Snowy Me! First run out with six dog team Second run out with six dog team
Ran 18 miles with 12 dogs in two different teams today in a foot of snow. First team pulled my snowhook because it's almost impossible to hook down well in this fresh powder. I caught the sled as it went by and they dragged me a good 1/4 mile up the trail with several attempts on my part to right the sled. Finally, success! And the most important thing: I didn't let go! Success is sometimes measured in the small things. Eighteen miles on rough-slogging trails with a bunch of wired crazy dogs...just getting out alive is sometimes a very good day! :-)
A few weeks ago, Chris and I were watching the Discovery Channel's series on the Iditarod. Chris said to me, "well, the dogs are the real athletes. It doesn't seem too hard to just stand on the runners and let a bunch of dogs pull you."
I almost choked on my diet coke.
Ever try jogging on a beach?
Ever try jogging in a foot of snow?
Slogging through a foot of snow with a dog yard full of crazed dogs trying to harness and hook up a team is nothing less than a workout. Moreover, running up hills behind a team pushing a sled in that same foot of snow with about 10 pounds of winter gear on takes some athleticism! As Jim says, no matter what kind of shape you're in, it never seems enough. Everytime I come back from a run with a team, my first layer is soaked with sweat. A musher works almost as hard as the dogs, especially when breaking trail.
But, giving credit where credit is due, these fine athletes never cease to amaze me with their prowess, diligence and tenacity. They are certainly the true athletes. And their undying loyalty to their people is something most of us aren't worthy of.