1.25.2015

saturday outing with sarah

like living in a robert frost poem
hard work trail breaking !
Musher Sarah
Trail breaking in Kelly Lake swamp. 
Ruby & Nils in Deception Swamp
Lisbet & Sarah

Southbound. 
Sarah's team.... Ripp, Pete, Usain & Georgie.

1.12.2015

Learning things the hard way, aka the story of my life.

Knight of the Parks Highway.

My sled blew out of my truck the last time I went up to the Denali Highway. As we ascended the hills north of Trapper Creek, I was so taken by the views of the mountains that I neglected to look out my rearview mirror — until that stomach dropping moment when I glanced up and noticed a gaping expanse in my field of vision — one that should have been filled up by my Bernie sled. Oh, what an awful feeling. I love that sled. Not only is it my first distance sled, it’s the sled I ran my first Iditarod with, and it had a very nice sled bag that took my mother hours of hard labor and love to make for me.  I was crushed. And I felt so stupid — I had been deliberately careless when I secured the sled. It was -10F that morning & my hands had been cold — I had looked at my frozen metal towstrap that I didn't feel like manhandling and decided the sled was wedged in good enough.  Won’t make that mistake again.  

After I noticed the sled was missing, I drove up and down the highway, from Trapper Creek to Byers Lake, twice, looking for my sled. I didn't see any sign of it, no shattered wooden stanchions or crumpled black sled bag to be seen anywhere. As such, I surmised someone must have come along and picked it up in one piece.  I drove home with my trailerful of dogs, sobbing & feeling sorry for myself. I stopped at the Sunshine Gas Station, on the off chance someone had stopped in with word of the sled. The words “Hi, my dog sled —“ had hardly left my mouth before the attendants said “Oh you! Yes, here— “ and thrust a note at me with a number scrawled across it.  Someone had picked my sled up! Hooray!! I feel so fortunate to live in a place the local gas station is small enough to act as a bulletin board!    I called the number to reach RJ at Pro Taxidermy — he was in Wasilla so I arranged for him to drop the sled off at the feed store.  Happy ending, but man, another hard lesson in the books for me.  I drove home, dropped the dogs, loaded up my second sled, and headed back North.  I am gearing up for another Denali Highway excursion this week, and you can bet my sled will be well secured with a heavy duty tow strap……  

I want to extend a huge thank you to the RJ at Pro Taxidermy of Fairbanks, the rescuer of my sled & my hero that weekend !! 
Any taxidermy needs? Contact these stand-up fellows:  http://www.protaxidermy.com

12.26.2014

mid-winter update

I hope everyone had a Happy Solstice & a Merry Christmas! As we approach the New Year, I realize I'm pretty overdue with a kennel update. Here's a quick recap of our fall and early winter.

Races
Late fall heralds race sign up season.  Online sign-up has become a race in itself. The demand for mid-distance races in Alaska has skyrocketed, with races filling up in minutes.  I signed up for the Knik 100 (was originally wait listed but moved up to main roster), the Tustumena 200 (was super fast @ sign-up and as a result am heading out the chute FIRST) & got wait listed for the Copper Basin (highly unlikely I'll get in). Of course, the main focus is IDITAROD -- just two months away !!  We have a lot of prep work to do before we are ready for the trail!!

Friends & Training
My friend Sarah visited for a couple weeks this fall. It was wonderful to have her here  -- things move so quickly with another set of hands around!  We trained dogs, laughed, finished my dog box, danced, made smoothies, made terrible halloween costumes & caught the flu.

Between bouts of flu and major equipment failure, I had a hard time getting miles on the dogs in November. I did get them out regularly, just not as far as I would have liked. Still, the dogs are looking better, moving faster farther, than they have in the two past years. "Fast," of course, is relative -- the dogs are moving turtle speeds compared to their sprint training speeds -- but I find it so much more fun to run a "fast" distance pace than crawling along at 7 mph for hours on end.

