Brent's Blog

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


More trail work

Trail work has become a high priority since we have not gotten any new snow.    The more I go over the trail the more stumps and tussocks get exposed and that has led to a rougher and more out of control ride.  I am going over the trail 3 times a day so the trail is really taking a beating.  So today I was out again with the snowmachine  cutting stumps and using an ax to chop the tops off of the tussocks.  Cant wait to hit the trail first thing tomorrow morning.  Ill update you tomorrow on how the newly renovated trail treated the dogs and I.   My progress on projects around the cabin have slowed since the mandatory  jobs of watering, feeding, shoveling, puppy walks and running 3- 10 dogs teams on 20 mile runs is keeping me plenty busy.  I am now counting down the days until Kyla gets here on the 2nd of Nov. She will make everything happen allot faster, be more efficient and allow me to finish up some important jobs like filling my wood shed for Fairbanks' long cold winter.    I better get to bed.  Make sure to send snow my way!!  thanks for checking in 


Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Night Running with the Train

Hello training is really going well. The trail is still a little rough but I have been out doing allot of work and it is getting better, with another few inches of snow we will be really rocking.  I am going 2o miles now and the dogs are looking great!! Tonight I did my first night run,  it is totally crazy and a little out of control, but the dogs love it and as long as I stay on the sled it is great.  Tonight we had allot of train traffic.  My trail parallels the train tracks for miles and tonight we got into a little race with a train and it was awesome.  I was calling the dogs up and they were responding and trying to pass it, it was great they were showing their competitive spirit tonight.  I better get to bed.   I am a one man operation until Kyla comes on Nov. 2nd that that makes for a long day.  Hope all is well thanks for checking in 


Thursday, October 23, 2008



The trail grooming I did last night really paid off!  I just had the first sled run of the season and there are no words to describe how awesome is was.  It is still a little rough and there are places that need some more snow but it is great training for me and the dogs.  For the most part it is safe trail, there area  few spots that are a little crazy but again its all good training.  I ran eight dogs and I am pretty confident I could run ten.  This is essential since I am training 34 dogs and running small teams is very time consuming.   Running ten dogs I can run 3 teams a day and rotate days off for each dog.  Were going 15 miles now and the dogs are looking great.  Im headed back out for another run.  Its suppose to snow again tonight, lets hope that comes true!!!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Snowy Trails!!

My wish is coming true!!  It has been snowing on and off all day, we probably have another 3 inches and the weather man says there is more on the way.  My trail problem may be solved,  I just got back from grooming out 20 miles of trail.  It was allot of work lots of trees to cut out of the trail and brush to cut to clear, but it will be well worth it.    And of course it turned into a big adventure when I ran out of gas about 5 miles from home and had to walk back,  Luckily I called my buddy Josh and he picked me up where the trail comes near the road and knocked off a couple miles in both directions.  When I left earlier I was only planning on going out a couple miles but when I saw how nice of a trail I was making I kept going and going.  So after walking home picking up gas and a chain saw and walking back out, I was able to continue.   In the end I got some good exercise and have an awesome trail in.  We will see how good my trail is tomorrow I am going to go out with at 8 dog team on the sled and give it a go.  If it works out all of my problems are solved an I can get my training back on track.  Ill let you know how it goes.  I'm headed to bed thanks for checking in 



Never a Dull Moment

Well one thing is for sure living a dog mushers life is always exciting.  I have always had some Four wheeler trail issues out of my place, but up until yesterday we had no problems. But I went out yesterday to find my trail blocked and no trespassing and Trap line signs up.  This had been a trail I have been using for the past few years on and off and there has never been a problem.  But the owner of the property decided he didn't wanted to run a trap line on the trail and didn't want me traveling over the trail and drawing more traffic,so he blocked it off.  This is a big blow but one I have to understand.  We live in Alaska for a reason and if he doesn't want anyone on his property he has the right to block it, and I have to respect that.  This is not good for my training but I can still go short miles and will do that for the next few days while I figure out my next move.  On a positive note, I got conformation from Kyla (last years handler) that she is definitely come back this season.  This is great news.  She did an awesome job  last year and I am sure will hit the grown running when she gets here on Nov. 2.  I know the dogs will be extremely excited to see her, she did an amazing job of bonding with them last year which is what made her such an asset to Wild and Free.  With this new turn off events AJ has decided that a new place is calling him and has moved on to the next stop on his world tour.  I appreciate all he did for me and am sure he will be successful wherever his travels take him.  I better run the snow is falling here and hopefully that continues, if we just get a foot of snow all my problems will be solved! Until next time PRAY FOR SNOW!!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008



We have went below zero here in Fairbanks and it is great.  The cool temps are making for great runs with the dogs and also freezing up the creeks that I have to cross with the four wheeler.  I went out and groomed the trail again and it has set up nice with just a few more inches we could be on sleds.  I dropped off Pat (my sponsor) yesterday,  I think she had a great time here getting to know the dogs and helping with all the chores , she even road along a few times on the four wheeler.  It was great having her around and I know the dogs appreciated all the extra love.    She has also really motivated me to start updating the blog more, she was very nice about it but definitely gave me a hard time about not updating on a regular basis.  This is just the kick in the butt I needed.   I am going to be updating at least twice a week.  I promise!!  It is a beautiful day here in Fairbanks so I better go make good use of it.  Thanks for checking in.


