This weekend, we loaded up the truck and headed to the White Mountains for the first camping trip of the season. Camping trips are perfect for switching up the training routine, exploring new trails, practicing passing and camping, and just enjoying the wilderness! Not only are camping trips exciting for me as a musher, but they’re also invigorating for the dogs. New smells, new sights, new experiences- the young dogs LOVE it.
At the trailhead, we met up with Amanda Gecas and Boundary Kennel. Amanda and her team were joining us on our trip into the cabin. Recall how excited the team was at hook up in the prior blog post, and now times that by two teams! I like to believe that harnessing two screaming, young, wildly enthusiastic teams right next to each other is organized chaos; however, at times it was probably just chaos. Patiently, we hooked up the teams and set off for the cabin. On the trail, the two dog teams had lots of practice passing snow machines, dog teams, loose dogs, and each other. Once at the cabin, we unhooked our teams, fed dinner, and picketed them off the gangline with lots of straw. In a race, the dogs will sleep on the gangline in harness. However, the youngsters aren’t quite trustworthy yet to sleep on the gangline and not chew harnesses, tuglines, necklines, or worst of all the gangline itself. Ryno Kennel yearlings are perfect, but not quite that perfect.
After a beautiful clear night, we fed the dogs breakfast, cleaned up camp, and hooked up the teams for the return trip. As we cruised along with the sun rising and the moon shining bright, I realized how incredibly lucky I am. To live in Alaska, to have the support of wonderful friends and family, to spend my day with such incredible dogs, I am eternally grateful.The first camping trip of the season was a huge success.