Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another Training Day

Today I wanted to run further than we've been doing lately, so hooked up a team of seven for a run.  I didn't get as early a start as I had hoped, so didn't have enough time to run two teams.  I nonetheless had a great day out on the trail with the dogs.

We had quite a variety of trail conditions today.  As we left the yard we were running on packed powder.  When we hit the busier trail that parallels Two Rivers Road we were on packed snow.  We transitioned onto the Wood Cutting Road, which has been plowed and run so much that it was hard packed, icy and very fast, with little control of the sled.  (That's why they call it a "skid" road, I guess).

We took a 'haw' onto the Little Chena River Ridge trail, which was nicely packed snow.  A 'gee' onto the Money Trail was much the same, but the 'haw' onto the new Borough cross-over trail had us breaking trail in new powder again.  Once back on the busier Swamp Trail we were again on packed snow, and then back to packed powder for the final sprint home.

The dogs did a very nice job for me today, overall.  I had three-year-old Orion next to Just up in lead, and though they missed a few cues, they always corrected very readily.  We did have one head-on pass with another team, and Just surprised me when he balked.  Nonetheless we were able to get by each other without major mishap.  I watched that section of video several times in slow motion, and can say with confidence that none of my dogs engaged the dogs of the other team.

I've been trying to contact Abbie West over the past couple of days, following up on a rumor that she may have a dog for sale.  As she was working at Two Rivers Lodge tonight, I decided to let Jon cook my supper.  There were more people there than I expected, so holding a conversation with Abbie was a bit of challenge.  She'd pass by with someone's order, and I'd ask a question about the dog, and as she passed on her way back to the bar or kitchen, she'd give the answer.  It was actually kind of fun, in a Two Rivers sort of way.

I'm very interested in a young dog named Thor.  At 11 months of age he's outgrown his litter mates, in fact, he's outgrown Abbie's team.  He's apparently a "big goofball", not particularly light on his feet, but he trained with her race team through most of the autumn and has always kept a tight tug line.  Abbie thinks he'd be a good match for the Stardancer team, so I'll take a look at him as soon as I can arrange to do so.  He sounds like a nice, big boy who could be a heck of a lot of fun.  He's the right age to fit into that little age gap between my three-year olds and the new puppies that are coming next month. 

Tomorrow the entire team will get the day off, as I need to go to a medical appointment and then do some shopping in town.  I'm hopeful to be back out on the trail on Thursday.

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