12-31-07 Monday: 10 miles. Toboggan with 120 lb of weights plus gear bag. +10 degrees (F) at finish. AWESOME RUN. Max speed 13.3 mph, moving average 9.2 mph. Lynn’s to PV Road to Swenson’s Field to Baseline, around big field, back down baseline, zig-zagged through Swenson’s Field to Wilbur St. to Store and back to Lynn’s along highway trail.
Daisy & Dutchess
Rose & Nels
Grace & Gump
Sheenjek & Seamus
I repaired the drag mat on the sled first thing, put 120 lb of weight in the sled, & hooked up the dogs. As I was walking back to the sled after hooking up my leaders Grace was biting and pulling on the lines, but I towered over her. She looked up, said “oops, sorry boss”, and then ‘lined out’ like a proper sled dog. Good Girl.
The dogs were so eager to run that when I popped the quick release they started dragging the loaded sled even with my full weight on the bar brake. They finally got tired of that and waited until I got my snub line stowed and mitts properly situation. Then I called them up and let them go. I held them back as best I could on PV road (hence the 13 mph max speed), and then let them have the freely gliding sled once we were on decent snow.
Dutchess tried to take the “haw” (left) at the start of Swenson’s Field, but I held firm until she corrected. We flew around the curve away from his dog yard. At the next place down from Swenson’s some big, black Newfie looking dog came out chase us for a couple of hundred yards, then gave up the chase probably because there was no way in hell he could catch us or maybe he figured out that 8 strong working dogs outclass him. Either way I was glad he abandoned the chase.
Once we were moving along the west edge of the field the team finally slowed to their “traveling trot”, which in the case of both Dutchess and Daisy was an easy going lope. Daisy was dipping snow a lot during this run. I’m not sure why as I’m pretty sure she wasn’t overheating by any stretch, and she actually drank plenty of water this morning for a change (I baited it with ground moose meat and fat, which she really likes). Other than that, it was just a strong, solid run from beginning to end.
I originally planned to run 8 miles (bringing Daisy back up to speed with the team), but they were running so strong on the way back that I zig-zagged them around Swenson’s Field to add a mile or so, and then added another mile or so by taking the roundabout way home. Darling Daisy was still doing her easygoing lope as we hit Lynn’s driveway, and only dropped out of it because the snow in the middle of the drive hasn’t been packed and she needed to pull harder. As we entered Lynn’s yard the two leaders pulled the team right past Kia in her circle all the way up to the truck.
I’m so proud of the gang I could bust buttons off the front of my shirt. They were a great team today.