Having just returned to my place of employment from a shorter than normal R&R, it seems appropriate to review the progress we made during that short but eventful week. I normally get off work Tuesday, but Tuesday is always a wash. If I'm coming off of night shift Tuesday is spent getting a bit of sleep, running errands and picking up the dogs from their boarding kennels. If I'm coming off of day shift I can't count on being away from the work camp before 1 pm, and it's usually 3 o'clock before I actually get home. Again I have to fetch the dogs from their boarding kennels. Either way, although Tuesday is technically one of my days off - in reality it is a 'lost' day in terms of dog mushing or other recreational activities.
So in reality, I only had six days off in which to do the things I wanted. I had a pretty good plan of what I wanted to accomplish, and published it here on my blog. Let's take a look at how well the plan came off.
My original plan was to run the team on four of the six days. I actually only got them on the trail three days, but on those three days I feel like we met most our taining objectives for the short week.
One of those objectives was to get acquainted with Torus, our new leader from the Rogue Summit Kennel. I think we got a real good start in that direction. He seems to be reasonably comfortable with my style of giving cues and I know I am in awe of his abilities, both physically and mentally.
The second objective was to learn to drive my new "freight train" toboggan. The new sled is essentially a reproduction of the toboggans that were used as dog sleds during the 18th through early 20th century in much of the Canadian northwest and Alaska. I feel like we made a huge amount of progress toward the goal of driving that sled competently. It has it's quirks, but they don't seem to be unsurmountable by anyone's definition. It is everything I had hoped it would be and even more.
Finally, my third objective was to show the team some new trails, challenging my own abilities as well as those of the dogs. We were definitely successful at that, spending two of our three mushing days exploring further afield, in different directions. I'll dare to say that we will probably spend the rest of this winter exploring new areas and facing new challenges.
Even though the "R&R" from work was short, I feel like it was very productive and I'm well satisfied with the things we accomplished.