A Very Merry Husky Christmas
The run up to Christmas was a busy one this year! On Wednesday the 22nd we had two women come to have the 'Oak Lake' experiance. This is an 1 1/2 session whereby they meet the dogs, help collar the dogs, harness the dogs and have a 4-5 mile run sitting in the sled. Its a easy and nice way to experiance dog sledding (though nothing is like actually driving the sled! Its comparable to sitting in a car versus actually driving the car) and meet 14 beautiful huskies. Fourteen because Chris- another one of Linda's handlers however he is married with a child my age! So only pops in occasionally being busy with work- leant us Sasha for a week or so! Sasha is Wimzi's sister and is absoultly pyscho! Beautiful dog, lovely personality but she is SKITZY! Then on Thursday we had two kids come and have the 3 hour 'Oak Lake experience' which is pretty much the same as the shorter one however they have a much more 'hands on' approach and collar every dog, and harness every dog plus they get two runs and are able to drive the
Oak Lake Experiance -group 1
sled for a short time! So you really get the feel of the sport
On Christmas day we let the dog groups out one by one and they each got a christmas treat (it was a chewy food stick..!) and chance to mooch around the house while Linda slaved away in the kitchen making a lamb roast (5 hours cooking...5 minutes eating! But it was dang tasty
...) Its a tradition to open presents on Christmas Eve in the Newman household so we did that the night before. From Linda I recieved loads of honey candy (Honey taffy is freaking GOOD!), an itunes voucher, a beautifully hand made candle holder that her dad made, and some dog sledding chrismtas decorations!. From Neil I got Galaxy chocolate- holy jesu I have missed english chocolate! and a DVD on the Iditarod! The Iditarod race has been branded as the 'Toughest race in the world' (not just for dog sledding!). Its a grueling 1,049mile run across from Anchorage to Nome and is not only physicallly but mentally challenging for both man and dog. And it is now on my bucket list to go volunteer there one year! It starts on
the first weekend of March every-year and lasts roughly 10/11 days (the last mushers roll in a good 3 days later). Olive then bought me some chocolates and paid for me to attend the Rock and Roll Xmas Spectacular concert which we went to last night and it was really good! A bbunch of middle aged people singing and playing well known rock songs to christmas carol words, funny and actually surpsingly well done! Imagine Led zeppelins stairway to heaven music with the words from the Sound of musics 'My favourite things!' paha twas funny
The women singing had huge dreadlocks at started howling WHISKERS ON KITTENS in Zeppelins voice!
Yesterday I met another of Linda's Handlers, Melanie who is currently studying 'pre-vet' in some Minnesota college (they dont have the same education system as us...she has to sutdy pre-vet for 4 years THEN apply to vet school and study Vetinary Medicine for another 4 years! and I thought our 6 years was gruelling enough) and a Kid that came to meet the dogs the other day came to help out called Joel. We then ran the dogs around Midday; Melanie and I with one sled and Linda
Prounouched Sar-sha (I normally say Sah-sha..)
and Joel with the other. It was my first 'un-aided' sled run!! Normally Linda is in the sled while I drive giving instructions but I was totally on my own
(Melanie though having run more times than me hasnt done so in a long time and so we are kind of at the same level- plus being strangers neither of us wanted to order the other one around! so stayed mute!). After watching that Iditarod DVD it made the running so much more fun, I actually have started to enjoy it rather than over-thinking everything which I did in previous runs. And its made me realise that I am going to really miss sledding! Of course I'll miss the dogs terribly and the experiance itself but I didn't think I'd have time to actually miss mushing! Guess I am going to just have to buy me some sled dogs and move up to Alaska!! :P Dont panic people I havent set anyting in stone..yet!
Then today we have been sorting things out for our second trip 'Up North'. Tommorow we are off 2 hours north to the Audubon Centre where we have a days event on Wednesday
teaching people about mushing. There are various other events going on aswell such as snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing but it should be good fun! Even though there is 6 hours of repetitive stuff (12 groups 1/2 an hour each...) itll be nice to chillax with the dogs for a bit. Then on Wednesday night we head up a further 4 hours North back to Grand Marais and will spend two days running the dogs on the crazy courses up there.
Well I am just going to shove some pics up so you can see other things we've been up to!
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