Last week I went on a 3 hour real dog sled ride. As in = the dogs pulled me on a sled with 2 inches of snow on the ground. Nope... In case you were wondering, I did not have much physical control of the sled. With no snow, the metal pronged brake tips can not penetrate the frozen ground and thus there is no stopping mechanism. The grass, logs and tree limbs are not covered either so the sled runners slip and slide quite haphazardly. Yup, there were a few tip overs! And there is no real obvious trail to follow. My new vocal command to the team for this sled ride was: "Find the Trail!" That's entertaining isn't it? Mismo and Junior did just that. Dutch and Izzy were eager to follow behind as were Sandy and Driver.
Enjoy my somewhat bumpy, yet entertaining fun sled ride.
In case you were wondering... there is very little snow (again) in Alaska. The snow that is on the ground in this video arrived earlier in the month. Since then we have gotten just a scant amount more. Hopefully, this tiny base cover won't go away until April. This topic is a daily conversation between mushers and non mushers a like. When will it come? Or will it ever come? I do not know. I can guess, like everybody else. But, I really do not know.
Regardless of the lack of snow, SP Kennel's training continues unimpeded. Our overall mileage, duration of runs and terrain training hasn't been effected. The fact that we have ATV four wheelers makes training for the Copper Basin 300, Yukon Quest and even Iditarod still possible and successful, just not always fun.
Some of the fun factor still persists despite the lack of snow because I am a dog enthusiast, first and foremost. So I get to watch all the SP Kennel athletes gain knowledge, training miles, endurance and speed. Each dog is placed on different training teams on a daily basis in order for them to train to their best potential. With myself, Allen, Ruth and Chris all speeding a great deal of time on ATVs, we can easily get the entire kennel trained up. But... back to the fun factor. Every once in a while, a person needs to have fun. (Or at least that's my take on life.)
Going out with a team of huskys is fun because you get to enjoy the ride and live in the moment. On a sled, a musher is a unique part of the team. Yes, the musher ultimately 'controls' the dog team but that control is just like the control you have of your pet poodle as it meanders down the sidewalk looking for the best spot(s) to pee. Is that really control or just sort of an understanding? On a sled, a musher has to 'go with the flow' and realize that the act of moving down the trail is everything. You don't so much think about where you are going or when you'll get there. You and your dogs are dealing with the unpredictable and all of you are simply managing the moment. There are not a lot of times in life when this the how a person can live. But, every once in a while, as a dog musher, I let my self really, truly, have some fun!