Sunday, December 30, 2007

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!!!Ana opening presents on Christmas day.

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!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas is Coming!!! Ana and Santa at my sister's house. She wasn't all that excited to meet Santa. She said "I don't like him" and wouldn't sit on his lap. Oh well, she still got her present.
Ana in my new sled. Her dogs "mama Tefa", "Baby Tefa" and "Barney" are in the pocket behind her.

Well, we've been busy, busy, busy!!! December is crunch time at Coyote Run Kennel. Not only do we have multiple Christmas's and gifts to buy etc. etc., but dog training is at it's peak. Our trails couldn't be more perfect. I just can't believe we have all this wonderful snow. I'm still waiting for it all to go away, it is too good to be true!! The dogs are looking great and are running hard. I am running 10 in my team: Otter, Star, Duelly, Cowboy, Cowgirl, Odessa, Zoey, Fender (yearling), Jackson (yearling) & Eddie (yearling). Larry's team is: Windows, Tefa, & Lilly as veterans and the rest are yearlings: Tak, Peavey, Gibson, Boston, Jersey & Memphis. All the dogs have 450+ miles, mine closer to 500. We have done four 20+ mile runs also. One of my best runs was 23.4 miles and we averaged 13.24 mph. That was with 9 stops, so I wonder how much faster we could have ran with less stops. Last week we ran 15.6 miles and the B team beat me!!! Larry's team averaged 14.62 and mine averaged 13.56. I had some leader issues though. Oh well, Larry was pretty proud that his team kicked my butt! The dogs are really looking nice. Our first race, Tahquamenon, is on January 5th, so that is not very far away. We will go 30 miles this weekend and again the day after Christmas, then it is shorter fun runs till the race. Next race after that is White Oak Classic in Deer River, MN. It is a 6 dog 60 mile race. It is the A team's off day today, but the B team will do a 24.5 mile run that I did last night. So, lots to do still today. Happy Holidays and enjoy all this marvelous snow!!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

More Snow!!!Otter & Star
Sunday night we got dumped on again. We have close to 2 feet of snow, great for cushioning the trails. It has been a bear breaking trail though. On Monday I got the snowmachine stuck 3 times breaking out a new trail only 2 miles long!! I am not a very good snowmachine driver! We are making a new trail that allows us to turn out of the driveway and run down our road (which is plowed) and run straight into our trail that will connect us with all our other trails. Every other year we had to run down our plowed road and make a sharp right turn. Well, I've lost a few teams doing this as they get going very fast on the plowed road before making the turn. It is very difficult!! The new trail will hopefully get better as it gets packed down. It is pretty slow going for the first 3 miles, plus the dogs have to learn NOT to go on our usual route we take when we sled down to the end of the road. This can be very difficult training dogs not to run a particular trail we've been running for 8 seasons. Windows was determined to turn Larry's team down the old trail a couple of days ago. Poor little Tefa wanted to listen, but just isn't big enough to turn her the right way. Ana and I were on the snowmachine infront of Larry and constantly had to stop and turn the leaders the correct way. It took FOREVER!!! I actually can't wait for the flatlanders to come up and groom our trails with their snowmachines this weekend! That is a lot of work!!! We usually never have to groom much of our trails, but this year I think many are not traveling due to the high gas prices. Both teams have a 20 mile run under us now and we will go another 20-25 tomarrow. Both teams averaged just over 11 mph on the run, which isn't fast, but pretty good considering 8 miles of trail was very soft and newly broken out with the snowmacine. Well, enjoy all the wonderful snow this weekend, I know we will be!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

snow!!!!!!!! Larry with Cowgirl & Tefa

Larry's team

We now have two sled runs on the dogs. We ran two 6 dog teams on Saturday to get our "sled legs" for the season. It was so fun! We just ran a short fun run, 8 miles. My 6 dog team did the run in 28 minutes, averaging 17.14 mph!! That was with two short stops and going up the huge hill and the big hill. We went up the big hill at 11 mph. The dogs were cruisin'! Saturday night we got a huge snow storm that dropped an additional 10" of wet dense snow that had a crust on top from the freezing drizzle. On Sunday we were to run 14-17 miles with two teams. My dad broke trail with the snowmachine and I took out 8 dogs and Larry took 10. We were swimming in snow! My leaders kept pushing against each other so each one could run on the newly broken trail. It was very difficult going and we had to stop for numerous tangles. Needless to say, we shortened our runs and ran the 8 mile trail. I was exhausted from all the slauging around in the snow on the trail to fix tangles. There was NO trail out there to speak of except for the one snowmachine track my dad had made. So, today is an off day for the dogs and we will break out our trails for tomarrow's run. Tomarrow we will hopefully do our 17 mile run. Saturday will be longer at 25 miles. We are getting even more snow today and the rest of the week- yes!!!!!!!!!