North Wapiti Siberian
Iditarod 2008 - Tales from the Trail
December 2, 2007
4 Wheeler Lesson By Hilda
Well, temperatures continue to toy with -30 and
lower. I think the outdoor thermometer touched on -40 overnight
last night, but 'nature boy' Mark went out this morning and
declared that no way it was -40. I was too chicken to open the
door and really look, but with a flashlight it sure looked to me
like it was reading -40.
Things have warmed up to about -29 now, but still too cold to
run a team with a 4 wheeler.
Speaking of the 4 wheeler, I was reminded of an important lesson
Wheels up..handlebars down - oh, opps, it's wheels
DOWN..handlebars up. Yeah, that's it.
Yes, for the first time in many years I managed to roll my 4
wheeler on a run yesterday (no fear Mom, I'm totally fine). I'm
blaming the whole thing on Hilda, although she is completely
unapologetic about it - she might have actually been laughing
about the whole incident right after it happened.
Not much of a 'story' to tell with it, I'm afraid. Hilda just
caught me off guard (my mistake) and headed down my neighbors'
driveway after one of their dogs. This is the same dog she had
decided to run after a week or so ago, so I should have been
prepared (for the record we have passed Casey on more runs then
I can count over the last 5 or 6 years and Hilda has never
wanted to chase her or any other dog before).
Anyway, I set the brakes best I could and went up to pull the
team off the driveway and back onto the road. They got the 4
wheeler moving and I leapt for it. It became quickly obvious
that we weren't going to make it by the culvert and ditch in
between the road and their gates, so I bailed off as the machine
rolled down into the ditch.
Everyone was fine and the flipped machine held the dogs while I
got them back where they belonged.
It took some grunting and groaning for me to get the machine
upright, then I enlisted some canine power to drag it back up
onto the road. My back is feeling it today, but much better then
the embarrassment of waiting for and flagging down a passing car
to help. Pride can be a painful thing.
The rest of the run was uneventful, but cold. I came home
through the muskeg and the snow on all the trees was gorgeous!
Sadly too cold for my camera!
All else is going pretty well here. Kathryn is settled in nicely
and is pretty much just part of the family now. It is such a
treat to have her help around the yard - I feel completely
spoiled. The dogs all like her, especially little Mr. Bean, who
has her wrapped around his little paw.
Kathryn has also discovered, much to her surprise that she likes
cats - well, our cats anyway - especially Tic. I think I've seen
those little brat cats sticking their tongues out at me as they
enlist more and more people into the 'TIC AND BAIT FAN CLUB'.
I'm not a charter member, as I seem to be the one they wake up,
the one that has to clean up the cat puke and the one that has
issue with Bait sitting on our kitchen counter. Kara sees
through those pointy eared, whiskered little fuzzballs too.
That's my girl!
Oh, forgot to mention that I did make a few more cuts to the
team. These ones were made mostly because I wanted to get my
numbers down a bit. They were dogs I figured weren't going to
make the trip to Alaska this year, just too young, but that were
still having good runs. Anyway, it was Flash and Isis. I'm not
at all disappointed in them, in fact, I'm very proud of how they
have done up to now in training and expect big things from them
That leaves 30 in the 'Super Dogs' group. I'll probably hang
onto that number for another month or so, as it is a good number
to work with and everyone is looking very solid. There are still
4 two year olds in that gang - Wolvie, X, Irving and Bingo. All
4 are outstanding, as are race rookies, Runner, Togo, Newt, and
Roary. So 22 veterans and 8 rookies - sweet!
That's it from chilly Alberta for today!
Karen's Diary - Iditarod 2008 Edition
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