Peace Pups Dogsledding; year five.
2005, We decided to try tours this season and made a half hearted attempt at getting my own tour business off the ground. I researched liability insurance and got that in place. I made up fliers and hung them on local bulletin boards and had business cards made up. I built my first tandem touring sled which I would be able to take customers out on. I was still lacking some major ingredients however; such as a trail? I thought I could run the tours here at our cabin but found that a wider and safer trail is required when hauling customers in a large tour sled. We also had a fairly poor winter snow wise and the state wide snowmobile trails never opened in this area which really restricts my running options. I did manage to pick up some sub contract work with another tour outfit and was able to run around twelve tours for them. This was good experience and helped me to see more clearly what I wanted my business to look like. I really wanted to be sure it stayed fun and as stress free as possible. If it's not fun why do it? That was pretty much my motto for the dogsledding business. If I'm not having fun the dogs aren't having fun either because they can sense what is going on with me. There is no fooling them; they know when I'm upset or stressed. I became very comfortable driving a eight dog team and found the transition from six to eight to be much smoother than the one from four to six.
Otherwise 2005 was a fairly quiet season for us. There was only one race near by due to the lack of snow. We entered a eight dog, fifteen mile class and ran that on two days. The dogs did a great job. I also had a couple of trails I was running near here that I was packing myself and on days we didn't run tours I would take the dogs out for fun runs. We made another trip to Matawin and did our longest run to date on our second day there. Lise and I took the tandem sled and a eight dog team and did a 40 mile run. It wasn't the fastest run ever but we did it and it felt like a major accomplishment to me. I was so proud of the dogs; they really are amazing athletes.
15 mile race 2006
That spring I decided to pick up another younger dog to help balance my team. Aiko and Toots had run well through another season but were now approaching eleven years of age. I had no idea how they would do the following season. I decided to make another trip to Concord Massachusetts to see if they had any other dogs available. I ended up coming back with Allie, dog number eleven. I was able to run Allie on a few spring sled runs in early April before we packed it in for the season.