Thursday, August 27, 2009

First fall dates scheduled!

While we're still dealing with quite a summer heat wave, we're looking forward to fall, cooler temperatures and being able to run the dogs again.
This is the time of year when we're making the first plans for our fall events, local and far away (road trips!).

So, here we go. The first scheduled events are:

Sunday, September 6th - Barbecue Potluck Picnic - Laguna Niguel CA

I know this is short notice but we just decided to host a barbecue potluck
picnic on September 6th (Sunday) at Laguna Niguel Regional Park.

We reserved Shelter #12 for the day, which comes equipped with 4 grills, picnic
tables, and even electrical outlets. It's also a little bit more secluded,
which is a good thing when you have a bunch of high energy dogs show up:

This would be a great time to get together, specially with the long Labor Day
Weekend. It would be a chance for us to chat about plans for the coming season
and have a picnic with the dogs. Depending on how the weather shapes up, some
of us may even get there early in the morning and go for a quick scooter run.

So please join us if you can and celebrate the end of summer! The potluck
barbecue is set for noon (but we will be there starting early in the morning) so
all you need to bring is your potluck item and $5 per person to cover the
shelter reservation and use fees. (FYI, there is also a $5 parking fee per
vehicle.) Send an email to if you are coming and what
potluck item you will be bringing.

The address to Laguna Niguel Regional Park is

28241 La Paz Road
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677


Here is a link to the park layout. (.pdf file)

Hope to see you there!

October 24th & 25th - Training Workshop with Karen Yeargain - Big Bear CA

We'll be holding a weekend training workshop with Karen on October 24-25 in the
Big Bear area.

Karen has been training and racing Siberian Huskies for many years. Check out
her website for more info on her and her wonderful

We'll be working with individual dogs and teams and will cover command and pull
training, training your dog to work in a team, passing, good behavior in harness
and other areas. Discussion will cover equipment, harnesses and lines, and
other topics as requested by participants.

The workshop format is flexible enough to accommodate all levels, so beginners
as well as more experienced mushers are welcome.

The cost is $175 per person with $25 for extra family members. Bring as many
dogs as you are comfortable handling.

You can get more info and a registration form here (.pdf file)

Let me know if you have any questions. Those who attended last year's
workshop got a lot out of it and I'm definitely looking forward to this year's

November 7th & 8th - Mushing Weekend - La Pine OR

Once again, Karen Yeargain is organizing a “fun-for-all” mushing weekend at La Pine State Park, in La Pine, Oregon.

This year’s event will be the first weekend of November, which falls on the 7th & 8th. Some of us will arrive the afternoon of Friday the 6th, to get settled in. We will be hoping for damp trails and cool temps, but no snow. This event is a dirt run, so plan on carts, quads, bikes and scooters. Runs will be arranged to provide a variety of training opportunities, including passing (from behind and head on), team weaving, directional command training, hills, etc. There is quite a variety of nice dirt trails to choose from. The event is open to anyone regardless of mushing style and experience (or lack thereof); bikejoring and scootering teams are welcome. Trails are suitable for all functions unless we get a surprise dump of snow that makes them dangerous for bikes or scooters.

Organized runs will be on Saturday and Sunday mornings; meet for breakfast at the conference lodge at 6:30 am or at the meadow about 7:15. The meadow (staging area) is about 1/8 mile before you get to the South Loop of the Park, on your right. The event has the use of the meeting hall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (until 1 pm on Monday). It has a refrigerator/freezer, microwave, sink with hot/cold running water, tables and a heater. We will have a potluck meal on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at about 1 pm; other meals will be informal potluck at the participants’ discretion…. We never lack for enough good food!

I will be planning a couple of presentations on Saturday and possibly on Sunday. Topics still to be determined. These will be right after the potluck, so bring a dish, join the meal and talk dogs!

Campsites at La Pine State Park are suitable for tents or R.V.’s; all have electrical hookups and water. Bathrooms with shower facilities (included in camping fee) are in our immediate area; bring your own towels and toiletries.

There are five “rustic” cabins (two double futons, a table, electricity and heat) and five “deluxe” cabins (two double futons in separate rooms, toilet/shower, heat, running water, microwave, fridge, barbecue). Rustic cabin #1 and Deluxe cabin #44 have been designated “pet friendly” this year as a pilot, meaning that up to 2 dogs are allowed in these two cabins; whether that continues and/or expands depends on how well guests manage their inside dogs. There are no dogs allowed in the other cabins, same as in the past.

Each person needs to make their own site arrangements. To make reservations for a campsite or cabin, go online to or call Reservations Northwest at (800) 452-5687, specify La Pine State Park, South Loop. Also, state that you are with the SLED DOG GROUP/MUSHING WEEKEND so that they can note that on your reservations. That way the reservations folks can advise non-mushing campers as they make reservations and give them the option to be close to the activities or further away, as they prefer.

Please let Karen know if you are planning to attend so that she may organize the event well and is able to provide updates as we get closer to November.

Questions, please e-mail Karen directly at

Please cross-post and pass along to anyone who would be interested.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

That's a lotta dogs!

...and that's an often repeated comment we get, when taking the dogs for a hike or run in suburban southern California. Weekday mornings, we take anywhere from 3 to 6 dogs out for an 8-10 mile hike on the local trails, including some of our friends at Three Dog Bakery.
Weekends, we usually run the trails at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa with 8 and 6-dog cart teams, as well as several scooter teams. For most park goers, it's just not a common occurrence to see a pack of 20+ Huskies coming around the corner.

For videos of our recent adventures, please click here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Twice in a blue moon

Recent cart orders seem to indicate, that blue is the color of the summer of 2009. Two carts that were recently finished are shown here. The darker one is "Candy Blue Metallic" and the lighter one is "Jeans Blue Metallic". Either way, they're ready for the trails, be it here in California, out in Wisconsin or wherever working dogs get to run.
Happy trails to all our customers and thanks again for your business!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Super Sweet Siberian Sisters

aka the Good Girls, Gaia & Gidget

Taking a water break on our walk to the beach this morning. We invited another Husky from our friends at Three Dog Bakery to come along on our 9 mile hike to the Ritz Cove. Fortunately, it wasn't quite as warm and humid as it was the past few days, so everyone had a good time. We even got a round of applause from the Laguna Niguel Little League kids when we walked by their baseball field, and our clownboy Silver was told-off by a rattler hiding in the bushes, so he quickly hid behind his friend Coal for protection :-)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another fun day at Fairview Park

Taking advantage of overcast skies again, a good sized group of "urban mushers" showed up at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa this morning to let the dogs go on another one or two of our short and slow training runs. Two cart teams and several scooter teams went out on the trails at a slow pace, squeezed in some training exercises and after a well deserved break went back to the parking lot. It seems like some of our training has actually paid off, since it was a rather uneventful day; no drama to report. Everyone, humans and canines alike, did their job and things ran very smooth. Now if things could cool down just a little, we could actually work on speed and endurance to get ready for winter.