Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting in a quick run before work....

This is a view along one of the ridges on our property. Striker keeps an eye on my every move. He's got a heavy dose of border collie flowing in his veins, even though he's only quarter border.

The trails are awesome - Rick is out right now putting in a few colored lathe pieces so our holiday guests can find their way around the trail system.

This should be an excellent New Year weekend on the runners! More snow in the forecast for the next few days, with cold temps.

I remember several New Year weekends in the past 10 years with nothing but dirt or mud - this will be the 3rd year in a row with great snow conditions at this time of the season. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Sunday Dog Yard View


I thought I would share a different view. This is the main "play" pen in our dog yard, one of two play areas that the 20 x 20 pens open into.

As you can see, we kept a LOT of our snow, despite the rain.

Rick plowed the slush off major sections of our drive into camp yesterday while it was still near 30 degrees. He was able to run some of the trails with the snomo, only 3 trees down on the route he took.

Looking forward to taking a couple of teams out today. We are expecting guests to arrive in the next hour or so.

Happy Trails to you and yours!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After


This is the view from our deck. The rain came with snow right on it's heels - we don't need to get out the ice skates.

I measured the snow in the woods, where it isn't packed, there's at least 5-7 inches left - NO bare spots. The packed trail in the vicinity of the dog barn is about 3 - 4 inches thick.

There's still some slush around where the water could pool in the drive and parking area.

One good thing: the heavy snow that was stuck up in the trees (breaking limbs) is gone. It was interesting watching the clumps of snow fall out of these big pines yesterday afternoon - the trees have got to be relieved, they looked like they had arms hanging down, with big, billowy sleeves. If you look closely, you can see that the bird feeder and bird house still have a glob of frozen snow on top of them yet.

Some snow is on the way for each day from now until New Years. Trails should be good to go by Monday or Tuesday - I'm sure there's a lot of limbs down we will need to remove during the next two days. It's snowing lightly as I type this....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tues, December 22nd

Rick worked all day yesterday and got more trails opened up - we are up to 17 miles of trail open and groomed at least once. The earlier groomed trails are hookable; the rest should be good to hook after we run them a few more times. The weather looks very good for keeping all the snow we have and we are expecting more the end of this week.

Ran the rehabbed gorge trail on Sunday - what a fantastic ride! Rick has it groomed at least 6 feet wide - it's like a freeway - a hilly freeway that is. I ran it with a 6 dog team, out and back in - awesome.

Have a Merry Christmas and New Year! We're going to!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Quick note on conditions - Friday, the 18th

Just a quick note to let folks know that Rick has 10 miles of trail open and GROOMED. We will work on the rest of the trail system as time allows and over the holiday. I'm looking forward to running dogs all weekend!

Monday, December 14, 2009

We played; Rick worked.




Alicia came over this weekend and helped get the dogs out with sleds on the fresh snow. We split the B team on Saturday and ran them on our property. Sunday we split the A team and tried to run the East Loop on Federal land - but, alas, we had to turn around part way out due to MORE TREES DOWN! Rick had worked for two days to clear the downed trees from that section of trail and still more trees had come down overnight! We have never had this many trees come down from one week of snow.

Alicia and I had a good time with the dogs - Alicia is such a natural with the dogs - no one has ever run any of our A team dogs but us...they took to her right away. She handled the dicey conditions and strange-to-her sled with ease. She had never been behind Alaskans before, only Malamutes, so it was an exhilarating experience for her.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!


Well, be careful what you wish for...we have a foot and half of snow on the ground, since Monday. The snow that fell Tues. night into Weds. was wet, heavy stuff. Add to that another 4 - 5 inches on Weds. night into Thurs.

Many, many trees are hanging over the wooded trails - bogged down by wet snow that has frozen in place. Lots of work to do to open the trails and pack a path for dogsleds.

The east loop may be open this weekend - every time Rick goes out on that section he finds more trees down. He's focusing on plowing the road and camp area this afternoon. I was able to get out on the snomo and make a couple of passes on the trails on our land today.

Looks like a little bit of a warm up for Saturday (it's 14 degrees right now, on Friday afternoon.) Saturday is supposed to be a little sunny and upper 20s to low 30s - that should get some of the snow out of the trees and let this batch of snow settle into something that resembles a sled dog trail.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The snow is here, more on the way!

We got 3 inches of snow overnight and it's still snowing lightly - some forecasts say another 3 inches by morning.

Big storm headed this way for Weds./Thurs. If we get the foot or more predicted we should be on sleds by next week. It looks like lake effect snow should keep coming after the storm, through the weekend.

We have 75% of the trails to sweep for deadfall from spring/summer/fall so it will take a while to open everything up again. We put most of our efforts into fixing the "gorge" this summer/early fall.

For the most accurate weather forecasts for our region, check out www.johndee.com

Don't forget to get your Sweetwater Challenge entries in - there's a deadline for chosing your t-shirt size. www.michigandogdrivers.org

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dec. 3rd Update

My how time flies!

We have some folks coming this weekend (the Adopt-A-Husky group from the Chicago area.) The forecast looks likely for some snow. Currently various reports predict 6 - 12 inches for our general area.

The ground is not frozen so there won't be much of a packed trail yet. Plan on running small teams with a sled and bringing along a snub line to tie off to trees. A snowhook won't be very useful except for snagging trees (remember a strap to keep it on the tree.)

If we get enough snow to run the snomo, we will scope out the east trail first, then the trail to the west, for downed trees.

I'll post again tomorrow with an update on how this system is moving through our area.