Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fun Training Run Today

Today's run was one of those that reminds me why I run sled dogs.  We passed a parked pick-up truck, a cow moose and her calf, a snowmachine and SIX different dog teams all in only 8 1/2 miles.  The only glitch in the works was a low battery in my digital video recorder, which died en route.  I was able to put together a little video giving you a view of the early parts of the run, including the powerline right of way, the Two Rivers Road side trail, the hill-climb through the woods, and part of the wood cutting road.

I've posted the entry from my training journal below the video.

Sunday, 1-30-11:

8.5 miles - same route  and trail conditions as the last 2 runs.  +15 degrees F.  Tunnel bed sled.

Amazing Grace and Just (leaders)
Capella and Cassiopeia (swing / team)
Beau and Nels (wheel)

Bright, beautiful day and the kind of run that reminds me why I do this stuff.  Moved my hook-up anchor to a tree that is closer to the line, but a better angle for clearing the gate post.  That worked out quite well so I'll leave it where it is, probably for the remainder of the season.

-  Nels spun around on launch and tangled his harness and tug-line.  Had to stop as soon as we got on firm snow on the power-line right of way to clear it.

-  Grace and Just took the back-to-back "haw" cues to pass the trailhead parking lot very nicely.

-  Leaders tried to go "haw" at the Swamp Trail, but corrected very quickly.

-  First head-on pass with Jason Gonyaw on Wood Cutting Rd.  Lots of room and was
   an easy pass.

-  Truck parked on left shoulder with woodcutters.  Orion tried to climb up the bank
   to avoid them.  They drew my attention to the cow and calf moose that were just
   beyond the tree line beside the road.

-  Capella had jumped the gangline and was crowding Cassie, but not enough snow to hook down on the wood cutting road, so they ran literally shoulder to shoulder until we turned onto the Little Chena Extension trail.

-  Team took a perfect "haw" onto the Little Chena Extension trail.  I hooked down
   almost immediately to help Capella duck under the gang line.  I got back to the sled  
   and saw a big team barreling down the trail.  Pulled hooks as quickly as possible
   and whistled them up.

-  Second pass.  Not sure who it was, but the dogs just steamed right past them.

-  At the top of the ridge had a head-on pass with a snowmachine pulling a sled
   behind.  Orion again shied well away from it.  No one else had any issue with it at  
   all, barely sparing it a glance.

-  Third head-on pass with another team.  Not sure, but think it was Rod Boyce. 
   Again my team just steamed on by without issue.

-  Fourth head-on pass - Julie Stricker.  Once again the team was on perfect behavior
   and she and I exchanged high-fives on the way by.

-  Fifth head-on pass, either Rick Swenson or Sonny Lindner (not sure which) with a
   big string of dogs.  My dogs responded to  the "gee by" cue perfection and once
   again ran by with no problems.  We exchanged pleasantries.

-  Nice controlled descent down the side of the ridge to the Swamp Trail.  Fun
   running through the initial pinball rollercoaster section.

-  Coming into sharp blind right hand turn in trail saw another team and called "gee
   by" to pass on the right, as I wasn't sure how many dogs might be on the team and
   didn't want to risk trying to pass a big team on the 'wrong' side.  Dogs climbed up
   the snow bank to run right past, just like a bunch of professional sled dogs.  Turns
   out it was my handler Ted with a team of four of his dogs.  Boom tried to interact
   with my female yearlings in swing, but wasn't fast enough.  Dodged a BIG log
   sticking out next to trail as we sailed by.  It was all rather exciting.

-  Sailed over the narrow "pinball" section through the trees probably faster than is
   prudent, but we are all having too much fun to slow down.

-  Leaders wanted to take the haw for the road crossing, but corrected as soon as I
   spoke the "gee" cue.

-  Nice sprint down the power-line right of way to return to our yard.

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