Yesterday I ran errands in town, so didn't get a team out onto the trail.
This morning, while trying to cook breakfast, my 100# propane tank that fuels my cookstove finally ran out of gas. Since the tank is obsolete and needs to be replaced, I've been trying to run it dry for a long, long time. It actually took a couple of years to get there, and of course the damned thing decided to do so in the middle of a meal, in the middle of winter. Tomorrow I'll have to deal with replacing it and getting some propane. I finished cooking breakfast over a camp stove, and that will get me by a few days if necessary.
Today we made another attempt with Jeff's dog. I loaned him our leader, Just, to help them figure out the game. It worked out MUCH better with a highly driven lead dog willing to play "chase me" through the woods.
Meanwhile, I had Cassiopeia and Capella in lead, Midnight's Son in single swing, Animosh in single team and Denali and Nels back in wheel. The goals of this short run were to show Jeff a training trail he can use to start training his own teams and to determine if Just is willing to run for him. We accomplished both of those goals.
In putting together my small team, I wanted to give my young leaders some gee-haw work, give Ani a nice, short puppy run, and generally just maintain a nice pace around the trail. All of that was also accomplished.
Cassie and 'Pella did a great job in lead, holding the team lined out until ready to launch, hitting their directional cues while on the run, and even responding to 'easy', 'whoa' and 'pick it up' (speed up) cues during the run. Animosh kept a tight tugline throughout the run, even when looking back at the team behind us. Nels looked back more even than Ani, but after a bit he decided that was a wasted effort so settled in to do his job.
During this run we hit a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour. Our moving average was 6.4 mph, which I can live with from a small team in these hills. Since it was important that Jeff and his four-dog team stay in view so I could point out the turns, we had to stop several times, but never for more than a few seconds.
Here are some video clips of our run today.