs have not trained without any weight in the sled up to this point... which means... we are going to FLY today.
I just hope I can make corners without flipping my weigh nothing sled.

And I do LOVE LOVE the adrenaline rush that is brought on by all this, I just think perhaps it is our lack of experience in racing as a team and having others pass us on the trail that make me feel as if my stomach is in knots.  Well I guess as I stated earlier... ya gotta start somewhere.

So, I've completely gone off topic from what this blog was originally titled.

I may not 'love' the sprinting of the sled but I do love the meeting of the mushers.
My favorite part of the weekend is Friday night.. walking into the room and seeing familiar faces that you have not seen since last year.

The people in this 'world' are the most laid back friendly people I know and I'm always left feeling like we have known each other for years and that no time has passed since we last saw each other.
Everyone is eager to share their tips and tricks and I always walk away having learned something new.

Perhaps all the time we spend hanging out with our fur kids has rubbed off on us somehow... 

.....or maybe we just learn from our dogs better than others.

Well... I'm off to get ready for the races! 

Happy trails everyone!

Monday, December 3, 2012

First Race of the Season

We have been training our small team pulling a toboggan sled with weight in it... weight being of the human form.
Anywhere from 300 pounds (ish) to 400 and running at a lope up to 6 miles at a time.  I was kind of hoping that we would be at 10 miles by now, but that is not the case.

Building muscle and strengthening ankles, wrists, and shoulders is much more important to me than building on anything to do with speed.
Yes it is true that we participate in sprint racing.... but for me [the racing] is all just a small part of attending these events.  It is all about meeting up with experienced mushers and learning from some of the best.

With the races less than a week away I would have liked to have dropped the weight from the sled before pulling out the sprint sled.
With the race so close that particular trail that we had been training on is now closed to public use for the obvious reason of keeping it in race condition for next weekend.
That's okay, I work with a lady who has offered up her land for me to use.  It is part of a larger trail system that a musher friend of mine uses and he has given it up for us to use and even ran over it for us with his snow machine.

It is pretty basic and we have plans to borrow his snow mobile to put in a couple more turns to work on our leaders but for now we are keeping it pretty simple with one exception and that is a sharp right turn away from his land.
It took five times out to practice keeping the dogs from wanting to turn onto his land which we had done in the past... Five times I needed to have someone in the sled with me to help direct these determined pups.
Five times for the light to go on in their heads, "oh, you WANT us to go Gee.. got it!"
We have lots of snow, but at the same do not have lots of snow... not enough for my snow hook to grab on to anything so I could get out on my own and lead the kids in the right direction.

Which meant my dogs didn't have the opportunity to run without any weight in the sled as of yet.

With the count down on now we have very little time to get ready.... and it doesn't help that my sled suffered during yesterdays afternoon run.
 With the dogs pumped and ready to go and AFTER Ray let go of the leaders and AFTER he was thrown off his feet and went flying into the sled and AFTER ramming into the snow hook which was attached to the side of the sled which then slammed into my left leg it was discovered that the sled suffered a broken stanchion.

So, the sprint sled will come out tonight... but this also means the line needs to be changed to a 4 dog and I need to get out with my sprint team...

For this particular race they have set a ruling that says we have to start the 6 dog open with 6 dogs rather than the 5 that the ISDRA allows and that we need to have 2 dogs for the skijour event.
With only 5 in our pack trying to adjust for this has forced us to come up with decisions on who misses out... who would care.... who wouldn't suffer the defeat of not being used.

IF we had more miles under our harnesses this wouldn't be a huge issue as I would use one of the Alaskans twice in one day.  Rigby is probably more than capable, but he has yet been in front of a pair of skis!   He is not a strong leader,,,, yet,,,, so I'm not sure how he would do.

Tonight I shall try him out... who knows... I may be able to enter that class after all.

For now our plan is as follows...

 Elly and Rocky will lead us in the 4 dog open with Rigby and Hubba in wheel.  We have not put those two up front together in a few weeks... but after our run yesterday it is most obvious that Hubba isn't confident without Penny beside him... and although Rocky shows strong leader skills he is a bit of a dork at races when passing happens.  (He hates to be passed)

Penny will not race as she is our diva who doesn't work very hard, but I will still take her out on the skis later on in the afternoon to stretch her legs.,.. however if her and Rigby show promise tonight, then maybe I will just take a chance and enter the 4 mile skijour event.

4 sleeps to registration.
4 sleeps to meeting up with good friends and catching up once again.

See you there!