Saturday, December 12, 2009

Long Dry Summer spent healing ...on to race season!

We returned to the trail by mid July!! I have been seriously following my 15 point checklist and as a result i am enjoying my health and good mushing too!!! The 9 mile loop in my neighborhood with nearly 1000 feet of climbing has become an EZ 1.5 hour Sunday cruise. My dogs are pumped and real strong right now. I am here, back on the blogosphere, after an extended sojourn onto FaceBook, too much commuting and parttime wrrk. Not to mention the serious PTSD after my computer crash of winter '09. FINALLY, i have photoshop and my camera software downloaded and functioning on my 'new'er computer!! So, Fingers crossed, i upload, download and freeload!! Love u, love yer dog!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

DryLand Musher's Pre-Ride Checklist.

Pre-Ride Checklist
15 EZ TIPS for a Safe Dog-Powered Experience
  1. Dog Health OK?? Do Not Run Against Vet Orders. Recommended rest times after injury, or illness in the dogs, should be fully observed.
  2. Musher Health OK?? Lack of Sleep or Pre-Existing Injury Precludes Run.
  3. Bike Check OK?? Weak/Failing brakes, or any other Mechanical Problems Precludes Run.
  4. Safety Equipment?? This includes: Helmet, Gloves, Eye Protection, and preferably Long Pants, and Long Sleeved Shirt. A Long (10'+) Tow Line is also Recommended. Missing gear? No Ride.
  5. Obedience/Command Training UTD?? Review Mushing Commands Frequently; your life depends on them obeying you.
  6. First 1/4 Mile PLAN: Make One. The Basic Rules Include: Heading Up Hill at start of run, or Running a Flat/Grassy/Sandy Terrain at first, also, Few to No Commands should be required the first 1/4 mile.
  7. Avoid Loose Gravel and Steep Descents.
  8. Consider the # of days Since Last Run when making First 1/4 mile Plan. Long periods of rest generally produce more pumped up pups.
  9. Calender Check! No runs on Days of Significant Celebrations where your Attendance will be Required.
  10. Prepare Yourself: THINK! Visualize Teamwork and Remain Aware of Hazards.
  11. Spiritual Health OK?? Pray for Protection. Invite a Gentle and Cooperative Spirit into Dogs, and Strength and Awareness into Musher. Focus. Breath. Make room for Guardian Angels.
  12. Walk ALL Dangerous Stretches. These Include: Steep Descents; New or Unfamiliar Terrain;Loose Gravel; Through Gates/Fences; Difficult Turns; and Past all Hazards, like Other Dogs or People.
  13. Learn To Fall. Generally, it involves Tuck and Roll.
  14. Do Not Hitch up More Dogs to your Bike or Scooter than You Can Safely Control.
  15. Put YOURSELF First. Remember, as soon as the dogs stop panting, they will look for their next big adventure. So, don't fall into a guilt trip about their needs. Think. One day off the trail (for whatever reason) is far better than 4-6 weeks (or months!) waiting out an injured driver!!
Why am I qualified to compose this list? I have broken every one of these tips at one point or another and I paid a very dear price at times. I wish for you to avoid the serious injuries that can happen at the helm of a dog powered bike, scooter, skates or skate board.

P.S. Coming home via the Emergency Room is generally a sign that u have failed to follow the check list. Better luck next time! :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bum Knee II

I am reliving sweet memories from the winter. I was focused, healthy and on my game. I returned home, happily, in one piece, walking unaided and under my own power! Unlike this recent weekend, when I was -let's just say- NOT on my game~!~ So.....Knee elevated (the left one this time) whilst I juggle MRI and ORTHOPEDIC appointments, I busily scribble the soon to be released DryLand Musher's pre-ride checklist. It will be a guide to help others (and myself) have safe and fun dryland mushing experiences. Why is it, that the most important lessons are often painful, and repeated? Sigh. Sparing u the details, I will report that the swelling is much less than my crazy crash last year, i am maintaining an impressive 90* ROM, and I am hopeful for a limited time on crutches. I am consoling myself with affirmations of my relative youth in this sport, and how much I will learn and incorporate in the years to come- if my stupidity doesn't kill me first!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mini Pup - TYKE mushes with team HumDog

WOW! Had to bail from youtube temporarily went over to JayCUt online video editing and posting. Success! Click Link video not embedding > Post Iditarod wrap up to come, feel free to comment with your take on the race this year...What a race it was.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dryland cart links/Iditarod 37 begins

