Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The 2016 Racing Season is starting

I really cringe at the thought but it is looking more and more like my prediction last year during the Iditarod about Fairbanks starts becoming the rule rather than the exception may be coming to pass.  I was shivering in New Mexico today and looked at weather.com where Anchorage and Fairbanks are among the ten places I check on every day. OMG!

Here in Alamogordo we was sitting at about 35 degrees and it was snizzling--a mix of snow and drizzle. In Anchorage, it was 50 degrees with rain. Fairbanks was down in the 20s as I recall. Unless January and February are about the snowiest on record, there is not going to be much if any white stuff down in the southern Prince Albert Sound area. So it is likely they will have the ceremonial start in Anchorage on March 5 and then everyone treks some 300+ miles north to start for real in Fairbanks on the 7th. If so, I hope the Yukon isn't quite as cold as last year. Temps of -50 to -60 are brutal for all concerned.

However Fairbanks has been getting snow and is mostly fairly cold--maybe not up to the ideal or typical but enough snow to train on and enough for the Two Rivers Mushers' to run their annual solstice fifty miler on December 19. Now according to their blog, Aliy and Allen are out running a longer practice trail with their dogs, an over-nighter.  The key 300 mile races will be happening soon, most in January. They are the qualifiers for the big ones and important if not as famous or quite as taxing as the 1000 milers. I will get some URLs for their various websites and Facebook pages for anyone who wants to follow them as I do.

FYI, a few of the shorter races are scheduled as follows:

     The Knik 200--in Knik, AK  (worry about snow since it is not that far north)
       begins on January 2
     The Copper Basin 300 starts on January 9 in Glenellen, AK
     The Kuskowim 300 starts on January 15 in Bethel, AK
     The Seney 300 starts on January 16 in McMillan, MI
     The Two Rivers 200 starts on January 22 in Chatanika, AK
     The Southern Lights 300 also starts on January 22 in Big Lake, AK
     The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon starts January 31 in Duluth, MN

     The Yukon Quest and Yukon Qiest 300 both start on February 6 in
           Fairbanks, AK
      The Junior Iditarod starts on February 27 at Willow, AK (will move to                       Denali if inadequate snow
      Several other lower 48 races also take place in February

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ginger--my special Husky Girl

Most of you know how I "met" the only girl pup in the one 2014 SPK litter when I visited with Aliy and Allen in August of 2014. I will never forget when Aliy picked up one of the five puppies in the pen with their mama, Chica, and said, "This is Ginger." Of  course Aliy with her wonderful trademark smile!

Ginger, Aug 10, 2014
From that instant on, this little Husky has been special to me. We have told the SPK folks how their Ginger has a fairy dogmother in New Mexico. Of course these five pups are all special as they survived the tragic loss of several of their siblings to a peculiar sickness very early in life. I call them The Surfivers. Ginger even had a health crisis of her own last spring with a looped intestine issue but has pulled through and is going great guns!

Ginger now
The other day when I watched the video that gave me the first look at Ginger in harness and running down the snowy trail being a real sled dog, although of course still in training,  I was teary-eyed with delight and pride. l'd be her sponsor if I could but that was not possible so I am a "fan" and signed up as early last fall and again this season as I could. I have several favorites in the SP crew but this girl will be the top of my list as long as she is alive and part of the pack.

New Mexico Ginger in the
"desert snow" at White Sands

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cold Weather in Fairbanks and Pups at SPK

It's been real cold recently in Fairbanks and chilly in Anchorage but I am not sure about the snow. I hope they are getting some. This being an El Nino year worries me as that often spells dry up north. I wonder if there is some kind of a snow dance?? If I can find one I will sure try it!!

Both the 2015 litters at Sp Kennel are doing great. There are official portraits of all of them now--a baker's dozen of beautiful little future champs and winners. You can find the pictures at http://spkenneldoglog.blogspot.com/  The cyber puppy breath is sure special and those little faces are just heart warmers. I have my faves of each litter and will be getting on their fan lists as soon as they come up. Quito and Olivia really did the kennel proud this time around.

Not a lot of news on the Surfivers lately but I am sure they are all training and we may see some of them on at least the shorter races this spring if not on Allen's Black training team during the Iditarod. It is going to be a challenge but I am still planning to be there if at all possible. I have almost three months to get ready, raise more funds and stock up on cold weather gear.  Please at least say a prayer or two for me! Nothing of value is ever easy so this must be pretty special as it is challenging me at every checkpoint.