So Rich and I took 10 dogs and two sleds into the White Mountains yesterday. Conditions are shitty at best, but the trail is so smooth that the lack of snow isn't really an issue, especially when you're double-sledding like we did. We did a 15-mile round trip and Rich, who is my little mushing protege, did great. And by great, I mean he's still alive, so...great! We got to the halfway point at Lee's cabin and I let the dogs loose to run free, play etc etc...They weren't tired at all and only a few of them ate the snacks I offered so I figured we should just keep going. That's when shit went bad. Bully, Sneaky Pete and Parker took off down the trail. Oh it was glorious to see them stretched out, running free...until I realized they weren't coming back. I was pissed. So, Rich and I, with a combined weight of probably about 400 pounds...yes, I'm up to 165, so what?... and a 50-pound bag of meat in one of the two sleds were pulled by just seven dogs for seven miles. Needless to say, Rich and I ran up the hills and pedaled on the flats to help the dogs out. It was a workout for everyone involved. We got back to the truck finally and Bully was tied up while the yearlings danced happily around him. My anger for them vanished and I was filled with relief. Thank Jebus. And thanks to the musher who caught and tied Bully up. (Also, musher man, you dropped half a bottle of rum on the trail, so thanks for that, too!)
Anyway, the dogs looked really good after the run but I'm still giving them a day or two off before the next outing.
Peace.Rich on the second sled. The sled he was on was tethered to mine. It's a common training technique, especially when there's not enough snow to set a hook.
Darky, darky. I love the glowing mountains.
I call this one Dogs on Trail.
Do I look cross-eyed? Do I look like a cross-eyed chipmunk? Yes, I chew on my neck gaiter.
Rich and dogs in Lee's Cabin in the White Mountains.