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Friday, January 21, 2011

Montana January 2010 Part 8

Saturday, January 9, 2010 continued

The wee people must o been working a bit o mischief. Getting the dogs ready was no problem, but as I left the yard the one leader, Arrow, and one of my swing dogs, Toro, bulked and I had to set the hook then go untangle a mess of dogs at the front. John was coming up from behind and had to dynamite his team to a stop to keep from running into me. We just got started when, Nona, one of my yearlings broke her neck line and was heading back to the yard. If she had been a veteran I could have run her without the neckline until we got to a safer place to pull over. Because of the deep snow on either side of the trail, she was trying to get back to the yard by running through the team. Somebody was going to get hurt if I didn’t turn her around. We stopped while I snapped a new neckline on her. The rest of our run went smoothly considering there were snow machines everywhere and we had to constantly make sure they didn’t get too close to our dogs. By the time we got to Melanie’s corner I had let John get a good distance ahead of me and could see him through the trees waiting on the road below. Standing on the brake, I was slowing my team when we took the corner. Good thing. There were two snow machines parked right at the point of the turn and my leaders were trying to decide whether to get past on the inside or the outside of them. They were eating sandwiches, oblivious to the whole problem they had created. I told the girl, who was following a guy she called Vic, that they had picked a bad place to stop. She said they didn’t know that to which I replied, “You know now.” Vic got up and walked between his snowmobile and my line of dogs as I inched forward. He acted like he didn’t want them near his prized machine. He could care less about the dogs. My brush bow finally cleared the track on the girl’s machine and careened up over the front of Vic’s left ski causing my sled to tip over on its side taking me to the ground with it. As the dogs dragged me down the trail I climbed up onto the side of the sled, stood on the track dragging behind and righted the sled then stood on the runners and kept going.

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