Sunday, January 25, 2009

Decision not to run Don Bowers 300

I am somewhat saddened to say that I will not be participating in the Don Bowers 300 sled dog race on Jan. 30th. After talking to Ray, DeeDee, and people who are in charge of the race, I feel that it is best to choose another race where the odds of breaking parts of my body are less!! The trail for this race is very icy and wet. Because of this, the race may be officially cancelled in a few days anyway. I am now back on my plan to run the Tiaga 300 beginning April 1st.

Friday, January 23, 2009

To go or not to go . . . that is the question?

Open water . . .
Ice and snow mixture

I am still waiting to hear if the Don Bowers 300 dog sled race is going to take place on Friday, January, 30th. According to the website, they will be making the decision to go on with the race or cancel it by Jan. 27th. This happens to be the day that I am to fly up for the race. I am a little nervous about how the trail will be since the temperature has been above freezing. The temperature, as of now, is 19+ degrees but with all the thawing that has happened I know that the trails are covered with ice and overflow making it hard to place a hook. The Tiaga 300 in April may be a better choice?!? I will try to update this as soon as I know if the race is a go or not.

Frostbitten Toe Update: I still have no feeling at the tip of my toe, but my doctor said that, if I leave it be, it should heal within a few months. Yay!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Don Bowers 300 Memorial Sled Dog Race

Jolene helping me tie my beaver hat before the start of the Knik 200.
My Knik 200 Leaders: Newman and Athena
Leaving Knik: January 3rd, 2009 - 11:34 am

Hello Everyone! I am getting back into the swing of things here in Ketchikan. The Knik 200 still seems very much a surreal adventure. I am now gearing up toward the Don Bowers 300 Memorial Sled Dog Race I am on the waiting list to be added as a 300-mile race participant. The race begins in Willow, Alaska, on Friday, January 30th, 2009. The only way that I will not compete is if the temperatures are well below 10 degrees. I do not need to get any more of my toes or other parts of my body frostbitten. My frostbitten big toe seems to be healing quickly, and I am beginning to regain some feeling in it. Here are a few photos that my friend, Brenda, took at the start of the Knik 200. Thank you, Brenda!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Home Again

I arrived back in Ketchikan this evening. The temperature here is much warmer -- a heat wave (70 degrees warmer than out on the Skwentna River)! Despite the cold, it was hard to leave up north. I had such a wonderful and trying experience, and it made me a stronger person. I am so thankful for all the people who encouraged me and helped me achieve this qualifier. A big thank you to the Redington's (Ray, Julia, Ryan, Erin, Raymie and Barb) for believeing in me and helping me all along the way! There were many mushers and race officials who encouraged me, too, when I was feeling like the end was never going to come. I am so grateful that I had such a challenging run. Spending 44 hours out in sub-zero weather is not an easy thing to do. Many prayers and knowing that people where supporting me helped me continue to keep a positive attitude when I was feeling discouraged. In the next few days, I will post some more photos and some information on the 300-mile qualifying race I will be competing in at a later date. Thank you to all of you who followed my blog and sent encouraging words. I couldn't have done it without you!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Run Completed!!!

Knik 200 Finish - 7:20 am January 5, 2009
Finishing putting everything away after arriving at 7:20am

On the Yetna River - 7pm with Newman in the sled taking a snooze

After 200 miles, 30 hours outside in the negative weather (I think the warmest was -20 degrees), 2-3 hours of sleep, frigid temperatures reaching at least -48, a frost-bitten big toe, and finishing with 11 dogs out of the 12 I started with, I finally made it in this morning at 7:20. I am amazed that I felt fairly awake and not too sore. After getting up after 5 hours of rest, I am feeling a bit hazy. I just wanted to let you all know that I finished, and I will try to get some photos up today or after I return home to Ketchikan tomorrow. (Check out starting photos below)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Angie made it half-way!

Late Saturday night, we received word that Angie had arrived at Skwentna (the half-way point of the Knik 200) about 10 P.M. Skwentna is where all the mushers and their dogs are required to take a 6-hour layover before turning around and heading back to Knik. Angie should now be on her way back toward the end of the race and should arrive at the finish line sometime this afternoon or early evening. Go, Angie, Go!! We can hardly wait to see you and hear about your adventures!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Race Is On!!!

The Knik 200 started on a cold note (Br-r-r-r-r-r) this morning at 11 A.M. The temperature was -24 degrees. Even the dogs had to wear jackets! They also wore booties (but then the booties are common attire for any race in the snow). Angie left the starting gate at 11:34 since she was #18 in the line-up, and each musher started 2 minutes apart. She had a great start and seemed to have good control over the dogs. I'm sure she'll have many adventures to share with us once the race is over tomorrow! We're all praying that she's staying warm and on the trail!

Pictures for this blog will be posted tomorrow . . .

Friday, January 2, 2009

Mushers' Meeting for Knik 200

I was the 1st one to draw because I was the first one to sign up for this year's race.
This is the bib that my parents sponsored: "Tundra-Dog Extraordinaire #1"
Here I am signing one of the 36 bibs.
Ray Redington and I signing race bibs.

Today we made sure that our sleds were packed and that we had all the gear needed to make it to Skwentna (the half-way point in the race). This evening at 8pm we went to Settler's Bay Lodge to sign the race bibs that we will be wearing during the race. After the race the bibs will be given to the sponsors that paid $100 for them. We then listened to information about trail conditions and markings that have been posted so we won't get lost (hopefully!). The last thing we did was draw our starting position. I drew #18. This means that I will be leaving the starting line at 11:36am tomorrow (Saturday, January 3rd). The temperature for tomorrow night is forecast 26 below. Thanks for your well wishes and prayers!
Here goes nothing!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Knik 200 is Fast Approaching

Dropping off food drops
Packing food drops
Working on Ray's sled
Treating Helga's feet

Due to the negative temperatures, we did not run today but put together our drop bags. The drop bags were due at the Knik Bar today at 2pm. Ray and I sent out two bags each. We put food for the dogs, gloves, booties, and a few other items in each bag. We will be able to access the drop bags when we arrive in Skwentna. I am praying that the weather warms up before we leave on Saturday. Tomorrow there is a musher meeting at 7pm. This is where we will draw our starting number for Saturday.