A great start to 2017!!! Our order of gear from ManMat has arrived, and our checkpoint sponsor list is starting to fill! We are super grateful for both! The house project is moving alone nicely. And Victoria is running her own teams. The race dogs are rocking the trail, and shaping up to be a super fun team.
SO there is lots of progress happening, and the work continues as we move forward to what we hope will be a fun adventure on the Iditarod trail this march.
In addition to this years ManMat order of harnesses and collars for the team, we also got great coats for Opal and Jasper. Not a minute too soon, since they came right as Fairbanks was experiencing a bit of a cold snap (-22 F, not horrible, but definitely cold). Jasper and Opal coated up and enjoyed some quality outside play time, wearing the same high quality coats we have for camping with the sled dogs at extreme temperatures. Jasper really enjoys his free time playing with the big dogs, but of course we have to be very careful with him in cold temps.
With his new coat he can go out for short romps and still be warm, something he really appreciates. Mush Thanks to our friends at ManMat!
Also huge thanks to the new and returning Dew Claw sponsors!!! Jay Cable, Deb & Hunter Davis, Marlys Sauer, Sandi & Dave Kaduce, and Pendra King. The generous support of folks like them means the world to us. Many of you know about our Checkpoint Sponsor Program, it is how we raise the funds to fill our drop bags for the race and ship them to the checkpoints along the trail. Drop bags are an absolutely critical part of the race, and this program makes it possible for us to ensure that our dogs have everything they need on the trail. So a special thanks goes out to our Checkpoint Sponsors! (you can learn more about joining them by sponsoring a checkpoint here)
Super Happy to report on the amazing progress Victoria is making in her mushing career. What began as a difficult season, with no to low snow, has taken a turn for the better with fresh snow on the trails and everyone on sleds. Victoria is a quick study, and is now confidently taking teams out on training runs by herself. Her help and hard work is certainly making life better here at Dew Claw. Check out these photos I snapped as she came back from one of her recent training runs. Jasper was outside playing and ran up the trail to meet her and chase the team back into the yard.
*Side note – I am usually more helpful then just sitting there taking photos, but it was such a beautiful day I could not resist the chance to take some great shots of her in action.
On the home front Dan has been super busy. The drywall is up now and it is really starting to look like a house. Of course there is still a ton of work to be done before it will be ready to live in, but being able to see the actual walls, not just the framework, makes it all seem more solid and real.
The design is prefect for us. A large mud room is the first thing you come into, with a utility sink for easy access to dog water and a nice place to shed your outside gear and boots. The living room will be cozy with the woodstove right there. Upstairs is a beautiful open area with a outside porch and a view up the Chatanika valley. And off the bedroom is a small bathroom, and a walk in closet. Who wouldn’t love that. As I said earlier we will not be moving in until after Iditarod, since my focus right now is on the dogs. But even with the date so far off I am still very much looking forward to our new home.
So that’s an overview of the progress that we have been making as we start 2017. Wishing all our friends a great year, full of enough adventure to be interesting, challenges to keep you on you toes, friends to share the good and bad times with, good coffee, good food, laughter. and love.