Manitou Crossing Kennel
Forrest would stay with us a few days before heading to Anchorage to meet his wife. At the Iditarod start, Forrest would drive Blake's tag sled.
The boys set out to care for the dogs and to run them every day for the next couple days. You can see those photos under Freking Siberians--Iditarod bound. The best surprise was that one of Blake's females, Takhini, gave birth to one puppy as they drove up the Alaska highway. Naturally, the puppy is named, Alcan. :) We would watch him grow over the next month. Unfortunately for me, Momma didn't like me, so I could only visit the pup when Phil brought him out from the kennel in my garage.
Takhini checks to make sure Blake is handling her baby properly. Alcan is only about a week old in this photo.
On Tuesday before the start of Iditarod, my friend Marlene Daniels from Montana arrived. My house was now full of new and old friends and our whirlwind week began.
Marlene holds Alcan on one of his visits to the house for socialization and granny hugs.
IDITAROD VET CHECK
On Wednesday, Blake and Phil load all the dogs and head to Wasilla and Iditarod HQ for the final vet check. Marlene and I arrive later. This is the last exam for all the dogs qualified to run this race. After today, mushers will have decisions to make as to which dogs to take down the trail and which to leave behind. It's not always an easy choice. But what fun to walk around the lot and see which mushers and their dogs are there.
Fan favorite and three in a row Iditarod champion Lance Mackey has a talk with his Father, Dick Mackey. Dick is also an Iditarod champion.
Newton Marshall poses with Lance's famous lead dog, Larry (below). Newton trained with Lance this season and Larry will help take him to Nome.
Sebastian with friends.
When all the teams had passed us by, we returned home, tired, slightly sunburnt but very content for experiencing a wonderful day. Nothing to do now, but watch the race on the internet.
BACK TO NORMAL
For several days after the restart life was quiet. Marlene returned to Montana. Life at Husky Heights was pretty routine. Phil took care of the dogs left behind and we would go to the prison to pick up the dogs Blake dropped along the way. None were really hurt and all recovered just fine. They spent their days lounging in the warm March sun.
On this day, we picked up Trouble and Roland and brought them back to hang out with the rest of the Manitou Crossing Siberians.
Before Blake arrived, CG LaBelle asked if she could mail an item to me for Blake, something he promised to carry in his sled to Nome. Of course, I said yes.
"Blake Freking generously helped make a wish come true. Blake's generosity allowed Sharon Stahl to return to Alaska. Sharon was a member of an RGO that put on sprint and mid-distance races in Foresthill CA. Sharon is battling cancer and due to treatment, and her health would not have been able to return to Alaska if it were not for Blake Freking."--CG LaBelle