September 1st, the first day of summer apparently. Hopefully September 30th was the last day of summer. Just in case does anyone have any recommendations for a good sun tanning lotion. Caitlin swears that I think every September is unusually warm, but I've got hundreds of white bunnies bounding around that agree that September in Cantwell should be snowy. However there are more then a few coyotes that think white bunnies minus snow equals a really, really good start to winter.
Enough about the whether report already. What about Iditarod preparations? Well we've managed to get approximately 350 miles on 24 adults. Not my best September by a long shot, but the ATV's both need new brake pads, the dogs have already run me over with the ATV, and I've already been bitten once, so I'm guessing it ain't all bad. We'll be tripling that in October. I'll be posting a list of who the race dogs are and why I think they are the coolest, baddest, sickest, phatest, or whatever the latest expression is for the most awesome group of outlaws a fellow could hope to hang with, in the very near future.
We've also managed to get our 12 dog yearling team out on a regular basis, I really love working with the young ones, they improve dramatically on a daily basis in leaps and bounds, (just add the cape.) They make it so obvious that the time you spend with them is really worth every second. I'll be posting who they are shortly as well.
`In other departments, I've finally managed to get the shop doors up in time to build my Iditarod sled. Okay, so we are still missing some door hardware, but the last sled I built was six years ago in a wall tent at forty below. As for the missing hardware, I'm really, really hoping I've already convinced Mark Couch owner of Alaska Forge, www.http://www.alaskaforge.com to stop by on his way to Fairbanks for the ADMA symposium http://www.sleddog.org to determine what it's going to take to open, close, and keep closed them babies. Just plain love what this guy does with Iron, and he makes a pretty good snow hook as well. UNDERSTATEMENT! I no longer own a single hook that he hasn't made.
As for that sled I built way back when. Well it's got a few miles on it, (LOL,) and it has fallen apart in one place or another during my last five races three of which we've won, and it keeps telling me that if I stick it in another race It's going to sing to me that gut wrenching, incredibly ugly song, that only a dog musher who has experienced the song of aluminum snapping would know. Mental note to self, "it can't hurt to get down the steps and the gorge for the first time with two runners, after all there isn't even a Sir Michael, yeah, yeah, yeah, so there is a Saint Michael the arch angle, wait a minute, if a sir can do it, shouldn't a saint be able to, wait a second, how exactly does the hierarchy of all of this work out, I mean Sir then Saint, or Saint then Sir, if only a deck of cards had Sirs and Saints instead of Kings and Queens,,, Kings, huh? Probably shouldn't go there. [IF YOU HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT THAT THIS IS A TESTAMENT TO THE FACT THAT WHAT THE FELLOW WITH THE LAST NAME OF MACKEY HAS DONE AND IS CONTINUING TO DO IS THEY MOST INCREDIBLE SPORTING FEET EVER ACCOMPLISHED, THEN PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE PAY MORE ATTENTION!] www.mackeyscomebackkennel.com
As for the sled I hope to slap together in time for Iditarod, we are going to need some financial help making that happen. Anyone interested in getting me down the gorge with two runners ought to let me know. I've been working on a new sled design ever since I built the last sled but funds always seem to slow down progress. Enough said.
Clint Warnke's very over due visit was my personal highlight of the month. We really had a blast. Hey, and He's pretty good at socializing pups. Or a least cheap labor.
Why anyone would want to beat this guy to a checkpoint or a remote cabin in the bush is a mystery to me. I'm positive if you let him get anywhere ahead of you he will not only have the wood stove going he will also have his dinner hot and would be willing to share it. If I could only convince him to run the Iditarod one more time instead of attempting the quest, I could assure myself of a belt buckle. NOTE to all of you Questers. If Clint actually runs the Quest this year do yourselves a favor. Do not pack anything in your sled that isn't mandatory. If you need anything, and I mean anything, that you otherwise would have packed with you, just ask Clint. I'm positive that whatever it is you need that you didn't bring with you he's got two of. Example, "hey Clint my sled fell apart, boy I could really get it back together if I had an impact wrench a compressor and a set of socket's." and the truly amazing thing about Clint is he not only can produce what you need, he never has to go digging through his overly stuffed sled bag to find it, he just pulls it out of a back pocket. No Joke the guy has pockets on his long johns. Second mental note to self, "if the guy can produce anything I might need from the pockets of his long johns, it might be fun to go through his overly laden sled bag while he's sleeping just to see what the hell else he's brought along with him."
DVM Jayne Heampstead also showed up while Clint was around. Every time I see Jayne I pinch myself to remind me that It's not a dream. Cantwell is a village of approximately 150 year round residents, with the closest amenities 150 miles away in the town of Fairbanks, how fortunate am I to have Jayne as a neighbor, supporter, and friend? Did I forget to mention that she's got the hands of a surgeon, third mental note to self, "hold on,,, she is a surgeon, I probably mean she's got the hands of an artist." I might have to explain this one a bit further. It's not a joke, but the last three times I've sent dogs to Jayne for a surgery, I've come home and actually accused my wife Caitlin of missing the appointment. In all three instances I've come home to dogs bouncing around like they hadn't even had their temperature took, let alone been through surgery. Incisions and stitching so neat you need a magnifying glass to verify that she actually preformed the required surgery. Love what you do for us Jayne!
Jayne will be working with what I hope are four of our yearlings this year as well as the ever talented Anitra, aka, River, Winkler. Giving some of my young dogs a really cool experience and hopefully making River Winkler aware of the fact that the path of least resistance is not usually the most rewarding.
Side note, I wonder if the two of them are sharing baking recipes or talking dog?
As for the rest of Septembers story, We are proud to announce that Windigo Outfittes http://www.cheqnet.net/~windigo/windigo_001.htm will now be producing all of our G-Cell harnesses as well as our Hibernator Jackets. Call or Email us for details. Caitlin can now sleep between 2:00 A.M. and 3:00 A.M. Jack Bauer time. Just saw the 2010 Iditarod video for the first time, Fourth mental note to self, "whow, those are some really sexy jackets your team is wearing Hugh, www.laughingeyeskennel.com wait those are our jackets, Caitlin rewind. Hey we made those! Can you believe it. I mean how rewarding is it to see the mid-night oil you've burned featured on the official Iditarod video. Wait a minute, wait a minute,,, rewind, rewind, that's Jeff's team www.huskyhomestead.com Dublin, Charles, Titan, Deets, and the rest of the huskyhomestead gang in our harnesses and our jackets. The bests best, wearing our stuff, I'm going cry, shut if off, please." A HEARTFELT THANK YOU JEFF FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR ALL OF US.
I just found out that our website had a little over a million hits last year. Now I'm sure Mark Zuckerwhatever wouldn't even blink if he only got a million hits a second, but I really think that a million hits for a little known dog musher like me is something worth the proverbial pat on the back. Wondering if you're company couldn't use our marketing prowess. Think again. More bang for your buck Guarantied! Call us or Email if you want to be involved.
If you like our style help us keep it up. If you don't and are a fan of sled dog sports, please choose a musher to support. A donation no matter how small is often the difference between success and hanging up the harnesses. Despite the happy cheerful mood of all of us on FB, I for one can't help but feel a little disturbed that many accomplished dog mushers are missing from this years Iditarod roster.
Caitlin's right I've got to blog more often. I'm a little winded.
Mid month update, dogs, the smoking hot gun, and a look at some of our more recent sponsors. Can't wait. Until the next time I hope you are all having as much fun with your dogs as I am with mine, Mike