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Friday, March 5, 2021

Look Who Followed Me Home Part 2

 Just like the previous post, this was another routine dog run out into the valley and back. The only thing of note was the new trail markers set out by a local club that was having a dog race. They do it most every year and it's no big deal, they only use a small segment, maybe 3-4 miles of the same trail we run. and so far, had never seen any of the racers. So after we got back, unhooked the dogs, gave them a snack, then went over to start the tractor. It had snowed a couple of inches overnight, so wanted to get the driveway plowed. Right about then the dogs started barking, so walked back towards the dog yard and saw a dog team where the trail starts/ends. Behind that team was second one, bunched up in the little space left to them. The lead musher was screaming at his dogs, who were certainly confused by it all, so couldn't figure out where to go. When I finally got down there, he hadn't paid any attentions to me up to then, I yelled "what are you trying to do?" "Going to take that trail there" he yelled back over the cacophony of the dogs. Well that was the tractor trail to the garden and compost piles, so told him no, he needed to turn his dogs around where they were and go back on the trail they came in on. He didn't want to do that but eventually convinced him that was the way go to get back to the race. Surprisingly, he quickly turned his team around, and after a short stop, passed the team behind him and was soon gone. I helped the guy behind him get turned around, gave him directions to get back to the main trail, and then he was gone too. From what he said, they apparently missed a marked turn, saw our tracks in the fresh snow, and followed them thinking it was a race team. The whole thing took just a few minutes, but seemed a lot longer.

Didn't have a camera, so this is a pic of our team after todays run. Imagine two teams lined up here, with ten or more dogs each, barking and trying go somewhere, anywhere else!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Look Who Followed Me Home...

Yesterdays dog run was nothing special until the end. Just before I got back to the yard, the trail follows the power line and I could see some fresh tracks. Didn't look like a snow machine, almost like a 4-wheeler,   the way they paralleled each other. But only got a quick look before the trail curved into the dog yard. I quickly forgot about it as I unharnessed the dogs and we got them a snack. I was just getting a cup of coffee when the dogs started barking, so looked outside and this is what we saw...

Apparently the tracks I saw were the cow moose and her calf walking together down the power line. For whatever reason they decided to come into the yard and munch on the low birch, maybe fifty feet from the dogs. They just hung around for awhile, so I finally went outside and started yelling and clapping my hands. After about five minutes, they slowly wandered off, not very impressed by my act. Later on we heard they did the same thing in our neighbor's yard until he shooed them off. Urban moose, they pretty much do what they want and you just have to deal with it.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Dogmatic...

With the colder weather, it's been well below zero here and down to thirty below in town,  not much else to do except run dogs.

The dogs have been running well and need to be challenged on longer runs. But it's hard to do that in the extreme cold we've had.

Here's the team back in the dog yard, the only safe place to get a picture like this. Mac and Gus are real line bangers, so it's not a good idea to walk too far away from the sled, even with two snow hooks set in the trail.

After a cold run, here's my attempt at a "selfie". Have to try to get more dogs in the pic and remember to keep my mouth shut next time!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Sled Rescue...

The old Ski Doo has been kind of problematic this winter. Whenever I've had to work on it, it seems to run pretty good for a while, but then it has some issues, hard to start, misfiring, or just quits running. Unfortunately, the last time it quit was when I was on the other side of the valley, maybe 3-4 miles out. When I couldn't get it running again, I had a long walk home to think about it. The next day I called my neighbor Butch and he said no problem, I'll get my wide track machine ready, bring a jack and come along to load it up. and we'll haul it out with my sled. So that's what we did.

Butch at our place after hauling it back, proudly standing by the rescued sled with his stalwart Polaris. It went so well, we were back in less than two hours. While they say good neighbors make good fences, they also make sled rescues seem easy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Random Stuff...

Been outside a lot doing random chores since the temps have been 10-15° above normal. Got the old Ski Doo running after it quit the other day. Replaced the voltage regulator and put in new plugs, now it runs like a top again, so used it to break out a new section of trail for the dog team.


The dogs have been running the same loop for a while now, so they'll appreciate getting to see some new trail.


Finally finished  the plow installation on the wheeler and used it to plow the inch or so of snow we got this week. It'll be interesting to see how it works when we get a serious dump. So now both Guzzi's await repair, voltage regulator on the 850 and carb rebuild on the 650.

The clouds cleared off and the sunsets have been pretty spectacular. But it's supposed to cool off and be 20-30 below by mid-week.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

New Dog...

Since the team has been doing so well this winter, I gave up on my search for a new leader and figured we'd get by with the ones we have. But the woman who we got Mac the puppy from sent an email saying she had to leave town for some family emergency and would I take her dog, Mac's mother. Well that was a surprise, to say the least, but she had told me before that she skied and  biked with the dog in harness and it was a good puller who lined out well. So I mentioned it to Andy, figuring she'd say "hell no" but to my astonishment, she agreed to it. 


Luna, a two year old female, looks nothing like Mac, but has some of his mannerisms and bark. She's a furry little thing!


Here's a pic of the team on the run yesterday. She started off doing real well, but then started to look around and slack off about half way out. Gave the team a short rest, while petting and talking to her, and then she did better on the way back. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes next time.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Whether the Weather...

