Sunday, January 20, 2008

Red Letter Day for the Stardancer Team

Today was a red-letter day for the Stardancer Historical Freight Dogs team. I wanted to take the team for a longer run before I have to return to my place of employment for two weeks, and today was my last opportunity to do so. We went further and faced more challenging terrain than we've previously attempted with the new 'freight train' toboggan. Heck, we even got some pretty good video of our run. The clip below (5Meg) shows the team as we started today's run.

With 120 lb of weights plus a 40 to 50 lb gear bag in the new "Freight Train" toboggan we took a a 20 mile loop from Lynn Orbison's place to the last of the Potlatch Creek Ponds, then returned via the Yukon Quest trail. Weather conditions were great for the musher but hard for the dogs with a temperature in the high 20s. This made for a soft, punchy trail but I gooped the dog's feet with a special ointment to prevent snow from sticking between their pads and creating ice balls. Apparently it worked just fine as not a single dog had a problem.

The dogs did get plenty warm from time to time, as evidenced by very long tongues hanging out their mouths. This required us to make several stops to allow the dogs dip or roll in the snow to cool off. I took advantage of one of those stops to shoot a front-on view of the team, figuring I've shown you more than enough "musher's view" photos of dog's butts.

"Left" and "right" refer to your left and write as you view the picture.
Left leader, Dutchess - Right leader - Torus
Left Swing, Rose - Right swing, Seamus (the yellow dog)
Left Team, Gump - Right team - Grace (mostly hiding behind Seamus)
Left Wheel - Nels - Right wheel, Nels

The only untoward incident was a case of musher error. As a result we smacked the toboggan straight into a spruce tree. It was an unexpected test of materials and workmanship, but the 'train' came through with no visible damage at all. In fact, the only thing hurt was my pride. I may share that video with you at a later date, after I've had time to edit the language.


1 comment:

  1. It has got to be the most wonderful feeling to be able to travel in that wonderful lay of land with the snow and the efforts of the dogs doing what they do best.

    Gosh, I miss snow.