Monday, October 13, 2008



We are getting the start to winter all of us dog mushers have been dreaming about.  Since the last time I updated we had a warm day that melted alot of the 3 inches we got earlier in the month but over 4 inches has fallen in the past 36 hours and we are living in a winter wonder land.  The forecast is calling for even more snow and cold temps in the coming days.   If this keeps up we will have the base that we need to put in all of our trails and be mushing by the end of the month, this of course is wishful thinking but it has gotten us this far so why not keep it going.  the dogs are loving it today I ran 3 teams and watching them run through the deep snow as a great sight, today was one of the best days the leaders listened to my commands and there wasnt a slack tug line all day.  I even got my retired lead dog learn out and he lead a 14 dog team around a short 3 mile loop and was great.   He is a little over weight and looking is rip old age of 14 but today he looked like he was 8 again leading the team down the powdery trail.  Pat my sponsor is visiting now and what a great weather for her to experience, it is so awesome around here with all the fresh snow, it really makes it feel like it is the middle of winter.  I think there is more snow now then we had by the middle of December last year.  AJ, my new handler is really catching and adjusting to a dog mushers life, which has made the productivity around here go way up and just in time, we were able to get the place totally cleaned up before it snowed , which is a huge load off.  Well I better get to bed I keep you posted on how everything is going around here and if mother nature keeps on the pace she is now i ma sure it will be all good.  until next time 


Thursday, October 9, 2008



I cant believe it, Mother Nature is hinting at giving Fairbanks a great winter!!!  It has snowed another 2 inches at my place to bring the grand total to around 3.5-4 inches,  which I know doesn't sound like allot but it is the start we need and it is only Oct. 9.  As you can see I am pretty fired up about this and I am not the only one, trust me!  The dogs are crazy, with the trails totally covered in snow they seem to be really happy, and we all know a happy dog team is a fast dog team!  This snow has projects around the Kennel going to overdrive and things are getting done.  I finished the woodshed, which is key because know I can cut and split all the wood I have around the property and have a place to put it where is doesn't get covered up with snow.  This pretty much goes for everything at the kennel, it needs to be winterized.   Whether it is put in the cabin, one of the 3 sheds or covered with  a tarp to forget about until spring, everything needs to be dealt with before it is lost under the fluffy white stuff.  Lots of excitement in dog training this week as well.  I put a new trail in so know I have roughly 20 miles of trails i can use for dryland,  Hopefully we wont need them that long but it is nice to know we have options.  This week we started going 8 and 1o mile runs and the dogs responded great.  I stayed with the lower miles for longer in hopes to really strengthen them up and make a nice base to start the season and it is working out so far.  I went 2.5 miles for all of Aug and most of Sept, then jumped to 5 miles for the rest of Sept and the first few days of Oct. and now after going 8 miles for 5 runs I am mixing 8 miles runs with 10 mile runs.  The dogs are pulling even harder as the miles get longer and no one seems to be getting tired.  It is allot of fun to see them progress just in the last 2 months I cant wait to see them in another couple of months. This weeks dog of the week is Walter.  Walter 3 and is a son of Madonna (my main leader) and brother to The Dude and Maude.  His litter was my first litter of pups and they have turned out great.   I have been running Walter in lead allot with Silver and he is doing doing a great Job.  HE has learned to hold out the line when were hooking up and also when we come back and is driving really hard for the entire run.  Just in the last few runs he has started listening better to Gee and Haw and I have no doubt with a little more work he will be a great leader this year.  Walter ran in his first Quest last year and did great for the first 400 miles but then got a really bad shoulder injury in the Jumble Ice on the Yukon and I had to drop him in Eagle.  But he showed allot of potential as a two year old and as recovered fully from his injury.  I have to head out and run a couple teams now so I better get going thanks for checking in.  One more thing, this weekend is the Sled dog Symposium here in Fairbanks and I will be speaking at both the Rookie meeting and on a panel on Sunday.  Ill be sure to let you know how it goes.  Also one of my first sponsors ever Is coming to town for the symposium and then is going to come stay here for a few days and help train the dogs.  I am really looking forward too it and I know she is as well.  AJ (handler) is out there getting things set up so I better run 


Thursday, October 2, 2008



Sorry its been a while but we are in full swing at Wild and Free, and there is little time for anything but the essentials.   After returning from my brothers wedding I was hit by a storm of things that needed to get done before the snow fell.  One of the most pressing was the Equinox marathon that I had not trained for!!  but I have to say with some moral support and Motivation from my good buddy Tom Douglas we cranked out the marathon like true warriors, me in 4 hours 16 minutes and Tom in 4 hours 17 minutes respectively.  I wont lie to you it was more a mental battle then anything my legs cramped at 8 miles felt like rubber at 12 miles, cramped again at 15, to the point that I had to beat them to keep them from totally locking up, and from that point I just shut off all sensory to my lower half and finished with a smile.  Overall I had a great time,  but you haven't heard the best of it.  I was expecting to have a long painful recovery but instead i just forced myself out into the dog yard the night of the marathon and never let my legs lock up and because of that I was feeling pretty good the next day, So good that I packed up and went on a solo 2 day float of the Chatanika river in search of a the ever popular moose.  That is the true reason I have not had time to update the blog I have been working at home and at TBK, running dogs and hunting for the past 10 days and everything seems to be coming together.  I shot a moose on a float down the Chatanika river this past Sat., my new handler came 2 days ago and productivity has went up around the kennel and I just about have everything wrapped up for the season at TBK.  The best part of all is that the ground is white!!!  We got our first snow last Sat. and it looks like the temps have dropped and are going to stay down, were looking at the possibility of an early snow year!!   As for the dogs they are looking great I am running 3 teams of 12, 7 miles everyday and they are looking good.   The young ones are learning alot and the old dogs are settling in and getting into the swing of things.  Cant wait to see where this team can go!!    More later on the dogs and my new Handler AJ he is a writer in his other life and I ma sure will be updating you from his point of view, so stay tuned for that.  Hope all is well in your neck of the woods



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