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!


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