Saturday, February 21, 2009

Running Some Old School Gear

Today was the second stage of the Two Rivers Dog Musher's Assocation "Frosty Dog Stage Race". This is the first race in a stage format that TRDMA has put on in recent memory, and I've been busy helping with it.

Not so busy as to neglect my own team, though. Yesterday I took a team of 8 for a short but fairly intense 8 1/2 mile run in the hills that lie behind my home. I hooked the team to my 'freight traine', an eighteenth and 19th century toboggan. Since the team was running in a modern "Nome hitch" (two dogs abreast), our run was essentially a reenactment of a late 19th century dog team at work. Here is some video footage I captured of our run, set to some nice music I found on

It wasn't all fun and games. As we came down off the Little Chena Road extension trail I was using a snow hook in addition to the bar brake on the sled to try to control the rig when the hook clipped a root. This in turn snapped an eye-bolt that is used to attach the bridle to the sled. Since the eyebolt also provides an anchor to tie down the 'hood' of the toboggan, the whole sled was a bit askew and through the remainder of the run the team was pulling off the left front corner of the sled. Although difficult to control I was able to get everyone home with no injuries, and no further damage to equipment. I'll make the repair on the sled in the next day or two, and add some items to my repair kit to better deal with it should I have a similar problem in the future.

Here are some photos of the damage.

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