Things did not look promising when it began raining at Sandpoint, Idaho and only got heavier the closer we got to Priest Lake. It poured all night, huge puddles around the cabin and wet dogs every time we dropped them. Our cabin-mate, fellow Siberian musher Kim Stanley and I were beginning to doubt our decisions to attend the race. Moods were definitely improved when we ate the wonderful dinner Valentina and Stefano made us. A rich pasta dish (can’t remember the name) along with pork chops (cooked to perfection) and potatoes.
By the next morning, the rain had stopped and we all were ready to race. Valentina and Stefano were volunteering, they were going to post up on the first turn, making sure the teams made the gee turn. This year we were entered in the 4-dog sprint, 2 days of 4.7 miles each. I was running Jig and Whip in lead and Flier and Buck in wheel. There were 6 fellow competitors, of which Kim was one. The day was warm, the snow was soggy (but not too bad, given the amount of rain overnight. As the day progressed more and more spectators arrived. Each time I dropped dogs, a large semicircle of people formed to ask questions and pet the dogs. How could they not, our Sibes are beautiful, if I may say so myself. In fact, I had the friendliest spectators parked right next to me. They traveled 1.5 hrs to come watch the races. They basically tail-gated the dog sled race (awesome!). On the tailgate of their pickup truck they had campstoves with gumbo and chili and they also had pie, rice crispy treats, chips, and beer. They were having a great time and asked a lot of great questions. They offered me food before my race but I declined as I planned on running A LOT with my team. But as soon as I was back to the truck and had water to my dogs, they came over with all sorts of food for me!
Finally our race time came. The dogs were lined out, led to the chute (where Jig about peed her pants due to the number of spectators) and we wert off. They were fast and ready to run.
Super impressed with these dogs. We had so much fun!