Big yard sale planned for Saturday, that’s Aug. 7. It starts at 10 a.m.

Pretty much everything is for sale, so if it isn’t on my inventory list, but you see it at the sale, ask me if it is for sale. It probably is. I know I’ve overlooked something.

Here’s a link to a Google Docs spreadsheet listing my inventory and prices.

Look, we’re having a lot of fun here. Changing things up. I’ve sold the dogs, and have decided to hit the road. We’re hoping to move out-of-state this fall and take our time traveling down the road visiting family. Our destination is — gasp — central Texas, but who knows where I will settle. I love Alaska and would live out my days right here at the slightest provocation. I also love dog mushing, distance racing and sled dogs, so there’s nothing negative sending my family south.

It’s just the next step: Kind of my family’s own personal Iditarod or Yukon Quest or (insert favorite race here). The immediate goal is to sell our house and land, buy the right truck / travel trailer combo and hit the road some time in October.

I took seven dogs on a short run this morning to see what I’ve got left for trails. Not much as it turns out…

tundra run

The trail is melting, melting, just about gone

This is the view just about a quarter mile from my house, at a swamp where the trail is about to cut right into the forest. It isn’t all as bad as this. In fact, parts of the trail are still white and firm. I should have a few runs left before I stash the sleds for the spring.

The dogs on this run included four that just got back from running the Iditarod for Sebastian Schnuelle: Solomon, Antelope (alone, one up from wheel) and Solo and Coyote. They settled into an Iditarod trot, real smooth and not too slow. I have a short video…

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It’s the time of the year for the annual spring dog sale, and I have three dogs currently for sale: Antelope, Jovi and Guinness.

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I have a couple of dogs that just came off Iditarod and are excellent candidates for stud for any distance musher looking to breed out to a proven bloodline this spring.

Solomon

Solomon is my main stud. He’s five, large but proven by consistently running — and finishing — on top five teams in the Iditarod and Yukon Quest over the last three years. He’s been a key player on my 3rd-place Yukon Quest team in 2009, and went on to finish with Jeff King that same year. He also ran with King in 2008, on both the Iditarod and All Alaska Sweepstakes. This year, Sebastian Schnuelle had Solomon on his team. This is what he had to say…

Solomon

Solomon is my best athlete

“Solomon is one of the best sled dogs I have ever run. It is his drive which makes him so special. Even after the toughest 100 mile run, he is still lunging to go. Doing the EKG work before Iditarod, the first thing they asked me was: ‘This dog never gets tired, does he?’ His drive combined with his size of 76 lbs made him one of the key dogs in my team.”

Yes, he weighs in at 76 pounds, but the five-year-old runs so smoothly and eats so well and has never had a single injury. I’m also seriously impressed with his puppies. I split five litters with Jeff King a couple of years ago, and spent this past winter running them as a single team, with a couple of older leaders. They completed the Knik 200 and Tustumena 200 without a single one being dropped. They ran well, several ran in lead (one for 100 miles in the T200) and — like their father — ate like pigs.

Solomon’s assets are his attitude and his appetite.

For those interested in bloodlines, his ancestors have a lot of Bill Cotter’s seminal dog Baileys on both sides, many times over. And his grandfather is a dog named Doc, who is the father of Lance Mackey‘s legendary stud, Zorro.

He’s available to stud for $600. He’s back home with me now in Kasilof.

Panther

Another dog that I like is another guy with a lot of Doc in his bloodlines — my lead dog, Panther. Panther is about 60 pounds and is quieter by nature. He’s very willing to run in lead, and his grandmother (on both sides) is my favorite leader from a few years ago, a dog named Kazan, who was a sister to Doc.

Panther

Panther is a solid leader

Kazan was a hard-driving leader and Panther takes after her. He can be up front for hundreds of miles. His father was one of Mitch Seavey‘s dogs from the bloodline that is the core of Seavey’s racing kennel.

He ran for me in the 2003 Yukon Quest, and he ran the Quest and Iditarod back-to-back with Zack Steer this year. Steer used Panther in lead from the start of the Quest until Pelly, and Panther led for him in rotation during the Iditarod as well. Steer said Panther sped up his team, almost to a fault.

