Saturday, March 21, 2009


This weekend are the Open North American Championships - races with an unlimited (hence the "Open") number of sled dogs. First day, a 20 mile race. Second day, same thing - 20 miles. Third day, 27 miles. Each team starts separately, so while the teams are not competing against each other, they do not see each other unless one catches up to the one that started in front of it. So it is amazing that the two top team, of Egil Ellis and Buddy Streeper, are after 2 days (and 40 miles) of races a mere 2.4 seconds apart. Both have won the championships in the past.

I went to watch for a tiny bit off Creamer's field. The cool weather that we've had for the past week continued today too, which was probably good for the dogs. For the spectators, it made things a bit chilly. Still beautiful out there, though - a lot of sun these days, and it reflects off the snow to almost blind one.

Ed Wood was wearing bib no. 5. Sounds like things did not go too well for him, since by the end of the race he had two dogs in his basket instead of running with the team. The time it takes to stop, unhook a dog, and put it in the sled explains why he finished 7th even though he started 5th.

Bill Kornmuller was wearing bib #7 today, and was staying warm with his fur hat and mittens.

Don Cousins followed him with bib #8. I just managed to get all his team onto one picture. A lot of dogs - 16 of them. Considering how fast I can go when Saphira and Cooper decide to go somewhere, 16 dogs must be amazing.

And, lastly, a not-so-rare visitor to our neighborhood. Luckily our dogs did not make an acquaintance with him/her. Unlike that porcupine in the Alaska Range on Thursday, when they accompanied Martin with his sister and her boyfriend for a day of skiing.

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