Sunday, January 4, 2009

Talkin' Dog

When visiting and training at the Sled Dog Lodge, one activity inevitably takes place between bouts of dog-running, scooping, feeding, etc. And that's "Talkin' Dog."

When mushers talk dog, the topics usually center around stories of our best and worst experiences out on the trails. We talk about losing teams on the trail, packing safety equipment for the long treks through the woods, along with amazing stories of dogs driving teams back to a driver afer a musher has lost a team.

Other popular talkin' dog topics: great (dog) leaders, the happy river, running the “steps” and surviving some of the most grueling arctic conditions.

Whitney, Jim Warren’s daughter, took out an eight-dog team this morning when a partridge flew into her dogs after only six miles. The dogs were still hot, and the partridge stupidly ran right into the team. The leader Eric chased the unwitting bird, causing a pretty significant tangle, and subsequently, a tussle.

Later, we convened at the cabins. Joining us at this mushing roundtable after a long day of training was Ross Rielly, from Baton Rouge, La.; Ryland Rogers, from St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Reed Staub, from Dallas, Texas.

These mushers made a stop into the Sled Dog Lodge for a taste of life up north. Richard McCauly, also pictured, is running the Seney 300.

The evening ended with good red wine and Richard “talking dog” with us around the woodburner. Seney 300 starts tomorrow. Stay tuned and mush on.

Note to readers: All of the photos over the past few days have been taken with my Blackberry phone. My computer took a nosedive this week, so I will post more photos when I return home.

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