I have 10-month-old pups out of Panther and another dog of mine, Adidas (who ran Quest with Steer and Iditarod with King two years ago), and they’re looking just right and doing fine for their age.

Stud fee for Panther is $500.

Bottom line

If you want a pure athletic bloodline grafted into your kennel, and want dogs with high attitude, friendly dispositions and insane appetites, Solomon is a great risk. But if you want a hard-nosed leader with speed, who also produces easy going and like-able pups, Panther is a good bet. Solomon has the better appetite; Panther is a serious lead dog.

Reach me by email, at kasilofdog@gmail.com.

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I’ve got a new forum for my race blog, with my take on what’s happening in the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, and maybe even Denali Doubles. Here’s the link…

http://drtims.com/blog/

I just posted a blog about the art of racing young dogs in this year’s Tustumena 200 sled dog race. Here’s the link.

I guess I’m saying that to myself as well as the rest. There’s some great, competitive teams here for arguably the most arduous (if not toughest) 200 mile race in distance sled dog racing.

I’ll be running 11 yearlings and three old leaders, so my race will have a personality all its own. It will be a little like my Knik 200, where I ran 10 yearlings and two adults.

Needless to say, I’m packing straw again for this race. I’ll run about 50 miles, pull over and put straw down, heave out my cooler with two gallons of water and a sack of dog food, and feed those youngsters. They’ll nap for about an hour before I put fresh booties on them all, and we take off for another five hours. There’s a mandatory eight-hour break at the halfway point. My aim is to have them run the 100 mile return leg without stopping except for snacks. The point is to teach these young dogs what it is like to race, even though they are not physically capable of keeping up with older dogs.

Yearlings go out with tons of power and gusto, but they don’t have the stamina of older dogs. Hence, I pull over at 50 miles and make them rest.

The five or six teams that are gunning for first place should do 100 miles in nine to 10 hours. If I’m doing well, we’ll make the first 100 miles in 12 hours (which includes my two hour mini campout.)

Trails are excellent to near perfect in the places I’ve been. It’s sunny with highs about 10 to 15 above lows in the zero range. That’s ideal for the dogs and mushers. It’s a hilly race.

As of 9 p.m. Sunday…

Updated, real (and corrected) Copper Basin standings, FACTORING IN TIME DIFFERENTIALS OF MANDATORY REST: Jeff King was still first out of Paxson. Allan Moore is 22 mins behind King, factoring in mandatory rest that needs to be taken.

Then Dan Kaduce, 55 mins behind Moore; Jay Cadzow, 7 mins behind Kaduce; Sven Haltmann, 6 mins behind Cadzow; then Aliy Zirkle, Sonny Lindner, Ray Redington, and then a three way tie with Sass, Steer and Neff. Only 10 mins separate those six. Then Josh Cadzow, Normand Cassavant, Mike Ellis, Gerry Willomitzer, and Darrin Lee. That’s all I’ve got so far (and there could be mistakes).

Leaders expected into Chistochina any time.

On Halloween, I tested the waters as a dog “driving instructor,” giving a one-on-one seminar on how to camp with a dog team. The class went so well that I’m considering opening it up to anyone interested in becoming more efficient or just gaining confidence in taking a trail break, whether inside or outside of checkpoints.

I sat down with the musher for two hours on the night of the 30th, going over what she knew and what she needed to learn. And the next day, she was on her own to pack her supplies (cooker, straw, booties, etc.), and head out on a training run to a spot where I could meet her. She set about doing all the routine dog duties while I watched and we talked about her routine. After a two-hour pitstop, she turned her team around and drove them back to her dog truck.

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I had to post a link to this article about sled dog psychology, and specifically recognizing burnout and fostering a happy attitude in your kennel. Even if this is nothing new to you, it’s a good reminder as the fall training grinds on and the miles get longer as we wait for decent snowfall. It’s probably a good read for non-mushers and non-pet owners as well. Works with people as well as dogs. Here’s the link…

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