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Friday, January 21, 2011

Montana January 2010 Part 9

On the way back from our turn around at Reservoir Lake. Something was wrong with Arrow, she kept backing off her backline and dragging Gator, my other leader causing him to slow down. Toro, who had caused the tangle leaving the dog yard had been running up behind her the entire run. He caught up to her several times and once she got her left hind leg wrapped in her own towline.

 I had been standing on the brake or the track for most of the run to keep the gang line from dragging on the ground. As a result, we could not keep up with John. Gator must have finally had enough, because my reliable leader surprised me by turning right and darting down a snow  machine trail we never took. Six dogs were on this trail before I could stop the team. It was too late. We were in a thick stand of trees and deep snow all around. I drove them down the trail to the first clearing, stopped, set the hooks and unhitched the backlines of the last six dogs, then took the leaders and turned them around. I had to untangle another jangle after I got the team lined out, then reattached the backlines and headed back the way we came. When we got to the road, Gator wanted to go left, which would have taken us back the way we had come, in the opposite direction from where we where going. I had to get off and turn the team. This meant that the last six dogs and the sled would have to be untangled and lined out. I found John waiting at the clubhouse; he had been there about 30 minutes. I had wasted so much time that we had to abort our planned 50 mile run and do a 34 mile run. I told him about my problems with Arrow and he agreed I should switch leaders. I put Hobart up with Gator and moved Arrow into swing. Things went better after that.

When we got back to the house, John noticed how much clothing I had on and made a comment to that effect. I said we should wait until he was my age before we discussed the matter. He said that would never happen, implying that I was so old that I would be dead when he was my age. So I told him that getting old was like moving into an old house. I pointed to my head and said, “The wiring is going bad.” Then I pointed down and said, “The plumbing doesn’t work and it costs an arm and a leg to heat.”

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