Creatures of Winter

I still don't know the answer which is my favorite season. Of course, summer is the absolute dislike. During the summer I just wish I could dig a foxhole in the permafrost and wait there safe from bugs and bears for the weather to cool of. Battle for the first place will be between autumn and winter. Autumn is so beautiful. Especially the last weeks before winter when there is frost on the ground early in the morning and the landscape begins to look all black and white. Velvety dark waters are waiting to freeze over and I can walk in the forest without all kinds of vegetation all over me. And of course the sent and wait of the oncoming winter in the air! 

With all those outdoors activities there are dark nights by the candlelight. Not to mention layered clothing and woolen socks! My friends know that I walk all summer wearing my boots and I just won't wear sandals or other similar things. And my neighbors know that I might take my dogs outside wearing only boots, shorts and a t-shirt even when it's -30C outside. And just for you to know I'm not talking about my home in Joensuu. My apartment is truly in center of Joensuu city and my door opens to the central square, so even I will wear something more appropriate. So it's fair to say that I'm definitely a fall/winter person and if I'd do a genealogy study I would find relatives living in the arctic!

We continue our autumn trainings until we have enough snow for a sled. I also took two dogs for a walk at the same time and my genius idea was to harness the other one - but when they get harnessed they just want to pull! Thought of two harnessed Siebrian Huskies in front of me while walking them made the breeder of my dogs laugh and declare the whole idea suicidal. My next great idea was to teach my dogs to stay put in front of my ATV. Valo already knows how to stay put when I yell WHOA but he does this only when he's already ran for a while. But my dogs pulled me and the ATV easily so I had to brake that dogs wouldn't drag the ATV with them. Of course they didn't run very fast but I think it's better they really have to pull than just run in front of an ATV with motor running. And it's fair to say that there are only two veterans in my team (10 and 8 years old) + Odessa (not that I'm underrating her strength)! But it's good to know that this team could pull a Chukchi sled on tundra, even if I pack something else on the sled besides myself.

Besides ATV training I bike with my dogs every week. It is especially important for our "veterans" to keep fit and running free or laying on a couch just isn't enough. Especially 10 years old Sero is really inspired with biking! I broke one of my digital cameras so I could safely duct tape it on my bike and take a video of my dogs pulling. I have seen funny sledding videos that are fast forwarded, cut in every few minutes because the dogs stop running or the musher have to yell commands all the time and in those videos the dogs don't run even for a one kilometer. Well, it's always good that people are interested in sledding, even if their dogs don't actually do so well :D !

We had first snow earlier this week so I hope winter comes early this year. In the meanwhile we just continue our trainings and hope good autumn trails for all sleddog enthusiasts! Oh, and the puppy in the main picture is Odessa's daughter Hilla.