Monday, October 31, 2005

Bill Saves the Day

So I'm sure Dean would tell the story better than me but he's not here so I'll have to piece it together for you. Yesterday Dean took a team of 12 out. Hugh and I thought he was going down the road, but instead Dean took the dogs to the Red Ridge trail. The problem with the trail is that there's a really steep sandy hill that's been eroding so it's impossible for dogs pulling a 4-wheeler and only slightly doable with a sled. After the hill though, the old mining road is great training. Dean's plan was to run the trail until the base of the hill and then turn the team around. The problem was near the base of the hill, the gangline attached to the 4-wheeler snapped and the whole team ran full speed up the hill and were out of sight in a flash. Dean ran after them (because the 4-wheeler doesn't work), but there was no way to catch up to those 12 dogs. As luck would have it, our neighbours Bill Baker and a friend were out on their 4-wheelers up the trail and heard dogs barking. Thinking it was strange they came back down the trail and found a ball of dogs. They started trying to untangle them but with the Seavey system we're using it can get a little complicated. He started with Dozer - the dominant male because he was snarling at Zurl. Dozer's favourite game is to lift his leg and pee on anyone giving him attention, which he proceeded to do to Bill. I don't think Bill was too impressed with this, not knowing Dozer's game. Just them Dean turned the corner and arrived at the scene. He was able to untangle the dogs and they lined out the team with the gangline attached to Bill's 4-wheeler. They undid all the tug-lines and made it down the hill at a controlled speed and then transferred the team to our 4-wheeler. Dean then proceeded back home but without much in the way of brakes because they'd partially frozen from running through the two creeks. Meanwhile Hugh and I, thinking Dean was much overdo, were driving the roads and trails in our area trying to find the team and driver. We arrived home to find the team standing in harness looking like they'd just come back from any normal run. I still can't believe it all worked out ok. We've never seen anyone on that trail before so it was pure luck that Bill happened to be there then.

Later in the day Hugh and I took out a team of 14 and went towards the Skookum mine. It was just getting dark and the dogs were getting really into it. The mining roads are snow covered now, and the stars were out. It was quite cold - about -10C so the dogs were frost covered and having fun chasing Deyaah. The brakes started to work again on the way home but we didn't really need them. We were doing about 12 mph at a trot and everyone looked happy. Great way to end the day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Here's some of the dogs in action - Annie, McArthur, Zurl and Holly. Posted by Picasa

We've been training along our road and along some of the old mining roads in our neighbourhood. Posted by Picasa

This is Colby and Mojo in lead on the way home again. Posted by Picasa

This is from our training run on Saturday. I met Hugh with water for the dogs at the Wheaton River because there's no safe way down to the river, all the puddles are frozen and there's no snow yet. Posted by Picasa

Here's Nathan - one of our 5 month old puppies. Somehow he managed to fracture his leg so it's 6 weeks in a splint sleeping on the couch. He also gets visits to the vet every two weeks to change the bandages. At least now he can put weight on it. Posted by Picasa

Full Moon Craziness

Sunday was a combination of mishaps. It started off innocently enough. We decided to go for a drive to check out a new trail and get some wood. We drove as far as we could - about 8 miles until we reached a steep washed out section. We then parked the truck and hiked up the long steep section and ended up going a lot farther than we'd planned because we wanted to find out where it flattened out and then if there was any areas we could turn a team around. We were up in the snow above tree line when we decided to turn back - only the two dogs we had with us were no where to be found. I decided to go back to check on Nathan - the puppy who was waiting in the truck, and Hugh carried on to find Marcellus and Deyaah. I ran back down to the truck to find Nathan hadn't been simply sleeping - he'd managed to turn on the lights and in the process drained the battery. I waited for Hugh to return - but Marcellus returned about 20 minutes before Hugh and Deyaah. Hugh was relieved to see Marcellus becuase he hadn't been able to find him up top but we were both already really tired and neither of us wanted to walk home to get the other truck. In the end we left the two dogs in Hugh's truck with the puppy and we both walked home. We had to cross two creeks and two large icy puddles and finally made it home just before dark. We then drove my truck back to boost the other truck. I picked up the dogs and drove them home while Hugh decided to gather some wood. When I got home I started feeding the dogs in the yard. I made up three buckets of kibble and broth and put it in the cart to wheel through the yard. I'd fed about 10 dogs when then cart hit a hole and flipped over. I gathered up what kibble I could but I wasn't too impressed. I guess I should have at least grabbed a glass of water before I started feeding. The next morning, feeling very stiff I went to start my truck. It started no problem but wouldn't move an inch - frozen brakes probably from driving through all that water. Hugh then moved his truck to unload the wood from the previous night and parked it on a hill. Just as he started unloading the wood the emergency brake let go and the truck started moving backwards at an increasing speed. He just managed to open the door and jump in to stop it before it carreened over the drop and towards the shed. Hopefully this will be the end of the craziness. I think todays the end of the full moon.