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Thursday, December 23, 2010

First Guests of the Season

All photos in this post by Rebecca Lain
Olive, Neil's mother, helps prepare the sleds

The first team out navigates through a slush pocket while the second team looks on

Linda and Erica's team

Neil and Salve's team

Specks on the horizon

Phoenix and Tuloon in lead. White Feather and Zala in point. Zodiak alone in team and Ilo and Sweet Pea in wheel.

Oken was Erica's favorite

Zala says its time for a nap.

Our first guests of the season joined us yesterday for an Oake Lake Experience. Erica met us over five years ago when she was one of the first wholesale buyers for our Scent from Nature; 100% Pure Beeswax Candles at a local natural foods coop. When hearing about the sled dogs at around the same time, she expressed her interest in coming out to meet them. She and her sister finally got that chance yesterday.

Lake trail conditions were relatively good with various frozen slush patches. On a few occasions, we did find ourselves in some fresh slush but this didn't bog us down. Oken took some exceptional open country leader commands. Klaus seemed a bit tired and had a slack line for the first time ever. And I mean EVER. We are a bit concerned about him after his bungee eating incident. Most of the bungee has "exited", however some bits may remain. He is also getting a bit older and it wouldn't surprise me if he is feeling his age after all his years of giving 110%. We'll keep a close eye on him and see how he does on today's run.

Erica and Salve learned how to interact with the dogs, collar and harness them and then got to spend some time on the runners while their mushers sat in the sled. This, after learning how to safely run the sled with a lesson in stopping the sled being paramount.

Erica's teary eyed comments upon departing the Points Unknown Kennel touched me. "It has been a spiritual experience with your dogs. They are so healing."

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