A few mushing pictures



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  • A few mushing pictures

    Had nice mush yesterday up a side creek heading into the mountains around here. Temp was -10 and mostly overcast.

    Here we are near the headwaters where we had just turned around. Lots of overflow on the creek itself and vast areas of frozen overflow like this, most of it slanted and with frozen waterfall-type areas, am a bit bruised and sore but sure had fun!

    Here's the same spot looking back down the creek toward home, six miles away:

    Mark Richards

  • #2
    self portrait <grin>

    Can't have a thread without including my ugly mug to prove I was really there!

    Looking fwd to a lot of spring mushing. Happy trails to all,
    Mark Richards


    • #3
      Great photos, "ugly" mug and all hahahaha. We got enough snow here to really extend our season.
      Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North

      Does this shotgun make my butt look big?


      • #4
        "Here we are near the headwaters where we had just turned around. Lots of overflow on the creek itself and vast areas of frozen overflow like this, most of it slanted and with frozen waterfall-type areas, am a bit bruised and sore but sure had fun!"

        Maybe you got cityfied spending that time with Brian.

        ps. great picts.
        Vegetables arenít food, vegetables are what food eats.


        • #5
          Great Pics/Dogs?


          I always enjoy your photos. Thanks for sharing them.

          If you have time can you describe your dogs? Maybe some differences of your dogs and racing dogs we have been seeing on the Iditarod. To my eye, your dogs look larger and have thicker coats, and that make sense for what you need them for.

          Tim Miller


          • #6

            I too want to thank you for the awsome pic's. They tend to show the awe inspiring desolation of the real Alsaka.
            Inre to your dog team. I have read your posts and seen your website. You seem to have hearburn with atvs. Do you think that you might be predisposition against atvs because of your years with the dogs? Just want know where you are coming from.



            • #7
              Great pictures. Always appreciate when you take the time to take us along.


              • #8
                Tim, our doggies...(and Jeff)

                Tim, we've gone the whole gamut of dog sizes and varieties in our time out here, started with the larger slower bush dogs that were a malemute and husky mix, went to some smaller faster dogs bred from some pups I got from a racer, then tried to get back to a happy medium for what was best for what we do on the trapline and recreational mushing and freighting.

                Four younger dogs in our team are likely best litter we ever had. Mix of Alaska bush dog and Inuit Eskimo dog (the mother) and a male we got from John Schandelmeier that is a mix of hound and larger racing type dog (blue eyes too). Makes for a bit faster dog, longer legs, but a mix of longer and shorter hair. We'd prefer the longer coats on all, but one male and one female from that litter had the shorter hound-type coat. Males are around 80 lbs and females ranged about 60-70.

                So their mother and father and those pups comprise six of our eight-dog team. 2 others are are 12 years old and smaller and last of our racing type experiment in dog breeding. The two older dogs are likely on their last year in the team, at least on the normal or longer runs.

                We do real well to average six mph. A lot of what I do is continual breaking and rebreaking of trail. It isn't that often when it didn't get windy or snow between trapline checks or just going somewhere. So the dogs never really get to run on hard trail all the time like they would if we lived in an area with groomed trails or if I had a snowmachine to break out trail for them. On hard trail we can do 8mph. When breaking trail and rebreaking trail you are often going walking speed. So that's the scoop on the dogs.

                Jeff, I really wish you'd have asked that question in, say, game mgmt forum or hunting forum in a thread where we speak about such things and it doesn't detract from this one, and I'd love to go into a longer, explanatory answer. No, I don't think my years with dogs leads me to have a predispostion against atvs (or snowgos for that matter). I don't have a problem at all with either. When the first 3-wheeler came to the village, we all thought they were the greatest thing since Pilot bread <grin>. Truly, saved on gas, you could get around town, haul wood and water, really useful all the way around. Four wheelers too.

                The short answer is that ATV use = Great, ATV abuse=Bad. That's where I've always come from.

                Mark Richards


                • #9
                  Interesting as ever!

                  Great pix on some hansome workers.
                  If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.:topjob:

                  "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....


                  • #10
                    some lovely looking dogs there, wish we had lots of snow to run on here, but we only get snow maybe once a year if lucky!!


                    • #11
                      Bushrat, please keep those photos coming.
                      You sure know how to live, my friend!

                      God Bless.


                      • #12
                        Do you ever have dogs that aren't quite right for the team? Dogs that won't pull, etc. What do you do with the ones who don't fit?
                        I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
                        I have less friends now!!


                        • #13
                          Mike, never had any dogs that didn't pull. Or didn't fit in the team. We don't run a huge team like many of the racers or tour operators and we don't believe in the philosophy ourselves that a dog doesn't "fit" because it may be different size, different gait...every dog has intrinsic value to us.

                          Only problem we have had in all our time out here is one of our pups (male) who could not be cured of fighting. Great worker, no problem around us and kids but just could not cure his insatiable appetite for his brothers and some of the older males. There was no ryhme or reason either to his fighting. He was as big as any of the other dogs too.

                          As I recall, it was late 80s and we were coming back from helping with the Quest, overnight at trapping cabin, was just before bedtime. All of a sudden we heard a major dogfight outside, ran out there and that dog had slipped his collar and was mauling an older dog (one of my daughter's favorites). I don't know how many stitches I had to put in other dogs in the year and a half we had this one dog. We thought we could just keep him separated from the other males in the team, not let him loose with the other males, just very unusual for a loose dog to go fight with another dog on chain.

                          If you've ever seen the results of a nasty dogfight, it is pretty gruesome. The one thing about this dog is he never once got scarred or bit, always got the better of the others.

                          Well, I broke the fight up, chained him back up, brought the mauled dog in the cabin and spent two hours suturing him up by headlamp. Kids always enjoyed helping dad work on dogs...they learned a lot from that too about dealing with blood and how to sew a dog up fairly well. They were also very good at calming the dogs, holding them to where with many of the dogs we didn't have to use any lidocaine, or even in the case of bad porcupine quills knock them out altogether. We always carry dog drugs and suture kit with us.

                          We let the mauled dog sleep inside that night, was -30s. It was the last time the mean dog got to fight with the rest of the males in the team. Sometimes you just gotta do what's best for all, but I took no pleasure in it, that's for sure.
                          Mark Richards


                          • #14
                            Lost contact

                            Mark -- have not been able to send emails for some time now and when I tried to mail you the other day it wouldn't go through for some reason. How's things been going and were you folks ok with the break-up? We made out ok here but was very close to flooding, sister in-law in Tanana lost everything from what I can gather.
                            I see from pictures you use the Go-devil type outboard and was wondering how you like it? The Stony is a shallow rocky fast river and was wondering how it would work as with the price of gas jets just are not cost effective.
                            Looks lke you had a good year with the dogs as did I but we sure had the snow. I you get time send me a personal email so that I have an up dated address. You folks take care and hope to hear from you.--- Rick


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