At the end of the mushing season there is one chore that is best to get done right away! That's the sorting, laundering and packing up of all the gear.
While we send a LOT of gear out on the trail it is possible to return non-perishable items home in "return bags". The Iditarod Airforce brought them all back to Iditarod HQ for mushers to pick up and once we got them home we all set to and sorted into piles of booties, dog jackets, fleece throws, human clothing, gloves and socks, vet supplies, hand warmer packets etc etc.
We have many, many dog jackets of different types that go out on the trial. Aliy and Allen carry wind jackets and insulated jackets with them but there are also fleece jackets and spare wind jackets at various checkpoints. All the dog jackets and fleece blankets were laundered, repaired if necessary and packed.
ALL the booties had to be sorted, one-by-one, and strung up to dry. We check every single bootie for holes, as they will not be reusable, and we set them aside for giveaways at specific events. We then sort the "good used" booties into their different sizes then we hang them to dry. As you can imagine, the garage is rather fragrant currently! Once dry we'll put into sets of four and we use them for training next season. Booties can have a life of one wearing or up to perhaps even three or four depending on how long they were used for, the trail conditions and the dog.
Booties, booties everywhere...
Bags full of clean and dry gloves and socks to be packed and sent out in drop bags next season; We found the Yukon Quest fundraiser booties each with individual messages from supporters.
Fleece throws, jackets, booties... all ready to be packed away for the summer.
It's a nice feeling to get it all done and we feel like we are ready to start the season on September 1st! That's not far away!