DryLand Season is upon us. NEED A CART?? Check out these finely engineered units from SoCal. Cool Blog Too.Iditarod 37 is underway. Lance and Jeff after heading out 47th and 41st respectively are reported to already in top ten! The Iditarod website is not real EZ to navigate and is subject to regular crashes and slow operation. Insider live feed videos of the starts have garnered mixed (mostly negative) reviews, as the site has been plagued with issues. I saw about 40 minutes 'til I was bumped and we weren't able to connect to the feed again b-4 it was over. :( Archives are where it's at I guess. I am annoyed and perturbed at computers in general. The loss of all (over 1200) my winter photos, and a harddrive replacement still finds this PC running worse than ever. slow. "You can bring it in again, we can look at it."Argh. What could possibly be the issue? Pretty much over it. NOTE: Figured out the issue: the LIVE FEED of the Iditarod on Saturday, put us over our 250mb upload limit through HUGHESNET!?!?! ... and they put us on restriction!! So...Updated account, waited, re-registered and we are (at last) back online. Now to see if i can get my vids uploaded without episode....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

World Dryland Championships: Event Host Needed

Got organizational skills? Got location with trails nearby up to 10 miles? You could help host the 2009 IFSS dryland world championships!!!
Written by Sally Bair
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
Duluth, MN USA -- IFSS is now in the process of accepting bids for the 2009 Dryland World Championship. Bids must be submitted on CD or by email by May 15, 2008, to IFSS Secretary General Sally Bair ( sbair@cpinternet.comThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it ).

Important information to include on the application is (in addition to the venue site, tentative schedule of events/classes/banquets, dates):

* Diagrams of the trails or maps with distances and elevation for each class;
* Trails’ width and list of hot spots (difficulties requiring special attention);
* Type of trail (sandy – for dryland WCh, forest trails, open fields, etc.);
* Number of four-wheelers (quads) or other equipment (for dryland WCh) available to prepare trails before the race and during the race;
* Estimated number of volunteers needed and available;
* Type and availability of trail marking material;
* Parking/stake-out areas (diagram with size and distance from start and finish lines);
* Maximum number of possible participants;
* Availability of conveniences at race site(s), where, how many (restaurants, toilets, water);
* Location for the race office and secretariat;
* Location for the vet office and veterinary checks;
* Time keeping equipment to be used, including format for posting times (at race site & website); Intermediate timing and posting availability;
* Location for team leader meetings (generally held before each day’s heats begin);
* Previous race experiences on the proposed race site (type of race, number of participants, etc.);
* Hotel(s) for officials (distance from the race site);
* Hotel(s) for the participants (distance from the race site) with additional information about those that will accommodate dogs/dog vehicles;
* Distance between race site and closest motorway/highway;
* Distance between race site and closest international airport or domestic airport connected to international airport (specify);
* Rental or loan (cars, vans, trucks) possibilities for transportation;
* Availability of dogs for borrowing;
* Media package or plan

For more information, contact IFSS Secretary General Sally Bair ( sbair@cpinternet.comThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it ) or IFSS Vice President of Sport Bernard Pepin ( bernard.pepin857@orange.frThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it ).

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mushing Clinic & GOLD MUSH races off!

Slush and Rain

My BRIGHT IDEA?? Dryland contingent for all sled races in CA. Break out the ATV's, Carts, Scooters, Mountain Bikes and Running Shoes. Let's run these dogs!! What a bummer to do all that organizing, only to have to cancel. Maybe next year we'll be riding the freshly groomed snow trails or they will implement my BRIGHT IDEA and we'll be mud mushing! Oh well. And Team HumDog was all set to go; training like maniacs with our sights set on the 4 mile. We weather another rain storm, instead of gliding over crystal trails... Silent and in awe...The dog sledding thing is verrry cool and I am so glad I went up to Chemult. With spring fast approaching the focus shifts to the Dryland mushing. Mushing boot camp coming up, register now!
April 30, May 1 - 3, 2009

Thursday 4:00 p.m - Sunday Noon

All Levels Welcome

Includes Lodging/Light Breakfast

Meal information on Site Location Page

PRICE: $890.00

Pretty cool looking MUSHING BOOT CAMP in Fort Klamath, OR.... And I hear it gets results! Participation is limited, so interested mushers are asked to register early. Liz Parrish, Iditarod Finisher, fellow musher, supporter of mushing and mushers, and Inn Keeper (!) hosts these great events. The camp is "guided by experts Jamie Nelson and Ann Stead.... two seasoned professionals with over 70 years combined experience in sprint and distance dog mushing. " More from the webite: "...Mushing Boot Camp is a three day intensive clinic which offers you hours of hands on experience training your dogs with your equipment guided by experts Jamie Nelson and Ann Stead. The Camp also features discussions about training, conditioning, equipment, nutrition, kennel management, health issues and much more. .....You are assured of getting the full benefit of their expertise through one-on-one training as well as group instruction."

