postheadericon August 22, 2006

My trip to judge the Cook Inlet Kennel Club in Palmer, Alaska, was absolutely marvelous. Tbe show was very enjoyable; the venue was lovely with mountains towering over the show grounds. The club members saw to every need of the judging panel. Members fished and judges ate halibut and salmon for every lunch. Delicious! I enjoyed meeting the Cavalier exhibitors and renewing my acqaintance of Janet Klinger of Maryne Cavaliers. Most of the other exhibitors are new to Cavaliers but so eager to learn about the breed. After the shows, I took the Gold Star train from Wasilla to Denali Park. The scenery was magnificent along the train. What beautiful country! I stayed in Denali for two days, took my first CALM rafting trip down the river. Next day, Jim and Ann Sims took the following photos while we were on our bus tour into the heart of Denali Park while on our backcountry tour. We left from our hotel at 6:00 am and returned after 7:00 pm. I still have not developed the film for the pictures I took and have yet to figure out how to download the digital photos from the other camera that I borrowed. Thank you Jim and Ann for sharing. The bears pictured below came straight down the road toward our bus. Denali Park is so beautiful. I so enjoyed meeting some of the workers who come from all over the world to work at Denali during the summers. Denali closes during the winters when sunlight is limited to only a few hours and the park rangers get around by snowshoe and dog sleds.

From Denali Park, I took the train once again to Fairbanks–another lovely scenic train ride. While in Fairbanks, I took the paddle wheeler up the river. We visited the dog kennels of the Iditarod winning Susan Butcher who recently died. Her dogs were still at her place where her husband and daughter still live. To learn more about Susan Butcher: One of the interesting facts about Alaskan sled dogs is that they are not pure bred Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Huskies which would be expected. Sled dogs are called Alaskan Huskies and are a mixture of breeds; they are not registered just chosen for their speed, stamina, and willingness to work as a team.

Our riverboat stopped at a replica of an Alaskan Native Village where we saw the early way of life reenacted. To be in Alaska in the early days of the Gold Rush would have been very hard living as hard living as the days of the building of the Alaskan oil pipe line.

In two days, I am off to Houston to visit my good friend Hazel Arnold of Red Oak Cavaliers. Hazel is suffering from ovarian cancer and is having a really tough time. I am going to attend the first specialty put on by the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of Houston. I come home on the August 29th and will stay home until I judge in California the end of the month with also a short visit to my friends Tami and Jeff Byroads in San Diego.

When I get back, I will be whelping a litter of wholecolors and talking to those interested in Rattlebridge puppies. Right now, we have a darling four month old black and tan boy and a lovely eight month old blenheim boy available.

Many thanks to my friend and webmaster, Roxy Hayes, for making my news page into a blog that even I can manage.