Haven't published any monthly weather summaries for awhile. Not sure if anybody reads them, or this blog for that matter. Anyways, suffice to say that except for the big dump of snow in mid Nov, the weather has been largely un-remarkable. The only thing of note is that the coldest temp so far is -29° F, which is remarkable in that we haven't seen anything below -30 yet. But who's complaining?

Lot's of great sunsets this time of year and it's warm enough to appreciate them.

Here's another shot of the dogs crossing the road from the other day. I'm cleverly hidden behind a small spruce tree.

Here's a video Andy just shot today. It was in the mid-twenties above, so the dogs were kind of hot and moving slow on the way home. Normally they're hightailing it across the road.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Years Eve...

 While 2020 has been a pretty bad deal for most folks, we've been lucky enough to avoid most of the problems. Since we're retired, we seldom go to town, maybe once a week, for groceries, gas, or whatever project supplies we need and always mask up. We spent thanksgiving, christmas, and new years by ourselves. Not our first choice, but better than getting the covid, I guess. But we still get out and do stuff.


Here's the old sled, silhouetted with the Dec. sunset, ready for another dog run. It was built years ago from some Tim White sled parts and rough cut birch wood. The runners, driving bow, and most of the birch stanchions were replaced over the years, but the original sled parts remain. Hopefully, it'll last for many more years.


Here's a shot of the team at the road crossing. A couple of weeks ago we were almost hit by the postal truck. Apparently, for the first time up here, they deliver packages to your house if it doesn't fit in the road side mail box. Talk about a special delivery that almost went postal! Anyway, he was able to stop and didn't take me or the dogs out. So now Andy goes up to the road crossing a while after we leave and watches for our return. She took this pic when we were crossing the road on the way back. It's a nice sunset sky!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Solstice stuff...

Here's some of the doings during solstice.With less than four hours of daylight now, the solstice is a major event up here as the days finally stop getting shorter. Because of the low angle of the sun, the days on either side are within a few seconds of the solstice, so we actually get to enjoy three shortest days.

Mac, the super sled dog pup, is doing great. He's now the largest dog in yard, so we sure hope he stops growing.

Put a plow on the new wheeler. It came from the old one. I'd given it to a neighbor years ago, who passed it on to a friend of his. He never used it, so I got it back for a six pack of beer.

While the rear mount fit, the front one didn't, so got a pulley guide on ebay and hooked it to the winch. Should be able to clean up snow in the places where it's too tight for the tractor.

Some of the old sled dog gear needed repairs, so this is a good time to fix it. The sled bag and a couple of the harnesses were chewed on by squirrels, so it just took some extra webbing and material, with lots of cursing at the sewing machine, to get'em fixed. Thanks to Andy, who gave me a time out when things got out of hand.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Bigfoot...

No, not Sasquatch or the Yeti, this was a large canid's footprint. The other day I went over over the hill to work on the dog trail. Since it was pretty cold, near ten below, figured it was easier to walk than try to start the old Ski Doo.  I walked up to the ridge, saw where my neighbor had walked his dog, and continued past his tracks down the other side. The light was getting poor, sunset comes early in Dec, so quickly started to shovel snow at the first bad spot. While shoveling I happened to notice something odd on the trail, so bent down and looked at this:


At first I didn't think too much of it and continued to shovel snow. But after finishing that spot, figured maybe it was a good idea to call it a day and head back home. The next day I went back with a camera, a ruler, and the old .45. While it's not uncommon for wolves to pass through the area and move on fairly quickly, well, yah just never know if one's sticking around. So I took a few pics, then went on to finish shoveling the rest of hillside trail. Never did see any other wolf sign, just a couple hundred yards of tracks on the trail before they went off in another direction. So was it a wolf or some neighbors overgrown malamonster? Who knows, but it's kind of cool to think some lone wolf passed through the neighborhood, especially if they're long gone!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Fall's finished...

Well not exactly, it's been winter-like weather up here for nearly a month now, but just finished the last of the fall projects, insulating and sealing the ceiling.


Started off by sealing the length of the ridge pole with expanding foam spray. There's always been a problem there with frost forming on the outside. Standing on some old boards the were recycled for scaffolding.

Caulking the gable ends with an adhesive caulk before installing the trim boards.

Putting up the final piece of quarter-round trim; it only took forty years to get'er done!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Doggos...

The other day I received an email from the woman who we got Mac the puppy from. In it she referred to one of his litter mates as a lucky doggo. Well that was a new one for me, so googled it up and found out that doggo and puppo (or pupper) are internet memes for cute dogs. So not wanting to be left out of this new age stuff, figured there better be a doggo post. 

Back in June, when we got the puppo (Here and Gone 6/28/20), he was pretty small. But we were told his mother was part MacKenzie River husky and they can be pretty big doggos.

So here's the puppo when he was about three months old, he weighed maybe 25 lbs, and was getting a lot bigger, especially his ears.

So now he's a big doggo at 65 lbs (that's about 30 kg to the French) and he takes up half the couch.

But he still likes his belly rubs!  OK, that's it for the doggo/puppo meme, from now on, they'll just be dogs.