The Solstice 100

by Squid Acres Kennel on December 18, 2011

Well we finished our first race of the season, a local 100 mile race in Two Rivers, Alaska. It was just what we needed to get the dogs out on the trail and used to the race format. We have several dogs that are new to us this season and some 2 year olds that have never raced before so this was a great race to see how the training is progressing. We had enough dogs for 2, 11 dog teams. We tried to make two even teams and then we flipped a coin to see who got which team.

 

For those in the know:
Codys team
Stout, Okie, Ness, TJ Maxx, Berry, Solo, Big Mike, Lupine, Ursa, one eyed Mikey and Dorado
Paiges team
Elmer, Casper, Bleeker, ET, Brutus, Goober, Frenchy, Dundee, Smoke, Mystic and Dozer

 

Cody said his team did great, moving along nicely. It was Solo and Big Mike’s first race as 2 year olds and they both worked really hard the whole time and camped well. He dropped Stout at the checkpoint because of some slight soreness in his shoulder that has been plaguing him recently. But other than that Cody had a flawless run.

 

 

My team also did great cruising along on the way to the Angel Creek Checkpoint. Some of the trail follows the Quest trail that I did as part of the Yukon Quest 300 a couple of years ago so it was in familiar territory. I remembered on that race, I put Bleeker in lead as we were getting closer to the Angel Creek Lodge. The trial goes onto some creeks and under two bridges. There is only about 5-6 feet of clearence in between the ice and the bottom of the bridge. In 2009, Bleeker did not think that was a good idea to go under the bridge so instead did a full circle bringing the whole team around and jumped into my sled bag! What the???? so on the ice I switched him out of lead and on we went under the bridge. Well I remembered that this time and did not have him in lead on the way out there and this time there was even less room under the bridge, I had to duck. Well, we went right under them and I watched Bleeker carefully and he just charged right under them from his swing position. Once we got the checkpoint, I happily exclaimed to Cody that Bleeker was over his fear of bridges! We had a mandatory 4 hour layover at the checkpoint and the dogs rested well at first but the teams all came in so close that when the teams started to get ready to go there was no chance of any rest happening!

 

 

I made some last minute changes before I left, putting Bleeker in lead and off we went, right on time. We go flying out of there and within a mile or so, down a steep slope, onto a thin plywood bridge out onto the creek ice ready to go under the bridge. As I was looking down at something on my sled, I looked up only to see Bleeker, pulling his bone head move again, right back to the sledbag he came, with the whole team. Dang:) The thing about ice is that it is slippery and you cant set a snow hook. Well luckily everyone was well behaved and I put Brutus in lead with Casper and off we went, under the bridge with Bleeker in swing driving hard under it as if he wasn’t scared at all.

 

It was a super fun race and now we are looking forward to the Copper Basin in January and the Yukon Quest in February! Stay tuned:)

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