Thunderstorms in Ontario. Trail conditions.

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We’ve experienced some amazing severe weather since arriving in L’Amable 4 weeks ago. Thunderstorms have developed in the afternoon typically, though twice we have had overnight storms. Saturday’s storm (August 2, 2015) included high winds that whipped the drenching rain against the side of the house. Total water accumulation of around 2 inches. Last week, the storm dropped around 3 inches – filling the dog bowls left in the yard!

Dogs don’t like thunder. Chevy, an inside dog, tries to snuggle up inside his humans. He’s a big strong dog, with bad breath & slobber. Rattles, an outside dog, is afraid of gun noises, as well as thunder. He’ll hide in his box for hours, and not come out to party or have dinner.

The soil around our house is very sandy, and it’s remarkable how quickly the puddles and wet ground dries out. The nearby trails are less sandy, and we end up with some fairly large puddles. We’ve been exploring the trails, and they seem quite good. The Ontario snow mobile clubs maintain many of them. The one by our house is hilly and twisty, which should be good for the dogs when fall training begins.

Compared to the Two Rivers area of Fairbanks Alaska, the trails are much less boggy. Near our house in Fairbanks, permafrost was usually present within a foot or two of the surface. This lets water pool, with the result that bogs and muddy puddles persist for months over the summer, even when there hasn’t been much rain. In addition to having huge and often deep soft spots, trails are tussocky. So, early season training needs to wait for trails to freeze, and even then can be unpleasant until the snows come to even out the ground.

In L’Amable, I’m expecting that we will be able to use the trails with dogs as soon as the temperatures drop sufficiently. They are passable on ATV or dog cart, even before the ground freezes. Stay tuned for more updates…

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