Woke early this morning to a brisk, beautiful 19 degrees and a white layer of frost over everything - even the dogs! Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera to take pictures (how unlike me!). So you'll have to rely on my word.
I hooked up a seven dog team, a blend of my yearling Yeti and my Jack, two pups and three adults from Jim's group. We went on a breath taking nine mile run, then after unhooking and watering, Jim, Jennifer, Tom and myself went up to a restaurant in McMillian for a lunch with some mushers. Iditarod veteran Ed Stielstra, Iditarod '09rookies Tim Riley and Kim Darst, Deb and Bill Glenn and some others were there, and I had my favorite breakfast: eggs over easy with toast. Yum!
I have been talking dog -- or talking topics related to running dogs -- for a week now. It seems the dog talk is endless in these circles.
Tomorrow, we are going on our first camp out with all 40 dogs in the yard. A camp out doesn't necessarily involve camping out all night. It's a simulated check point to prepare the dogs for races, so they know how to get much-needed rest while they can. We will go out 15 miles, then water and feed the dogs, give them straw and "bed down" for two or three hours. We'll be taking a lot of Jim's yearlings, so it should be interesting! The aim is to get the dogs to settle down, then hook 'em back up and head the 15 miles back to the cabin for a 30 mile run total. This will be my first camp out. I'm excited! The weather is supposed to be clear and cold like today was. I will definitely have my camera this time!
There is a 60% chance of snow up here on Sunday according to the latest reports. I am slated to leave on Saturday. The dogs are howling out in the yard as I type. As always, I don't want to leave.