This weekend's race was the final challenge race of the season. Andrea and the dogs finished the 5.9 mile course in under 20 minutes for the first time ever, which was good enough for fourth place. She was very happy with the dogs and their performance.
The photo on the right shows Piper sleeping with her head on the steering wheel down in Tok. It's a two day race at the end of the season, and the dogs (and us!) get very tired by the end.
It was a warm 21°F when the race started, but Andrea and the dogs kept up the pace and came in third place again! The fourth place finisher was only 6 seconds behind over 5.9 miles. Their time was 20:48.3 for an average speed of 17.0 miles per hour.
Our friend Dave took the photo on the right of Piper and Buddy leading the team. It looks like Buddy is completely off the ground in the photo.
For more information about dog mushing here in Fairbanks, check out Andrea's feature story from the University of Alaska Fairbanks home page.
Andrea and the dogs placed third out of twelve teams in the third ADMA challenge race of the season. At one of the turns, Buddy listened to Andrea and started to make the turn but Piper (pictured on the right) decided to ignore her, and Buddy followed along. Down went the snow fence blocking the trail, as well as Andrea and the sled. Despite that, they still had their second best time over the 4.5 mile trail.
Thanks to Michel for the great photo of Piper after the race!
We've finally gotten enough snow for the sprint racing season to start. There was a race last weekend, despite temperatures hovering right at the -25°F cutoff. I wore both of my union suits under my wool pants and multiple layers of shirts, sweaters and coats, and still managed to get cold. This Sunday it was a lot more pleasant, and more people showed up to race.
The photo shows our dogs lined out, Andrea on her sled, waiting to go up to the line to race. Piper and Buddy are in lead, with Kiva and Koidern (who is mostly hidden in the photo) behind them. Kiva is already rocking in place, trying to get the sled to move.
Andrea and our dogs ran the four and a half mile course in 15 minutes, 20.7 seconds, which was good enough for fourth place in a field of twelve. Average speed, 17.8 miles per hour; maximum speed, more than 22 miles per hour.
Yesterday it was cold enough on campus that we left Piper and Nika at home. They are both used to getting a walk around 10 AM, so I drove home, had lunch and let them out. When I got back to my office I remembered I'd left my laptop open (normally I put it to sleep when I'm at work or during the night). A quick Internet search and I found a command-line application that lets you take pictures using the camera that is built-in on new MacBook and MacBook Pro computers.
I used ssh to get to the laptop from work, downloaded the application, ran it, and then copied the image back using scp. I expected to either see nothing but the cushion of the couch, or maybe our cat Ivan sitting on the back of the couch watching birds.
Instead, it's Piper sleeping on the couch! She's not normally allowed up there, and whenever we've left her home, she's sleeping on her bed on the floor when we arrive. She's a sneaky one. A few minutes later I tried again, snapping the image of her actually standing on the couch looking out the window. When I got home later, I discovered we had a visit from some prosetylizing christians and that's why she was looking out there.