It has been a busy day for Team Talia. Titanium Talia and her dedicated father Tireless Tim tacked together a “gypsy dog yard” at Michael and Christine Stitt’s place up near the summit of Hatcher Pass in Willow, Alaska. Two local mushers, Marshall “The Donator” Cogdill and Jenny “The Giver” Evans who, along with the Stitts’ contribution from their dormant yard where, at one time, 50 dogs lived, provided sturdy housing to create the new Dog Central for Talia’s team. It all came together in fine Alaskan style. Snapped some pics around the place to give the feel of this snow-covered paradise. Next Sunday Talia goes to Cantwell, AK to begin her 500 mile training run. In the meantime the team is settling in nicely.
Fort Nelson, BC is about halfway. Billeted at Terry & Debbie Streeper’s lovely home. Such fantastic hosts. Debbie spread three fantastic meals out while Terry taught three concurrent seminars on dogs and mushing based on his 40 years of experience. Son Bud is preparing to go to Wyoming for races there. Handlers Alex from Copenhagen and Suzanne from northern France helped and showed me a few pooper-scooper tricks. Alex looks like a movie star, Dolph Lundren I believe. Suzanne looks like Tina Fey. Barrel chested Terry looks like a wizened grizzly. The Streepers say the team looks real good. They’re impressed with Talia’s dog care. It is snowing here in BC now. Talia took the team out for a cold 16 mile jaunt with Terry showing the way on an Arctic Cat sled. Tim took up the rear on a Scandia. The dogs were raring to go and looked up for more upon their return. After hydrating them (Note use of musher lingo here.) boxing them and lunch we bid a sad farewell to these most hospitable folks and headed for the mountains of the Northern Rockies.
Snowed all day crossing the Northern Rockies. Dogs doing well. Pulled an Army guy’s Jeep out of the ditch. He was on his way to Fairbanks. Beautiful scenery despite snow.
With the arrival of snow and cold weather in Wisconsin, Talia’s been able to use the sled instead of the four-wheeler plus get accustomed to the all the rest of the gear needed to run dogs in twenty below temps. Thank you Wolfsong and all the other sponsors and donaters with whom I’m, as yet, unfamiliar. It isn’t like we don’t appreciate all the unnamed sponsors, it’s just that I don’t know all of them well enough to include them specifically. But, please click through to the sponsors page for a partial listing to see their names and contributions. Below are a couple I’m familiar with that provided musher clothing and dog booties, harness, and some other dog-related items I’ve yet to learn about. It’s been said that, by the end of all this, I’ll be most familiar with pooper-scoopers. YAY!
So, here’s a small sampling of some of the people helping Talia get to Alaska for the Jr. Iditarod and other races she’s going on. Just look at all that potential! I see 14 not counting the photographer. Just think, if you hooked everyone up to a sled, they’d be competitive! What a crew!
The dogs are really loving all the excitement and adventure. They maybe don’t know they’re heading to Alaska January 6th, but they sure know how much fun it is to be out on the trail for 30-mile training trips. They are getting in real good shape and learning to listen a little better each day.