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chaos Posted - 09/18/2007 : 8:21:22 PM

It appears that I may be moving to Oregon from Alaska (yes, I know - going the wrong way!) this winter. I know there are some mushers in the state, but I don't know anything about running dogs outside of Alaska - and where I'm at it's pretty easy and well accepted.

We'll be living in the Lebanon/Sweet Home area. Does anyone have any idea if it's even possible to find property or a rental that will allow a dog team (I have 17 dogs) in that neck of the woods? Are there logging roads that you can do fall training on? When does the season start? Are there other mushers in that general area?

I apologize for sounding so clueless, but at this point, I really am. Any input or guidance anyone can provide would be welcomed.

Thank you!
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chaos Posted - 09/25/2007 : 1:19:50 PM
Twila and Dave, thank you for the added input. I'm flying in for a look around this weekend, and hopefully I will be a bit more educated in what to expect after that. The comments you and dog artist have given me will be a big help in where to focus my time this weekend.

Thank you!
RaisingChaos Posted - 09/21/2007 : 4:52:47 PM
I grew up in Albany just west of Lebanon. You are right in the west foothills of the cascades in that area and its not very populated. With a little exploring I expect that you will be able to find lots of options for dirt training without having to travel too far. There are a few trails on the pass that should be acceptable for snow runs. Just over the pass is HooDoo ski area that hosted one of the best legs of the AttaBoy 300. There are beautiful trails in that area. The snow is often wet and well known as Cascade Concrete.

Quinault Posted - 09/20/2007 : 5:08:55 PM
Originally posted by chaos

It appears that I may be moving to Oregon from Alaska (

We live in SW Washington and temperatures are a challenge as well as finding trails to train on. Lately it's been 55 degrees for a LOW at night down in the flatlands west of the Cascades so the only way to train has been to head up. I have nothing close to where I live so we truck the dogs to Mt Hood for trails, even for fall training. There are some pretty good ones there, especially if you arent afraid to run on gravel 50% of the time rather than dirt/grass/mud/sand. Overnight/morning temps have been in the 30's at Mt Hood these past couple weeks.
Santiam Pass isn't that far from Sweet Home and the temperatures at that elevation (4800')can be favorable for early morning fall training.
Later, when temps are consistently lower, we have found logging roads to be useful, and east of the Sweet Home area should have some of those that you can utilize.
Good luck.
chaos Posted - 09/19/2007 : 11:25:26 AM
I appreciate the feedback. I think this is going to be a big adjustment. I'll check out the links for local clubs, hopefully that will get me pointed in the right direction. :)

dog artist Posted - 09/19/2007 : 02:05:09 AM
Lebanon/Sweet Home are on the warm, wet side of the Cascades. You will likely need to go east for good training once snow flies. We do fall training in the desert with 4-wheelers on sand near Bend. That started Sept. 1st, early mornings until the sun comes it is nice and cold....supposed to be 30 tonight. But this is high desert and our last killing frost is July 3rd.

West side of the Cascades is a whole different climate. Don't know where folks further south of you (Medford, etc.) train early, but best trails are snowmachine trails after there is a few feet of snow...until then, most Cascade trails have lots of boulders, downed timber and way too much 'texture' to train on dirt.

There are a couple of recreational musher clubs you could try to contact that might have more information.

We moved to Central Oregon from Alaska 6 years ago...check with the county/city entities for Sweet Home and Lebanon. At least I find the land use laws in Oregon to be REALLY different than Alaska. Finding a place that will allow 17 dogs might be challenging, maybe not. But as much as we like our new state-of-residence, we find some of it pretty darned 55 mph speed limits. Comes from having a governor that was an ER doc, the rumor goes... Coming from a state with tons of water everywhere (Alaska) to the state of Oregon, irrigation, wells, etc. laws were a real eye-opener, too.

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