Contact: Liz Parrish -

Phone: (541) 892 3639

I have plenty good video and pics from our recent adventures. I look forward to putting them together. On a Sidenote: I went through a computer drama and have mourned the loss of about 3 months worth of great pics! Obvious lesson: Back up your stuff! Oh, and don't turn off the inverter while Windows is shutting down...More real soon.

P.S. Check out the KHSL TV NEWS REPORT of the CHESTER RACES: I am not pictured racing, or bragging about racing, but at 50 seconds you do get to see me on the right of the screen, getting yanked around by Will's 9 yo leader, Blue! It took 5 of us to control his 4 dog team! There is great commentary by the mushers too. One, by Laura, claims dog mushing will make you forget your worries. That is the truth.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chemult Fun Run and Race Clinic

We had an eventful and fun weekend in Chemult Or, for a race clinic / fun run. There was abundant fresh snow; conditions were slow... We still took 4th in the (unofficial) 3-4 dog /2 mile run. I also tied for third in a silly musher game that involved balloons, poker hand, swords, stuffies and a bell. Youda' had to have been there.... My tactic? Speed over accuracy. The dogs had a blast. Snoopy is still an agressive ass and has a lot to learn when it comes to leaving other dogs alone. Physically I got worked. The sled driving with just two dogs is really nothing more than a clown act. And poor pepper...she keeps looking back at me with an expression that matches that of "Max" in the Grinch That Stole X-mas! The snow was slow and deep. My time was a meter of nothing more than how fast I could jog!!! ...Guess i better learn to jog faster...or get MORE DOGS!?!?!
This team sorta lost it at the end...exactly WHO is leading?? Below, my favorite shot; love the toungue! There were a lot of great looking 4 dog teams.
Fresh snow every night...
One of the four"golden" bears that herald the crossing of the Klamath River...Below, portions of an impressive mural by Sharon Maki-Coffin.
Raptors were the Theme in Oregon...
It was a longass drive (350+ miles) and I neglected to document the most exciting part of the trip: when i tossed my car in the ditch, just a mile out of town in my early (icy) departure Sunday AM.!!! It was a slow motion slip and slide, and thanks to a passing angel with a chain and my serious tow hitch that was yankable, I spent just 5 minutes ditchbound. It woulda made a great shot though...and the thickly packed snow in the wheel wells...OH yea, that was a blast trying to put the chains on...then 40 miles of chainworthy travel at 20 mph....Believe me, I was grateful to hit the open pavement, and (eventually) make it home safely. I probably need a real (dog/snow) rig if i intend to take this crazy hobby any further...Below, interesting driftwood fountain. BLUE water!?!?!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More Race Weekend Pics

You Tell ME Why People Throw Shoes in Trees..... Below, Teams in Action.
In Action ...or not...Below, note Buddha 2nd from right, i love that pup...
Interesting Skull on Ice...Below, Long Views of The Mountain called Shasta...
Mushers...A Handsome and Strong lot. Below the Sole Skijor Entrant. Go Scott!!
More Marvelous Mushers...
Our Fearless Race Marshal Terry Hinesly, an Iditarod Finisher! Below, Racing actually involves a Lot of Waiting...
What? More Strong and Beautiful Dog Drivers?
Young Liz and her Father were an inspiration. Working together from the break of dawn, in an often cold (23*) forest, caring for and running BIG beautiful huskies. Good life.
Lake Almanor...Below, Karen, who was somewhat of a guardian angel to me over the weekend. Thanks!
Jr Musher Kamryn Elliott!! You go Girl!
Happy Dog Drivers...
It IS about Winning....Debbie and Curly accept their earnings.
Bill Betzer, Long time musher who was the Trail Boss. Below, Mushing ala Photoshop...
April and John Wood bravely handled many aspects of the race. And HIM, with a bum shoulder! Thanks you guys!
I am still so pumped up on last weekend, so many great memories and inspiration for the future. I figured I better post these pics, PLUS i still have a couple more videos to post as well, all before our Next Big Adventure: Feb 14, 2009 - Chumult Oregon fun run and race clinic with the the Pacific Sled Dog and Skijor Association. See you there, or on the trail.