Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Visit to Team Tsuga Siberians Kennel

Here is why we went so early to our hiking trip: on Sunday we had an opportunity to visit a kennel full of Siberians! We’ve been following dog mushing competitions since about one year and half so we are not huge specialists, but Mike and Sue Ellis... for sure we know them. If you like amazing Siberian huskies you can’t not know them.

So we went to see the Team Tsuga Siberian Kennel not so far from our home and we spent some time with them and the dogs, talking about mushing, asking a lot of questions. You learn so much when you talk to these people, it's so nice to see them with their dogs, you really see the link between them. We talked about Iditarod race that Mike is going to do for the first time, great news!! They have gained several prizes when they have participated sled dog races and it shows they treat their dogs in a right way and are good competitors.

Sue Ellis

Mike Ellis

We were a bit shy to go there, as Piia usually says it's our Hollywood here. People who don't know anything about dog mushing can't understand that but for those who know, they understand how important is Two Rivers and how interesting is it to talk with musher as Mike and Sue. We appreciated the opportunity and enjoyed it fully.

Mike has been Yukon Quest finisher three times in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Unfortunately he had to scratch in 2009 and last year. He is mushing essentially with Siberian dogs, which are not the fastest dogs, but are really interesting dogs to work with and definitely beautiful!
The Yukon Quest isn't an easy thing to do. It is 1000 miles long and goes through Alaskan and Yukon wilderness. Temperature can reach -50 degrees Celsius, definitely not an easy race... Iditarod is supposed to be a bit easier because there are more checkpoints and it is a bit later in the season but it's about the same distance and some part ask amazing driving skills.

Anyway we enjoyed a lot this visit and had fun taking some pictures of the dogs. We want to thank them a lot for welcoming us to their kennel and we hope we can help them to have successful mushing season next winter! 

If you came until here... you like their dogs!
Do you want to get involve in their next racing season?
Visit their website :
Here is their blog : 

Hiking trip at Granite Tors

The weekend began early; we went home after lunch and packed quickly some hiking stuff for a two days trip at Granite Tors. The temperature was awful, 30 degrees Celsius on our thermometer. Of course some people call it perfect summer weather, we call it sauna.

We took the trail loop by the East side which seems to climb faster to the ridge, so in theory more wind and fewer mosquitos (emphasize in theory). Beside the Chena river we had millions of mosquitoes on us and the temperature was incredibly high!!! Are we in Alaska? However the trail was nice and we saw a beaver building its dam. The forest was impressive with tall trees and when we reached the tree line the landscape was pretty nice. The granite Tors trail goes around a nice valley. After the low part the trail follows a mountain ridge and we could see the hills to very far in distance.

We went by a cabin and we were a bit worried for the water. In this temperature we were sweating a lot. Fortunately there was some water in the cabin. We decided to push a bit more to be able to see the midnight sun so we went through the Tors, which are some rocky formations. They rise from the ground like big rocky flowers. It gives a strange feeling, like you are not alone up there.

We put the tent on a flat summit and we watched the sun going really low and giving amazing colors. Despite the wind the mosquitoes were flying around and bugging us, a bit too much! It was not suppose to rain so we put just the mosquito net of the tent to sleep, it was pretty nice to fall asleep while watching the sun at 1 am.

The next day we woke up at 7 am and it was already too hot! We walked the end of the loop and the landscape was nice as well on this side of the valley. When we went down the mosquitoes became really annoying, they made us crazy!

After all this sweating and the mosquitoes we just jumped into Chena river to take a bath, well we wish... the water was really cold so we didn't really swim, anyway it was a really good shower, how nice is it to cool yourself in a beautiful and clear water as Chena river. It was soon lunch time when we went back at our place on Saturday. It was just Saturday and already so good weekend.

Will see what could make it even better...