Day 15: Alaska ~ Last Run before the World Championship; Talkeetna to Salcha, AK

UserJessica DohertyTime2013-03-15 22:11:00

Wednesday, Feb 27th 2013 Last Training Run before the World Championship Talkeetna to Salcha, AK ~ 300 miles

BEAUTIFUL day for training and driving through Denali National Park. Got up early, packed the truck and headed over to Montana Creek Trails for our last run before the World Championship.

Track was fast after yesterdays grooming by Greg and and it was cold, maybe the coldest we've trained in down here. Above 0F though, so not too bad. I put running jackets on my cold ones. I decided to not push them for the 7.5 miles and just keep it at the 5.9 mile run. I'm still not 100% on who should be in the team ? I mean there are a few that I know, but not sure on the last 2 because I have YET to run most of these dogs more than 6 miles at high speed. So the team today was... Emma, Eli Lefty, Rose Jolene, Loretta

WHOA! That was a fast run! 5.9 in 16:50 with one stop and Emma backing off some for the 1st 2 miles. The point dogs ripped it. Steady Retta rolling along, rocking it out. Jolene was like a bullet the entire run. I looked down at the end and she was rocking out an arrow like gait and lazerbeam tug the last stretch. That is amazing for this 1st generation Greyster. She's back in the running to run in the 6-Dog team after that run!

After the run, we fed everyone and left for the 300 mile jaunt up the Parks Highway through Denali National Park to Fairbanks. It was beautiful, clear day for driving and seeing what we didn't see on the way down last week when we drove in the dark night and cloudy day.

The ride back was uneventful and scenic. We got a couple sandwiches at a gas station in Healy, really good for a gas station. Got to Cold Spot Feeds around 5:30. We got another bale of hay, 60lbs of Champaine Meat Blue Bag and a couple of leader tugs. We picked up the lastest MUSHING MAGAZINE to find a SWEET article about our kennel. It was in interview format. It was really great and thanks to Greg Sellentin for publishing it.

Now we need to find the 3 Dog Night Hostel in Salcha. The roads were completely covered in ice. I must say, the roads around this area are worse than any roads we saw along the entire Alaska Hwy. Fairbanks area has them. Not sure if this is the norm in winter but completely ice covered highways are what you have to drive on if you want to get around.

So we passed by North Pole without realizing we did. We put Salcha in the GPS as I didn't know the address and we ended up driving 10 miles past it. It's only 14 miles or so south of North Pole but we had missed that too. Tired I guess, flaking out. Called them up, turned around and finally found them.

Mike, the owner, was waiting for us and had the wood stove in the cabin going good when we arrived. The cabin was beyond our expectations, just right for a couple dirty worn out travelers that have a lot of dogs and dogs stuff. What an awesome guy, very attentive and brought us a trail map of the trails outside the cabin in case we wanted to train our dogs on them. He even gives us a box for poop and a shovel!

Jocelyn, Lily and the Baileys drove in a little later and are in a cabin 2 down from us. Jocelyn came over and chatted with us for a few. It's really an awesome set-up.

The first night was not that cold. Maybe 0F. I was sleeping like a baby for the first time in 4 nights and I wake up to a noise about 1am. I open the door of the cabin, look up and see the NORTHERN LIGHTS! I have never seen them before. I wake up Brian and we watch them for a little while. WILD!

Off to bed. Tomorrow will be a busy day as all our dogs are to be microchipped for the race, all kinds of paperwork to be submitted and all kinds of meetings to go to...