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Friday, February 4, 2011

Montana February 2010 Part 6

Friday, Feb. 5 2010
I ran my second  8 dog team to the Helicopter pad and back. They were a stronger, faster team with 4 dogs big enough to haul freight. We did the run in 3 hours 55 minutes, 20 minutes faster than the day before. Four of the dogs, including both leaders had never run with me before. I was nervous, not knowing how they would behave. Would they test me as the others had done. Lennie was the biggest dog in the yard, but was gentle. He was a lot like Gator and proved to be a good steady leader, just  like Gator. My times were as follows. Time to Reservoir Lake 65 minutes, then 50 minutes to the helicopter pad, 5 minutes rest and turn around (it went smoother this time with no tangles), 45 minutes back to Reservoir Lake, and 70 minutes back to the dog yard.

It took us 25 minutes to go from mile marker 14 to mile marker 10 with Skipper, Hershey and Cobra all in a brisk trot. They were my pace dogs. If I could keep them at the threshold of breaking out into a lope, we would be going 10 mph. I kept them in that trot but allowed the other dogs to go at their own pace, trot or lope. Lennie, like Gator, liked to lope. Washington, like Toro, liked to trot, but would break out into a lope from time to time.

Melanie’s corner was not as kind to me this time. I was not going to take her like a downhill skier on their edges. I side slipped, caught the outside runner and flipped the sled, landing on the left side of my head with the snow hooks just missing my head and landing on the ground right in front of my face, effectively stopping the team. It took me a minute to get up, adjust myself, check everything and right the sled. The dogs were barking loudly and wanted to go. I would need to get up and going faster the next time. The rest of the run was clean. It was a very good run, over all.

Some side information that might be handy for the race was noted (17 minutes from the pad to the large yellow sign noting one lane traffic ahead, 17 more minutes from the sign to the creek.

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