It was a challenging week here and the weekend race was no exception. Brutally cold temperatures and strong winds causing white outs, drifting snow on the trail combined with a wind chills in the -30's.
The trail on the Saturday was extremely challenging with wind blown trails and the team following the tracks of another team that went off the trail. I set the snow hook (anchor) to secure the team to get them back onto the correct trail and then the 12 dog team lunging to go, set the hook so deep I was unabel to release it. Luckily for me Cathy Rivet ran out to me ( 100 yards plus) to help dig out the hook to release the team. The whole time lost here was at least 4 minutes. The trail on the fields were difficult to navigate the driving of the sled in the open as you could not see the turns until almost on top of them. The trail made a turn west and then we ran on the side of the Saint Lawrence River (called the gateway to Canada, as this was the route the first Europeans explored the New World).
This part of the trail was blown in with drifting snow both days. Along this section it was not racing but survival of managing the sled and preventing injuries to the dogs by slowing the team down to navigate this 2 mile section.
The trail then headed south on a river that entered the Saint Lawrence. This part of the trail was hard and fast with one section of 1 mile that was also wind blown with some slushy (water coming up between the frozen ice and the surface) sections. The last 2 miles of the 12 mile trail was very bad and was eliminated from the race for Sundays race as it was too dangerous for the teams.
Sunday was again frigid with sever winds. Due to the difficulies of the trail and the sharp narrow, wind blown trail, we ran only a 10 dog team dropping two of the bigger dogs from Saturdays team. Larger dogs are more pron too injuries on this type of soft trails.
Sundays run, although difficult, we made up three positions for the day with a clean run and the dogs really opening up on the river.
Cecile also had a challenging run on both days and did a great job managing the team in only her third race and by far the most difficult. In her team, we ran Yoda in her first race and she did a great job. She looks real good for the future. All the young dogs are doing great.
It was a good weekend racing and all the dogs are in good shape and with no injuries.
This race was dedicated to Teal in her memory!
Until next week......