I got back to the Kennel late Tuesday night and Aliy, Allen, Bridgett and Bob returned yesterday afternoon. There was some drama -- of course -- which I will share soon, but for now please be assured that everyone -- human and canine -- is safely home, pretty tired but quite well.
The biggest surprise we found upon returning from the Copper Basin 300 Mile Sled Dog Race was the thermometer reading you see here. That's right, the temperature was 50 degrees above zero and stayed that way all day! As I write this, it is still well above freezing and simply everything is melting. Snow is cascading off the roofs, there are puddles everywhere and we're all walking around in shirtsleeves. After two weeks of devastatingly cold temperatures, this experience is downright astonishing. It occurred to me that between our previous temperature of below -55 and our current temperature above +50, there is at least "106 degrees of separation." I'll tell you, winter in Alaska is quite an experience of extremes!
The dogs don't seem to be phased by it at all, though their behaviors are remarkably different. Instead of being huddled in their dog houses, burrowed into their straw and not showing even a nose except at meal times, they are now mostly outside their boxes playing games with each other, on top of their boxes howling at everything or nothing, and generally enjoying what must be like a vacation in the tropics for them. Teddy has gone so far as to stretch out on the "snow beach" for a nice nap. With a coat as thick as hers, she is probably sweltering!
Instead of not being able to run the dogs because it is too cold, we cannot run the dogs today because it is too warm. It's probably just as well, because nobody really feels like running today anyway. Aliy and Allen have taken Bridgett to the airport and plan to do some "stuff in town" afterward. Considering the long weekend we've all had, a day of "catching up with ourselves" is very much in order.
Thanks as always for tuning in! I've got a few tidbits that I'll post over the next few days as activity ramps up again here at the Kennel. Then, before you know it, we'll be back on the road for the next race of the SP Kennel Teams!