Friday, February 8, 2013

Stiles creek cabin trip, then holiday!

We are heading again to a holiday week which brings many changes to our Alaskan live. Since the many-times-mentioned and long-awaited Yukon Quest sled dog race started last Saturday, it's time for us volunteers to head to our checkpoint, Mile 101 and start our own YQ adventure.

Sadly this also means we have to say goodbye to our 4-legged friends that we had so much fun with during these past two months. We enjoyed a last wonderful trip with them this weekend by going to a Stiles creek cabin. Our crew involved 7 sled dogs, 1 beagle, 1 Finnish, 1 French and 1 American and two snowmachines. One more great trip to remember!

The trail to the cabin is pretty challenging, very steep with pretty sharp S-curves. Piia ran the dogs on the way to the cabin and luckily with an empty sled the big uphills weren't too bad. Just perfect amount of exercise for the dogs and the musher. Julien claims it's better for the dogs if Piia, being lighter, does the uphill parts. For him the truth is the uphills are just so much more fun with a snowmachine. Of course he pays the price carrying all the food the tired musher needs after all the running...

Dogs running
 Piia running


Nick with Cooper the Beagle

We got to the cabin safe and happy after a nice run with some nice landscape views. The cabin was nice and cozy, small enough to warm easily with a new stove but big enough for all our gear. We spent the evening playing cards, eating and sharing some hiking stories with Nick. Enjoyable indeed!

Nick and Julien and the game of Rummy

In the morning we fed the dogs and then had a long breakfast just chatting and waiting for the dogs to be ready to run again. It was Julien's turn to run the sled, and according to him it was the funniest run he ever had. It was a very challenging trail, since now you ran the yesterday's big uphills downward. There were couple of steep and hidden S-curves that took him by surprise and required good sled handling skills, and even with two feet on the brake he had a good speed. Well, with skills, or luck, he didn't fall even once, but enjoyed the fast and crazy downhills. Though, it seems falling was close... :)

Getting ready in the morning

Dogs running...          and Julien running...

Balance is the key!

We gave the dogs back yesterday, which was hard since we really enjoyed having them with us, it was an incredible experience to be able to have our own dogs in Alaska! The Escape Team will always have a special place in our minds!

Now, after lots of packing, baking and organizing stuff we are ready for the big departure. We will try to post one post per day while we will be there, just to share the ambiance and our experience. We are not sure to have internet though and we might be too busy but we will try our best.

Oh and on Wednesday it was Julien's birthday so we went to have dinner with Scott, Kerry, Nick and the girls. On the menu we had salty crepes and Karelian pies, and then cake. Julien got nice presents including chocolate, wine, pictures and bracelet handmade by Evie! And also happy birthday wishes accompanied by violin!

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