February in Alaska, cold, wild, dark and snowy…………………. or so “they” told us. February in Alaska was lovely, mild, verging on the warm and ever increasing amounts of bright sunlit days. In fact, it got so mild, we even had 2 days where the temperatures never got below freezing. Both us and the dogs responded to the change in temperatures by discarding layers – we left a fleece or two in the house, most of the dogs have started blowing coat in ever increasing quantities. At least we can go back indoors and grab a jacket, I hope the dogs have a similar plan in mind.
Late February also saw the arrival of our first visitor to our new house. Cameron flew over from the UK to spend 3 weeks with us, doing touristy things, helping out in the dogyard and running dogs. His wife was left to tend to their dogs and send him regular updates on how many creme eggs she had eaten. It was great to welcome him to Alaska, as I used to train regularly with them and their dogs in Scotland.
Having Cameron here was a great excuse to show him around a few of our favourite places – strangely, most of those seemed to be eating places like the Talkeetna Roadhouse or The Noisy Goose in Palmer. We went shopping for winter gear, and postcards and headed down into Anchorage to see some of the Fur Rondy on the Saturday. We spent some time chatting with JP and Kari of Anadyr Siberians as they prepared for their second day of racing in the Rondy 25 mile sprint race. We saw several teams leaving and then wandered along to the corner of Cordova Street to watch the teams as they take this 90 degree bend – it was amazing how effortless those guys made taking that turn look, with their big strings of 16 dogs, running at 20 miles an hour.
Close on the heels of Rondy week, is the circus that is Iditarod. It’s a huge event and attracts many tourists into the State. Some of those tourists were people we are friends with and have run dogs with, from Scotland, so we were delighted to be able to host some of them at our house, and show off our wonderful dogs.
The weather also started to turn cooler and we finally got some more snow – which was great as it hides most of that famous yellow snow everyone is advised not to eat and it softened up our trails.