Thursday, February 23, 2012

Inaugural Blog

From Peter -
                Welcome everyone! (If there is anyone at this point). Today, our website,, got off the ground. Its aim is to keep you, the masses, informed of our progress as we work towards our goal of competing in the 2014 Iditarod with a pure bred Malamute team, and naturally, the best way to keep y’all current on our progress is through this brand new blog.
                Since I have been asked to write this blog, and since a blog is another name for a public diary, I should probably start by introducing myself. My name is Peter, and I’ve been working here at the ranch since November, at which point I knew nothing of the skills needed to work in such a setting (I now know a little more than nothing). I came here because I wanted an opportunity to learn those skills, to work with the dogs, to live off the grid, and yes, to be with my girlfriend, Morgan. I’m 24 years old, less than two years out of college, and learning more here every day than I ever did in 17 years of student life.
                Now, to get you up to speed, the bad news first: For three days, it has been steadily plopping wet, heavy snow on us, and apparently that’s the go ahead for me to find every possible way to create more work for everyone around me. In 24 hours I have managed to get the plow truck stuck…three times, break the plow on another vehicle, and while tromping around on our roof during 50 mph snow gusts (long story), stomp a hole through part of the ceiling.
                Now, the good news: Evidently, everyone else here has both more patience and a better sense of humor than I. This week marked the end of race season, and has therefore been unusually restful. The season was all of our firsts, and I’m comfortable calling it a success – Morgan completed all four races she competed in, running approximately 100 miles in each of the last three. Both mushers and malamutes piled up miles and experience, setting us up for bigger and better things next season. Most immediately in the good news category: it seems to be clearing up a bit, which is great timing seeing as some good friends are coming to visit this weekend, and we’re antsy to get back to running dogs while they’re here.
                Well I think that’s enough for an introductory blog. The first of those aforementioned friends should be rolling in any minute now, so I should be off. If y’all have any questions I’d be happy to answer them (it’ll give me fodder to fill my blog). Otherwise, I’ll try to write up another update within the next couple days. Until next time!


  1. Peter-even when you break things you are cute! :-)

  2. Ok, so it said it published my last comment but I don't see it here, so can you see me now????

  3. Great job Peter...I can't wait to follow your blog with news, reports and updates on "my babies". Hugs to all.

  4. Did Morgan mush with other dogs before mushing with Malamutes? If so, I'd be really interested to hear what she sees to be differences (good and bad). She is my idol!!!!

    1. Hey Kim -

      Yes Morgan started out running Alaskan Huskies when she was still in college in Maine. A big difference between that experience and what we do here is that she ran tours in Maine, whereas here we run almost exclusively for training purposes. As far as Huskies vs. Malamutes goes, the former can't pull as much weight. That's not to say that Alaskan Huskies have any less drive, in fact Morgan said that it's harder at times to train Malamutes as far as focus goes.
      Our dogs are also very approachable and love human attention. Alaskan Huskies like attention too, of course (our Alaskans are all super loveable), but it seems like Malamutes naturally thrive off of positive human attention. That's also something we emphasize with our dogs: approachability. It's important that people feel comfortable coming up to say hi to our dogs at races. It's a safety concern for us -- we don't want a 100 pound dog accidentally hurting anyone.
      Finally, she and Twila just talked about how important it is to have structure and control with Malamutes. They need to know that you're the boss. That's especially important with Morgan, since she's not the heftiest of mushers and we have some seriously strong dogs.
      Hope that answers your question!
      - Peter

  5. I thought I posted on this one too...Damn...I wish I was smarter