The Tustumena 200
We’re off to the races again this weekend! The crew loaded up the truck and trailer yesterday and began the drive down to Soldotna (located on the Kenai peninsula) for the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race. Husky Homestead will have two teams running in this event!
Jeff has a team of 11: Bailey, Barnum, Burglar, Clipper, Deets, Guilder, Menace, Merlot, Skeeter, Spider, and Vespa. You may recognize some of these names from that all-star Kusko win!
Ellen will be running a team of 12: Ebb, Flow, Kroner, Norton, Rebel, Suspect, Wane, Wax, Yang, Yin, Zag and Zig. Ellen has a couple of well-seasoned leaders on her team, and all eight of our yearling “Opposites”. This will be the longest race that these young Opposites have been on, as well as their first overnight race! We’ll be very excited to see how they do!
The Tustumena 200 will start at 11am on Saturday, February 2nd. If you’d like to listen to the start of the race head on over to their website and click the link on the right hand side of the page… you’ll feel like you’re there!! Of course, YOU will be in the warm comfort of your own home!
The Tustumena will also have trackers for the mushers, so you will be able to follow their progress along the trail. They will provide information on their Facebook page as well as updating the leader board on their website. We will do our best to provide some updates via our Husky Homestead Facebook page as well, however the team is without a handler for this race so our usual insider info may not be as ‘insider’ without someone on the racing end to share it with us. Either way this race has a full field and it’s going to be another fun one to watch!
In other racing news…
Our very own Denali Doubles Sled Dog Race is just around the corner! On February 7th at 5:00pm teams of two mushers and a maximum of 20 dogs per team will depart from Cantwell, AK and run across the Denali Highway to Paxson, AK – and back. This is the 2nd running of our Denali Doubles race and we are very excited to have the opportunity to host teams again – right in our very own backyard.
For a bit more background on the race, let us direct you to a nice write-up that Helen Hegener did for the Alaska Dispatch just a couple of weeks ago! “Denali Doubles Sled Dog Race Returns”
We are very excited to have trackers for this race as well! Yes, that’s right – YOU will be able to follow along as these teams of two mushers travel the highway, vying for a $5,000 first place prize. We do not have a website for the race, so most of our updates will be via our Denali Doubles Facebook page. Carrie will be manning our updates and will be in charge of leader board updates during the race as she will be stationed quite centrally at our Maclaren River Lodge checkpoint. She will be working closely with our crews at Alpine Creek Lodge and Paxson Lodge. It’s a team effort putting these races on!
Jeff will not be running the Denali Doubles race as he’ll be out on a snow machine following the progress of the mushers and keeping an eye on the checkpoints and the trail. Do not fear! We will have a Husky Homestead team in the mix! Dave DeCaro is the defending champion of the Denali Doubles race and he will be driving a team that is sure to be comprised of some our all-stars. Joining him on the trail as Musher #2 for the team will be our very own Ellen Donoghue. Stay tuned for more information on the race in the days to come!
Amidst all of the hoopla that that comes with Tustumena 200 and the Denali Doubles, the crew here at Husky Homestead is busy preparing drop bags for Iditarod. Lots of planning goes into these bags – as well as lots of items! These bags will be prepared for each checkpoint along the Iditarod trail, and will be shipped out to those various checkpoints by the Iditarod. Jeff will fill these with such items as: dog food (meat & kibble), dog jackets, dog booties, extra clothing for himself (dry socks, dry gloves, etc), extra batteries for headlamps, additional runner plastic, as well as food and drinks for himself.
What does Jeff eat on the trail you ask? Well this year our very own Dave DeCaro has been pulling double duty spending some long hours in the kitchen to create some meals for Jeff’s drop bags. Just a few things that Jeff will be eating on the trail this year: breakfast burritos (hash browns, sausage, egg, cheese, salsa), chili verde burritos (shredded pork, rice, black beans, cheese and salsa verde), lasagna, and several other meals that are all individually wrapped and can be reheated in water (or Jeff’s new hot seat!) for a nice hot meal while out on the trail. Burritos are quite popular with us since they are compact and easy to eat without utensils – also easy to eat while wearing mittens or gloves! He will also be supplied with lots of trail mix – one of his faves.
Alright folks! Lots to do here at the Homestead so we better get back at it!
Until next time… Happy Trails!
The HH Crew