First lets address the obvious question… “where has Jodi been?” Like everything in my life there is no simple or short answer, but I will try.
First, we are smack dab in the middle of training season = Crazy busy. Long training runs and lots of race preparations mean we are always on the go. But lets be honest, that is really no excuse for leaving all our friends and supporters in the dark for so long. Which leads to…
Second, technology hates me!!! OK maybe it isn’t personal, but sometimes it sure feel like it is. Our blog, where I try to share our dog filled life, got hacked. So if you were here and it appeared that Dew Claw Kennel was selling Viagra; we are not! I was pretty nervous about the situation, having never been hacked before. And kinda stepped back and didn’t touch the blog or website at all until I could get some hands on help from my favorite Technical Wizard (which I learned from Google Harry Potter fans know is really a witch, but with so many unfair negative connotations I am going to stick with Wizard to describe her) Chris Waigl. Can not thank her enough for taking the time to not only fix the issue, but to explain things in a way that even I could understand and feel comfortable with.
Having dealt with the whole Viagra hack issue I left home for a amazing 4 day training trip on the Denali Highway with my awesome friend TC Wait. How lucky am I to have a friend like her. A musher in her own right, whom I trust enough to run our race team, and willing to make time in her busy life in order to help me meet my training goals.
*She did a nice blog about the trip
*and I managed to post some photos when we got back. Notice I said managed, more on that in a moment. Check out the Denali Highway pictures here
SO I get back after an awesome trip all ready to blog about it and… Not Happening. No reliable internet service, or phone service for that matter. Starting Dec 30th we were without connections out here till Jan 9th. OK once in a while if I said the magic word, reset all my hardware, and danced around the desk chair 3 times backwards I might get online and be able to read one page, and we could still get an incoming call once in a blue moon. But basically we were in a dead space of communication. We even made the local paper (who failed to state that service was out since Tues Dec 30th, but they got the Tues part right). Made the 80+ mile round trip to town twice during the connection blackout to check in and make sure important emails were being handled. But basically I was out of touch. And let’s touch back on the first point, I was still crazy busy training dogs.
But I am Back!!! With good news to share!!!
Our sponsors list is growing slowly and surely*. Mush Thanks to returning Team Dew Claw members Doris & Myron Kaduce and Pendra King! Also good friends Dave Smith and Marlys Sauer teamed up to sponsor the White Mountain checkpoint. They reminded me that it is good for people to know that groups, businesses, clubs, or friends can collectively sponsor a checkpoint. The Checkpoint Sponsorship program is a major part of our fundraising, and just like the actual race we get the team to Nome one checkpoint at a time. There are still checkpoints available if you would like to be a part of our team as we travel the trail – learn more here.
For folks who follow me on Facebook may remember a post last month where on one extended training trip I managed to destroy not only my parka, but my pants and NEOS as well. Very happy to report that gear is being replaced. And a huge thanks goes to NEOS Overshoes for their continued support. As well as our Fairbanks locally owned Apocalypse Design, they are amazing. The owner saw my post on FB and commented right away that I should come into the store so they cold fix me up. Thanks to Apocalypse I will be sporting a new pair of insulated snow pants, and with someone working overtime to fit my custom order into their very full schedule I will have them in time for races!! I am beyond grateful, and since I have counted on my Apocalypse snow pants for years to keep me warm and comfortable in the most extreme conditions I think it is safe to say they are literally saving my butt. Seriously, if you want real Alaskan gear trust Alaskan made Apocalypse Design.
With the help of friends Erin Trochim & Stacey Mcgrew I am getting LOTS of kennel projects done. Nothing more satisfying then getting to cross things off the endless “to do” list: making new gear, prepping things for drop bags, making dog treats, everything is more fun with good friends. And I am pretty lucky to have some of the best!
Speaking of great friends, need to give a huge THANKS to Mary Knight, who spent a great deal of time up here this fall helping me train. Hours of truck training, loading and unloading dogs, feeding, shoveling, you name it; she was good to go and happy to help. I am just glad that before she had to go back to the lower 48 we got enough snow that she could enjoy some fun runs on a sled with the Dew Claw dogs. Cause lets face it, we made it work, and did a good job conditioning the dogs in spite of the lack of snow early on. But truck training is just NOT as fun as a day on sleds.
*since the blog hack I am taking steps to ensure more security for our website. And that is taking longer then I had hoped, so please bear with me while I work on getting all these new sponsors listed on the Dew Claw Sponsor page.
As always there is more work to be done, and races to be run. Will be posting information on upcoming events as well as our annual “Kennel Wish List” for folks who want to help make sure we have everything we need for Iditarod Drop bags. But for my first post after a long, long, frustrating, unplanned absence I really wanted to focus on THANKING all the wonderful people who are a part of Team Dew Claw.