If you follow my Facebook, you know we suffered some major equipment failure this fall -- the side by side I use to train the dogs almost fell apart, and then the 6 wheeler I borrowed from my parent's also broke down. Incredibly frustrating events that took a huge chuck out of my wallet, but that I am ultimately thankful for -- I am learning to be more self sufficient every year and these things spurred me to 1) learn to truck train and 2) learn to fix something mechanical (in this case, the 6 wheeler).  Truck training is an incredibly efficient and comfortable way to train the dogs. I'm not convinced it's the best "training," but it's pretty good conditioning.  Despite what some folks may think, truck training is not a recent Iditarod musher invention -- Mushers have been truck training for, well, as long as trucks have been around actually.

At the beginning of December we had a major snowfall, which felt more like a windfall. The 6 wheeler had just broken again and ice conditions prevented local truck training -- thank goodness for the snow!  I broke out my sleds and haven't looked back at any ATV contraptions since. Conditions have been marginal, so team size has been limited. As a result, the dogs are getting more "rest days" than they did this fall.  There is only one of me & only so many hours in the day. Training was also impacted by my trip to Mexico mid-month.  It was not an ideal time to leave, but one of my best friends was getting married... and I was a bridesmaid.  BIG thank you to my parents who came over and took all my dogs out for a run on the snowmachine while I was gone -- knowing that my dogs would get out at least for a short run while I was gone saved my trip -- I had a fantastic, guilt free time in Mexico. Will share some pictures in another post. All in all, despite training hiccups, the dogs are looking great!  We took a quick trip to the Denali Highway for some truck travel and camping practice -- had a fantastic time & the dogs that have never camped before -- well, you wouldn't know they had never camped before -- they did great :)  In January, I am going to focus on increasing milage and lots of camping.  Our first race will be the Knik 100 -- rescheduled for the end of January.

Dog Box
Integral to my truck training scheme was the completion of my dog box -- my box is pretty much a product of girl power -- thanks to my mother for her guidance and design and to Sarah for her help building and her gutsy handling of the more intimidating power tools.  The box is road ready now -- I just have a two last minute jobs to make it completely complete :)

Sponsorship & Events
This fall, Pete and I visited an Open House at Arctic Office in Anchorage in conjunction with 3M, one of our main sponsors this season. Pete was a pretty smooth operator, charming basically everyone who walked by.  At the end of November, I took Fritz to Big Lake and gave a talk to the kids at Big Lake Elementary. It meant a lot to me to be asked to speak to the kids there -- Big Lake is the elementary that I attended and it doesn't seem like that long ago that I was the school kid listening to the musher talk! So it was a total role reversal. I take my position as a role model for these kids -- especially the young girls -- really seriously. I WAS that kid, hanging off every word the musher said -- it's a special and unique position us mushers have !  When we talk to these kids, we are planting seeds for the future of our sport, giving the kids a tangible connection to the history of our state, promoting good animal husbandry, and emphasizing the importance of smart decision making -- it's important !  And most of all, it's FUN. The honest enthusiasm of the kids brings it all home.

Sponsorship
We welcomed a new Business Sponsor this fall: Jolt Construction.  Jolt is the construction company that I flagged for in the summer. I am especially grateful to Steve, Kathleen & Family for their support of my 2014/2015 Race Season & proud to be a Jolter!


I welcomed a few more Checkpoint Sponsors: Molli Sipe, Kevin Brown (Unalakleet), the Rocky Mountain Siberian Husky Club, the North Jersey Siberian Husky Club, and I am especially appreciative of a donation from my local Siberian Husky Club -- the Siberian Husky Club of Anchorage.  The Siberian Husky Club of Chicago has stepped up again this year to support the team -- watch for their striking logo to go up in the sponsor sidebar.    I am so thankful for everyone's support -- with your help, I will be able to provide the best my athletes deserve.  If you or someone you know is interested in joining the team, check out the Team Anadyr Store for sponsorship options. Thank you & Merry Christmas !  xo  Lisbet & Team



11.24.2014

update coming...

in the meantime, enjoy some of the music i've been obsessively listening to in the dog lot  :)

11.23.2014

chocolate sponsor back on board :)



So happy to announce our chocolate sponsor, Rob Donaldson, is back on board for the 2014/2015 race season ! Chocolate from Rob keeps me fueled up during cold fall & winter training days...we are heading into camping season with the dogs and I am looking forward to my campfire treats  Thanks so much Rob!

Sarah enjoying the campfire. Forgot your pot for tea water? A not-so-dirty dog dish will do... just make sure the water boils ;)