Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Help Wanted - then Quest news.

First, the "help wanted".

Sled Dog Handler Wanted

I am seeking a handler for a small recreational sled dog kennel.  The handler will provide up to 60 hours of labor per month in exchange for the use of a nearly new 12 X 16 foot dry cabin as your primary residence.  Trail accessible space for a small team, shower and laundry privileges in the main house.  Heating oil, electrical service and Internet access are also provided.

Day to day tasks will include all basic care, husbandry, clean-up and supervision of 20 working sled dogs in a Mush with P.R.I.D.E. certified kennel while the owner is absent working at a remote industrial site.   The handler will have at least 1 full week “off duty” per month and the work can be scheduled to accommodate other employment or social obligations. 

The handler must be at least 18 years of age, be physically capable of safely carrying 5 gallon pails of food or water or a bale of straw to any point in the kennel, capable of safely walking a large, powerful dog on a leash without injury or release of the dog and must have a driver’s license valid in the State of Alaska. 

For complete details contact Thom “Swanny” Swan at (907) 488-3327 or by email to swanny@norwestcompany.com.

Now, to the Quest news.

Mushers in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race continue to reach the finish line.  They seem be moving in groups, with just a few exceptions. 

Markus Ingebretsen crossed the finish line at 12:51 this afternoon to capture sixth place.  Normand Casavant secured the 7th place money with his finish at 2:11.  According to the Yukon Quest - Official Site on FaceBook,  Abbie West arrived in town just a bit ago to capture 8th.  I was very fortunate this afternoon in being able to see Abbie's team trotting along as they passed Pleasant Valley Store (I was picking up my mail).  Here's some video I captured.

Some of Abbie's dogs are related to my big, goofy boy Aumaruq.  If you listen closely, you'll be able to hear Jay Cadzow explaining how Aumaruq's siblings and other relatives have been training most of this winter.

Susan Rogan and Dan Kaduce are both out of Two Rivers and making their way into town.  Currently live tracking shows that Susan has about an 8-mile lead over Dan as they make their way down the Chena River.  Susans team seems to be moving about 2 mph slower than Dan's, so there is a chance that he could catch up to her, especially if she should have some sort of problem out on the trail.

Dennis Tremblay and Crispin Studer are both out of Mile 101, headed toward Two Rivers while Cody Strathe, Darrin Lee and Brian Wilmshurst are all at the Mile 101 checkpoint.  Way back toward the end of the pack we have Rob Cooke out of Central en route over Eagle Summit to Mile 101, Mathew Failor out of Circle City in route to Central, and Dyan Bergen in Circle with 10 dogs.  I learned from a Quest board member that Dyan was warned she needed to meet certain time restrictions to remain in the race, and she has been doing an excellent job of exceeding those limits.  She's way out there all by herself, but she and her dogs are still getting the job done. 

Fact - her red lantern finish will still represent more than I have ever done.  I think it takes a LOT of brass and perseverance to keep on trucking when you're at the very end of the line.

Other than the need to recruit a new dog handler, everything seems to be OK here at home.  The dogs were delighted to see me, practically bowling me over as I went from dog to dog giving out free hugs and yes, even kisses.

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