Thursday, January 20, 2011

Copper Basin 300

After a busy summer working at the Princess Lodge, I had decided that this winter I wasn't going to video tape any sled dog races. I was going to work with my own team, enter a couple sprint races and just enjoy going and watching others race. I started out with good intentions.  We trained on the dirt roads until the snow fell in late October. By December, we were ready to race. We entered two 4 mile sprint races held by the Montana Creek Dog Mushers Association. We finished each one in last place, but we finished. That was all I cared about. The dogs had a good time and ran well.
Team on MCDMA trail--pretty!
The magnificent seven at home.

But, sometime in November I started receiving requests for videos. First from the Explorers group that works with the Willow Fire Dept. So I am working on that promotional piece for them. I'll be shooting for the Willow Jr 100 race again, but not making a movie like last year. That movie is finished and available on my eStore through Amazon. Willow Jr 100 dvd
And then there is the new sled dog race the Willow Dog Mushers Association is helping organize, and the project for the Willow Winter carnival where I am taking old photos and making a slide show of them.  The problem is my good computer is being worked on by Apple and making all these projects next to impossible.
When I get the computer back, I will start to work on the new movie for the Copper Basin 300 CB300 sled dog race. I've been to the start of this race a couple times and it is notoriously cold; like -30 or -40 cold. I've never followed the whole race, but the race organizer convinced me it would be a good race to make a movie about and they really needed a movie. So, on Jan 7 I drove to Glennallen for the musher meeting and next morning headed to Paxson Lodge for the start. The CB 300 is one of the few races you can drive to most of the checkpoints. I lucked out with weather not too cold; only -20 or warmer and no wind. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets made for beautiful video. Unfortunately, short daylight hours left little time for movie making, but at least at Chistochina there were spot lights. I chose one musher to follow through the race to get a good feel for what it's like to run your dog team 300 miles. It doesn't end the way I thought, but the story is good nonetheless.  I'll let you know when the movie is ready.
Meanwhile, coming up up is the Willow Winter Carnival and a woman's five mile race which we will probably enter, the Willow Dog Musher's Willow-Tug 300 raceWillow-Tug300 , then Fur Rondy Fur Rondy and then Iditarod Iditarod.

Here are some still photos that may or may not be used in the Copper Basin movie.
Musher meeting at the high school in Glennallen
Sunset over  Glennallen

Sunrise over the Richardson Highway on the way to Paxson Lodge and the race start.
Hoarfrost covers the trees at Tolsona Checkpoint. A bit chilly there.

Teams rest on the lake during the relative warmth of the day.
Some of Lance Mackey's dogs couldn't sleep when they
saw Lance fixing dinner.
Aliy Zirkle's cute fur kids.
Mike Ellis' beautiful Siberians.
Frosty dog yawns

Here's why the dogs were frosty!

Dog booties protect feet.
Even though the team just arrived, one dog is still ready to run.
See all four feet off the ground!
Team arrives--Dan Kaduce
Some teams ran through Tolsona and would rest at
Wolverine. One team races across the lake.

The gold pan trophies for 1-3 places and the red lantern for
the last team across the finish line. Made by Judy Carrick of
Toad Hollow Gifts. Nice!
Along the road to Wolverine Lodge.
Along the road to Wolverine Lodge.