There are some runs that are less about the miles, and more about the real training. About turning away from the groomed trail, and taking the windy side trail, following the track of a single snowmobile. About taking different turns and switching around routes to make something new. About working with emerging leaders, and the steadiness of the entire team. .
Today was one of those days.
A true training day.
Ellie and House in lead.
Wembley, the hunter of the kitchen.
A few miles in, when I started seeing the water ice, I thought ‘maybe this wasn’t such a good idea to head out on a twisty trail with steep downhills with a 14 dog team.’ But. It was fine.
It was more than fine.
It was spectacular. ❤️
Ariel and Ellie, lead dog superstars. Both of them have come into their own this year, and have led the past few runs together and will be doing so again today. It takes patience and trust to train these lead dogs, especially with teaching commands. These two are learning how to be a steering wheel!
I call this one ‘scenes from the end of a training run.’ All 14 dogs. Loose.
Happy Friday everyone!!
It was dark as I set up the team, quiet. The sun chased us throughout the run, rising in pink and yellow and gold for hours. Snow flurries. Fast trails. Perfect winter morning.
In the words of Fela Kuti: ‘Let’s start what we have come into the room to do.’
The countdown is ON! Just about five more weeks until the UP200!
The most recent newsletter from the UP Sled Dog Association popped into my inbox, and whoop, there was House and Hyside! And a brief bio cribbed from my signup form.
This race will be extraordinary, for the smooth magic carpet ride of a trail, for the celebratory high-energy of the Friday Night downtown start, and especially because of the high-caliber mushers who are also on the race trail. Almost 20 teams have signed up, making it the biggest field of teams we'll race in all season.
For more info, and to get familiar with the race, learn more at www.up200.org.
Selected images provided by Bruce Luetters, Copyright 3Sixty and by Lauren Dobish, Copyright Lauren Dobish Photography. Drawings and sketches copyright by Chris Garby, Cooper Hill Axe Works. All other content copyright of Sally Manikian, not reproducible without permission.