Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Iditarod Picnic and File's First Run

On June 28th, Bonnie and I decided to head to Wasilla's Iditarod Headquarters to be present at the 2009 Iditarod signup. It was a nice day, if not a little bit on the cool side. There was to be an ITC Board of Directors meeting earlier in the day and a picnic beginning at 12. I think we showed up around 10:00. I didn't get to take any photos because my camera battery decided to die...but Bonnie snapped one of me holding a stuffed husky and the 2008 Iditarod book in front of the Iditarod sign.

We did get to visit with several familiar mushers while at the meeting -- Ed Stielstra was up from Michigan to sign up yet again. His new handler Tim Riley also accompanied him and will be running his puppy team. Keep an eye out for both of these guys. I became a huge Stielstra fan after meeting Ed last year at Bonnie's open house. You couldn't encounter a more down-to-earth, laid back guy with a great sense of humor!

I also had a while to chat with Becca Moore, Ramey Smyth's significant other. I had never met Becca before but I have been an admirer since she signed up for the Yukon Quest last year. Talk about nice -- Becca is also super-friendly! And a real knockout, too. We need more pretty girl mushers :)

Well enough about that. Last weekend (July 5th) we decided to finally take the puppies out for their first fun free-run of the season. This meant that we'd be on the ATV and the pups would be running with us loose. The first run consisted of "my" group -- Clover, Balu and File', doing the 2 mile loop. I was going to be riding ahead of my dogs on the ATV and Bonnie and Jim would be bringing up the rear to catch any stragglers. Needless to say, Miss Clover knew exactly what was going on and as soon as I cranked up the ATV and headed for the trail, she was off like a shot, running flat out. It was all I could do to keep up with her! She was running 20 mph for about a mile and a half...and so was Balu and so was File! This just blew me away. File' has never run in her life, and here she is running 20 mph for nearly 2 miles. She did slow down toward the end and take a few breaks, but she'd get mad that she was getting left behind and would shift back into a gallop after a few strides trotting. I could be wrong, but I think this gal has the makings of a leader...she seriously wanted to be in the front.

Bonnie and Jim ran their puppies, Tasso and Boudreaux, as well as their mother DeeDee and their gay uncle, Nero :) This was a bit funny. The puppies were all over the trail, harrassing each-other to no end. DeeDee wasn't interested in running that fast, and Nero got separated from them and ended up being the only dog running behind their ATV. I followed Nero, who jogged down the trail at his own speed. We coined a new name for him -- The Cuban Caboose -- because Nero has a huge butt and it was the funniest thing watching him sashay!

We should be heading out for another run soon. This time I might venture to try Zed and Calvin......and that may or may not be a recipe for disaster. Wish me luck!


Elizabeth said...

Pretty impressive, it sounds like fun for everyone! I don't think Barley would make it a mile and a half :)

Dog_And_Sled said...

What a fun time!

I know how it is about cameras, they always choose to go dead right when you need them. LOL Sounds like you had a good time at the sign-up anyway.

Fun pictures, the pups look VERY happy!


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