Star, one of my main leaders enjoying the house. She is getting a bit spoiled!
We had a great Christmas this year. We went downstate a couple of weeks ago to visit all my relatives, went to my parent's on Christmas day and went to Larry's family's yesterday. It was so great seeing everyone. Ana had a blast and got a TON of toys!! It took Larry 3 hours this morning to put together her new kitchen that she got from Larry's family. Ana, of course, is playing with the box that the kitchen came in after all that work!
We had a warm spell here last weekend and got a lot of rain that almost ruined our trails. They were pretty icy and we could not run from the yard. We gave them 4 days off after a 31 mile run due to conditions, then last Wednesday trucked them down the road and ran a 15 mile run on the only trail that was still holding up well. It is a very boring, straight snowmobile trail, but that is all we had. We got a couple of inches of snow on Thursday night, and by Friday we could do our long run we had planned for Christmas eve, but had to cancel it because of all the ice. When we left the yard, we had about 2 inches of fresh snow and the conditions were great. Then, it was an all out blizzard! We could not see a thing out there, since we went out at night. I ran 8 dogs and Larry 10. My dad followed us with the snowmachine. He had to lead the way a lot because we had to break a ton of trail. At times we didn't even know where we were or if we were going up or down a hill. The snow was blinding. Then, after about 16 miles Larry had to bag Jersey. She was just tired. At this time, my team was really pulling away from him, we waited a lot. So, we decided that I would go ahead and my dad would stay back with Larry's team since me and my dad know the trail the best. I was rethinking doing the whole 40 a lot since we couldn't see and there was so much new snow. The dogs had to work very hard. When I got off the snowmo trail, there was absolutely NO trail to speak of, so for the next 6.5 miles of HUGE hills I was breaking trail alone. It was pretty desolate where we were, a couple of times Star tried to turn me down the wrong trail. I was thinking there is no way Larry was doing the whole run and he probably turned early to head home, as I didn't see or hear a team behind me in over an hour. It was absolutely brutal out there and I was very much regretting not turning home early. FINALLY, we got off that trail and turned onto the county road to head towards home, only 14 miles left. Then, behind me, here comes Larry! I was so glad to see SOMEONE out there finally!!! He ended up putting Jersey back in the team after about 4 miles of her in the bag, which really helped the team be able to run that difficult trail. We then told my dad he could leave since the run was taking so long. We just followed each other the rest of the way home. We didn't get back in the yard till midnight!! That run took us 6 hours to slog around in all that snow!! We were so tired and more importantly, VERY glad that the run was over. The dogs finished surprisingly strong though, even though most of the run was breaking trail. Next weekend is our first race at Tahquamenon. We will both run the 8 dog, 43 mile class. I can't wait to see how the dogs do. Hopefully, they aren't too flat after running that long run only 8 days before their big day. The weekend after we race White Oak, a 6 dog 60 mile race, so we had to put one long run on them before that race. That is a long way this early in the season. Well, have a wonderful New years!!!