Saturday, January 31, 2015

Feeling Lucky

Not all dog sled excitement involves dog sledding.  Today was a good example of that.

I had promised a friend of mine a dog sled ride for her birthday.  I picked her up at her house and we drove the hour to run dogs.  It was warm and snowless (or ice coated) in our other mushing locations so we went to the place that is nearly sled-able year round (well...okay...Nov-April) LOST TRAIL!

The moment we drove into the parking lot THE WHEEL came OFF the dog trailer!  I COULDN'T believe it! We had just driven 50+ miles and the wheel fell off in the parking lot.  I feel so incredibly lucky!  The strange part was, there was no indication from the trailer (no wobble or wiggle) that there was a problem.

Bearings complete gone!

Cell coverage is extremely patchy at the pass and you have to have NOT AT&T to get anything....guess what I have.  Yup, you guessed it AT&T...well not for much longer.  Luckily some skiers were there, had reception and allowed me to call Cobey.  Unfortunately, Cobey did not answer.  So I thanked them and my friend, Satoko and I, walked over to the ski lodge of Lost Trail Powder Mountain.  I had heard I could possibly get reception in their parking lot and then I could try Cobey again and send him pictures of the damage.  That was not the case, but the lost trail ski owners allowed me to use their "emergency" cell phone and I thought to call my mushing friend Nicki who lived 30 minutes from Lost Trail. 

She had sold me the trailer so she had no other trailer but did have lots of dog crates.  Nicki and her husband Bill said they would come to my rescue but it would take some time to get there and with the parts needed to repair the wheel.  But what do you know, we had the perfect thing to do to pass the time.  Run a dog team!

We got the dogs out of a tilted trailer, hooked them up and were off!

Satoko and the team!

It was foggy in the parking lot but absolutely beautiful blue bird skies just a quarter mile up.  The frost on the trees was amazingly beautiful!

I'd say she looks pretty happy!  How could you not behind this wonderful team!

Took a break to switch Flier into lead.  He was fired up to go!

The team did amazing!!!

Good puppas!  Pulling so hard! I only had to pedal up one short steep section! 

Taking a break in the sun after turning around

Okie!  Where's your head?!?

Tank is ready to go, so let's hit the trail!

When we returned to the truck, I kept the dogs in the gang line and fed them there like we do at home. Then we removed their harnesses and unhooked the sleds (leaving the snow hooks to hold the team) and let them relax along the gang line.  I thought, this is great "camping" practice for the team for when we get into distance races!

Look at these two silly girls (Jig & Whip) enjoying themselves! Ha!

Just relaxing like old pros!

Look at that good looking team!!!

Nicki and Bill showed up shortly after we returned and began to attempt to fix the wheel. None of the bearings they were advised to buy fit.  So we had to resort to plan B. Loading 9 dogs and 2 humans into a Chevy Silverado Extended Cab truck. Nicki had brought with her many MANY crates of different sizes.  We were able to fit two large and two medium sized crates in the back of the truck.  Buck and Buzz doubled in one large one, Whip and Jig in another.  This was a first time for them. And, they did great!  On the whole day, the whole team did great.  

Whip and Jig, after the ride home, ready to get out!

There was a whole lot of new for the dogs and they handled it like it was the routine! Tank and Okie got the other two crates.  Flier and Isis sat in the back seats of the cab. Satoko, Tensaw and I sat in the front.  I felt like I was in the musher version of a clown car.  It was hilarious! We fit all the gear where we could and Nicki kindly took my sleds in her truck. All that was left was a busted trailer (which will be fetched tomorrow).

Isis and Brandi

Flier on the other side.

Tensaw and Satoko!

Here is Brandi climbing in with a whole bunch of dogs!

Having a good time!

Silly panoramic that kind of messed up our faces but you get the drift...3 dogs, 2 humans in one truck with 6 more dogs in the bed of the truck.

Today was a successful day thanks to a great dog team and great friends to run dogs with and be rescued by.  I can not thank Nicki and Bill enough for coming to our aid when we needed them!  They are amazing!

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