söndag 23 januari 2011

Tangling dogs

Last Thursday Hakan went to Nederhögen to qualify dogs at 2 x 30km. The first part took place on Friday, the tracks were excellent and they finished 30 km in 2 h 5 min with sledge and eight dogs, which boded well for Saturday's stage. During the night of Friday, it fell some snow so the track was slightly heavier but also on this day the dogs were working well and the team made the 30-km at 2 h 15 min. This meant that team, with a good margin, passed the lowest speed of 7 km / h required for passing the test.

Sunrise 23/1-11

Saturday morning's sunrise filed hopes for good weather and I decided that I would go sledging in the afternoon.

Hakan brought the best lead dogs and those who work the best, but I reckoned that Singi and Sälka, who has previously gone as lead dogs, would work well. I put up the team on the field near our house, just beside the road. When I was just ready to go and had loosened the lead dogs, one of the neighbors came walking with his dog. Sälka and Singi thought it was very exciting and turned the whole team in the wrong direction. However after some trouble we got started. 
The dogs were hot and went galloping for about 3 km. I went on to the lake at a good speed, but as we turned home, the two males in the team suddenly realized that Delta smelt very good. Appa, who joined in pairs with Delta, tried repeatedly to get on her and didn't realize, despite Delta's very angry reception, that he was not welcome. Pepper, who joined as wheeldog with Corall, struggled and pulled to get close to Delta and refused to stand still as I stopped the team to switch places for Sälka and Appa. It all ended with the entire team beeing one big knot and I was glad I had no aggressive dogs in the team. 
After a while of tangling I had sorted out all the ropes and could provide the command-Forward! then there were only five dogs who were listening. Appa went backwards and Pepper pulled like a horse, soon I had a knot again: (((My patience was running out and I had to strain to not let my irritation out on the dogs. Slowly we moved forward on the lake, the dogs constantly tangling while Singi did her best to tighten up the tangling team. As we finally got home, I was all sweaty.

In the afternoon, I read in the newly purchased book "Friluftsmat" by Anita Forsell and made my first attempt to dry anything other than mushroom. The result seemed good and today I'll test it with carrot and turnip.
Dried onion

 In the evening I started sewing a harness and Sälka, half asleep, supervised my work.

Sälka half asleep

The first part of a harness

söndag 16 januari 2011

Inventory weather

Last night we were planning to about one o’clock. We surfed the net, looking for clothes that complement the existing closet and different stuff that is missing to the dogs. Wool underwear, wool socks, gloves and thermal pants were ordered. We found that the condition of the harnesses must be controlled, the number of dog booties checked, team lines and stakeout inventoried. It became clear that we need to buy more Eskimos hooks, hooks to the neck lines, nylon rope to the neck lines and anchors to the stakeout to park the night in the mountains.

The snow is still on the roof, but probably not for long

The snow that fell yesterday has melted to slush
 Today the fog is dense in Jonsbyn. In the morning it was raining and yesterday's about 1dm fresh snow went into a wet slush - a weather, in short, not preferable for sledging.

Instead, it was very appropriate to move forward in planning.
98 booties
 With all the dog booties, which we currently own, scattered on the kitchen floor, I saw that it was 98 -far too few  - add dog booties to the shopping list. The next census was stakeout. The number of dogs in our kennel has grown rapidly and when the stakesout, which we have not used since last year's race season, were checked , we discovered two things: One, we have only stakeout for seven dogs. Two, bits of the stakeout is worn and needs replacing - add stakeout for eight dogs and pieces to replace the worn on the shopping list.

So it was time for inventory of the harnesses.
17 pair of dog eyes excited following me as I approach the kennels

As I approached the kennels carrieing their harnesses,  17 pairs of excited dog eyes were following me and longing barking echoed over Jonsbyn (as mom comes with our harnesses we are usually going out for a run). With hands, which soon became numb in the wet zero degree temperature, I concluded that since the requirement of fit is high when the dogs will wear the harness each day for about 60 days, we need to organize four new harnesses - add four harnesses to the shopping list.

So went another day and day of departure is one day closer.

As I have been shopping Håkan has put his time and power into taking down trees for selling, to try and make the income equal to the cost.

 Tomorrow we are working and there is no time for planning. It will be necessary that we are effective during the holidays that remain if we are to be well prepared

lördag 15 januari 2011

Nice visits

Last night we had a visit from Sofia Christensen who is the breeder of Spira and Allak. We ate pizza and talked, of course, dogs and equipment for our trip. Sofia offered to lend her elevated tobboga, a pair of snowshoes and a multifuelkök. Decent Sofia:))

Today came Håkans former colleague, Björn, and his two daughters on a visit. After they had greeted all the dogs they went for a sleigh ride of about 10km. For Björn, Linnéa and Klara it was the first time and it was with high expectations as they left. Hakan with eight dogs and Klara in the sled and Björn with six dogs and Linnéa in the sled.

Björn and Linnéa

Håkan and Klara
Björn and Linnéa

Björn and Linnéa

They had a good trip and all were very satisfied. When the dogs were taken care of, we went and had coffee and as thanks for the tour, we had a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates, which both will facilitate the intended planning tonight:))

fredag 14 januari 2011

Planning agony

Should we have two sledges or a sledge and a Nordic sledge? What foods and how much should we bring for ourselves? How many clothes and what clothes should we bring? What tools should we bring if we need to fix something? How many dog socks, do we need? What type of kitchen can be used? How much fuel do we need? What must be included in first aid for dogs / us? Which GPS should we buy? Where do we start, in Salen, Idre or Mörkret?

Questions for the journey feels endless and departure date is approaching faster than is desirable. Will we have time to get everything in order?

The trip, which we have dreamed about since 2004 when we bought our first Samoyed, Sarek and Nallo, is scheduled to go as far as we can in about 60 days, in the direction of Treriksröset. The staring point is yet not decided.

The only thing we're done with is our time off - it lasts between 26 / 2 and 2 / 5, and the plan is to spend March and April in the mountains with our Samoyeds and maybe, just maybe we can do the "White Ribbon" between Idre and Treriksröset.

Today I looked around online and read about what you should think about the current food. Dried food is obviously preferable, but freeze-dried is expensive so I will try to dry some myself. We are vegetarians so dried soy protein will be our main source of protein. Our reserve food will be bags of freeze-dried dishes. Canine cuisine will be a big part of our packaging and we must also fill in with new food after about 10 days. This, we hope to solve with the help of  “Foderbilen” which delivers dog food to the desired location by reservation.

The weight of the gasket is what determines how we should travel. We anticipate that each dog can take an average of 20kg, it means a total weight of 300kg. Of these, 300kg, about 60kg will be dog food. Two sleds or one sled and one Nordic sled weighing 40-50kg, so we can put about 190-200kg in our cargo. If we both should go by sled increases the load of our body weight, with approximately 170kg and then we can only take about 30kg more. The conclusion is that one of us must go skiing and have a Nordic sled. Since the sled will weigh about 150kg, our assessment is that it is heavy to handle and that it is therefore appropriate that Håkan goes with the sled and I go by ski - so now is the time to start training sleeping muscles.