Heads up: I have a new article posted on the Momentum dog food web site, \Dr. Tim’s Pet Food Company – Champions’ Corner, or short url: http://bit.ly/3SwTsk. There should be more articles coming over the course of the winter. Parts of them may be posted right here as well.

The article is part of a mini class I may be teaching here in Kasilof, talking with newer distance mushers about camping on the trail and then giving them an opportunity to practice while I am with them. The whole point is to go over the fundamentals of caring for dogs when you are by yourself, being efficient, and gaining confidence so you can pull over whenever it is right for the dogs to have a big meal and take a nap.

Mushers who’ve gained skills in running long distance often come from backgrounds where winter camping is foreign and a little intimidating.

There isn’t a lot of excitement, usually, during the slog days of fall training, and it has been a fairly typical year so far. We’re running a little longer than when we started, but the temperatures have remained stubbornly high, so water breaks are a major plus for the dogs. I’ve started running the team on the beach between Cohoe and Clam Gulch, and there’s at least one creek that really helps cool them off. They look vastly smoother in gait and more peppy once they’ve left the water. Here’s some images from our last water break…

I’ve added a page showing some images of the guys and gals I’m working with this winter. It’s under the heading of “The Crew.” The page is not comprehensive yet. It will include the adults and maybe a few puppy shots.

Also, yes, some of the images are blurry, so I will work on improving some of them.

The 2010 season is officially under way here, in Kasilof, despite the lingering warm weather we’ve enjoyed lately.

I’ve been taking the dogs on runs in the evenings, which wouldn’t be possible if our trail didn’t cross a wetland between two lakes.

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UPDATE — Change of plans. Most of my adult dogs are going to run with other teams in the Iditarod and Quest this year. I’m focusing my winter on some very promising yearlings, led by three or four older vets. More posts coming soon, since the season is now under way…

– Jon

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The headline reads like a joke, but I’m not kidding. I have two dogs in the kennel that I consider worthy enough to offer out to stud. Click on the thumbnails of these two dogs — Solomon and Panther — to see a larger image. You can also see more descriptions and their faces here.

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I have four dogs for sale this year, all with real racing experience and some capable of running in lead. I don’t ask a lot of money for my dogs, generally. E-mail me with any questions. Click on the thumbnail images of these guys to see a full-size photo, and you can find photos of their faces and descriptions of them here.

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That’s what a friend of mine called this time of winter in Alaska, when you’ve got 12 hours of daylight and the snow is hard-packed and the daytime temperatures are warm.

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Contrary to popular belief, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race does not end when the nose of the first dog crosses the finish line. There’s 35 other teams out there still “racing” at that point.

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Lance Mackey’s 15 dogs looked so good coming to the finish line that it was almost inconceivable that they’d just raced nearly 1,000 miles through some of harshest weather the Bering Sea coast can dish out.

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