All the signs are here that summer is gone and winter is on its way. Dog training is in full swing. The thermometer hovers around 20 degrees F in the mornings. We have had two snow events - about 2 inches of wet stuff that coats the trees and makes the morning roads slick. And I unearthed my long underwear, down jacket and winter gloves last week.
Aliy and Allen made their last presentation of the season for tourists on Princess Cruises' Denali Express train. Their focus now is late fall maintenance projects and training, training, training!
Meghan's summer stint working at Alaska Fire Service ended last week and she is back living in the handler's cabin down the driveway at SP. She is running teams, feeding and scooping, and bonding big time with the Fire Litter. She has even managed to match names with individuals, a real challenge with this huge, wiggling mass of puppies.
Snow dusts the porch at the SP Handlers' Cabin
And in mid October, Moira returns to SP Kennel from her family home in New Zealand. More on her time in the Southern Hemisphere later, but suffice it to say that during the past year she has lived in winter in Alaska, then winter in New Zealand and back to winter in Alaska. Now there is a trooper!!
Moira, left and Meghan, right. M&M return to SP for the 2013/2014 Racing Season.
All of these changes point in one direction for Doug and me. SOUTH! Our little house in the woods is almost ready for winter. Just need to drain the water system and turn the heat off. On Saturday, right after Sammy's 6th birthday party, we hop a plane back to our winter home in Florida.
What a summer it's been here in Interior Alaska - the Canine Warriors Testing, a forest fire evacuation, weeks of 80 degree temps, prolific veggie gardens, a litter of 11 pups and building projects galore for Doug. But mostly it's been a time to enjoy our kids (Kaz and Aliy) and their families. Many thanks to them - Kaz, Ray and Sammy and Aliy and Allen - for being the best!! This is a pretty great family to be part of.
Mickey and Doug heading off to FL
So, we're off to enjoy our beach, pool, golf and kayaks for a few months. See you all in March for Iditarod 2014.