Woo-hoo! Snow has arrived! Just in time for Husky Homestead’s first scheduled race of the season! Today, amidst heavy snowfall, we are all madly scurrying to prepare for an early morning departure tomorrow for the Alaska Excursions race. We will be en route south of us to Big Lake for the two day 84 mile race. The lack of snow earlier in the season has not hampered any training for us as we have trained on the Denali Hwy with the truck for hundreds and hundreds of miles. The last couple of weeks we mixed things up and trucked the dogs north to the famous Stampede Trail, mushing the dogs to within miles of the famous bus that was the last address for Chris McCandless of “Into the Wild”.
We were not alone on Stampede Trail… in fact we saw several teams including Lance Mackey and Co., Brent Sass, Mike Santos & Co., Kristin Pace & Jason Reppert. We even saw the National Park Service patrolling the boundary on their snowmobiles. Hmmm…. There’s a subject I could go on and on about. But alas, I shall not digress….
So, we’ve got quite the line up for the race teams that are heading south! Both Ellen Donoghue and I will be running teams for the Excursions race. Dave and Carrie will stay in Denali to care for the rest of the HH crew, as well as a few house dogs (Salem’s staying home this time… enjoying the comforts of his plush doggie bed) that we’ll leave behind. The race will begin and end at Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel in Big Lake. Seven of Ellen’s 12 dog team are littermates sired by her dog Cael and Husky Homestead’s super star Skeeter. The last of the eight dog litter will be in my team – Ebb. It’s going to be really fun to see these dogs get excited about their first race!
Lots of veterans will be making the trek south as well, one of which is this week’s super star! Four year old “Rebel” will be the cornerstone leader in Ellen’s team this weekend. She is 45 pounds of exuberance, very intelligent and full of pizzazz.
Second only to training dogs, my passion for designing equipment has been taking up a lot of my time – and I love it! My newest sled design is well under construction… deep in the confines of the Bat Cave of course! We are thrilled to have recruited master sled builder Dan Schlosser of Sled Dog Systems and his family into the folds of our highly secret covert design. They have all vowed to secrecy so don’t even try to ask them! Haha! We do have every intention of unveiling the new sled for its maiden voyage at the Top of the World 350 race just after Christmas – so stay tuned!
That’s all for now folks! Snows piling up and we’ve still got packing to do! Until next time, stay warm and enjoy the snow!
Jeff & team