"Why I Should Have
Stuck With Weight Training"
On Sunday Scott and I ran two teams 7 miles. I was discouraged because it seemed that the dogs were going so slow. I told Scott that on Tuesday I would run the dogs fast and I would do the 5 mile loop. I had Scott fill up the tires so that my ATV would roll well and I did not drag a tire. The ATV alone weighs 350 pounds, so it was about 450 pounds and a 9 dog team.
The 5 mile loop starts with the downhill on my road (which is pretty easy now that I'm used to it), then it goes up gradually. There are lots of smaller hills to go up, and then one big scary downhill, and then up my hill.
The first team was Valeska and Kasper lead, Liv swing, Hailee and Kyia, Kadar and Mannie, Boo and Turbo in wheel. They did well. Liv was a stinker and she did not work at all, but the other 8 worked hard. The team did stop going up 2 of the hills. One of the hills I usually stop at the bottom and water, I know that is why they stopped. I corrected them on the 2 hills and they did fine with all of the other hills. The only other times I stopped was twice for them to catch their breath, but I did not water. We did the 5 miles in 36 minutes, which did not seem that bad. It made me feel better about how slow we had been going.
The second team was Tymber and Gynger in lead, Pando in swing, Tristan and Zak, Ember and Ben, Sandy and Orion in wheel. It started off bad! I could not get the snub line off the tree because they dragged the ATV with the brake locked (yes the velcro actually worked), so that the line was tight. Once I got the line off the tree we took off down the driveway and down the hill. On the way down the hill I noticed that Ember's neckline had come off. Weird. At the bottom of the hill I turned the tires towards the woods and locked the brake with the velcro. It must have taken me 2 seconds to jump off and run up and clip Ember back on. I was on my way back to jump on the ATV and they started to drag it with the brake locked. They picked up speed and since the tires were turned towards the woods the ATV hit a rock wall and flipped over jamming itself onto a tree. Guess what?? The f***ing velcro stayed the whole time. Lucky me there just happened to be some men working right there on the phone lines. One man came over and he helped me right the ATV and I barely had a chance to thank him because off we went down the road. I noticed that the brake lever was turned weird so I checked the brakes and they worked. This same team also stopped at the bottom of the watering hill. I did not get off to correct (I learned my lesson...or so I thought) and we took off again. At the top of that hill we had to take a left. This is the first time that the team (just like the first team I ran) had gone this way. I went to apply the brake and noticed that I no longer had ANY brakes. Luckily Tymber turned when I told her to (she is getting good with her commands.) I was worried because the brakes were gone, but I was being dumb and thinking I could get home...it is not like I could stop the team if I wanted. All of a sudden I remembered the hill. Panic sunk in! I did not know what to do. I practiced dragging my feet on the ground and using my feet on the front tires to slow us. Then the moment of scariness arrived...I wish I could go back in time and change the way I did everything. We started off down the hill, and two farm dogs started chasing us, I used my feet on the front tires to slow us down. Sandy wanted to look back at the dogs so she braced herself on the hill, then I ran over Sandy, which sucked Orion under the ATV....as you can imagine I was freaking out, they came out and went back under 4 times. All this time I'm trying to stop, then Orion and Sandy just dragged under the ATV and I ran up on Ember and Ben, I got the ATV to stop by using a rock on the side...let's just say my face looks like Scott has been beating me. I had to get to Sandy and Orion, I got over to them and I saw that Sandy was not breathing. I unhooked her neckline and she started breathing again. I was not sure about Orion so I rushed to the back of the ATV to get him. I unhooked him and pulled him out. His face was all cut and his legs were bleeding. I put him into a down stay (thank God that he is obedience trained). I had to take off Sandy's harness and pull her out; she seemed fine other than a small cut. Meanwhile we are not all the way down the hill and Tristan and Zak are pissed that we have stopped. I ran up and unhooked everyone's tuglines (except for my leaders, obviously). I put Sandy and Orion back onto the gangline by hooking to their necks. Then we went down the rest of the hill. I stayed off the ATV and dragged my body to slow them down. Then we had to go up a small hill, which they pulled easily with their necklines. I looked at my watch and it had only been 20 minutes since they flipped the ATV over. At the top of this hill is a driveway with a house that is for sale (a house that I have been trying to get Deb and Trib to buy.) I told Tymber "gee" and she did not think twice about it (she got lots of kisses when we got home). I knew that the house is currently unoccupied so I tied off the ATV and I tied off the dogs using the necklines that I had been using as belly bands. Off I went to the turkey farm. I prayed the whole way that the dogs would not chew the line. I got to the farm and they were down in the shed killing the last few turkeys. For once in my life I did not care. I was soaked in sweat and I'm sure I looked bad. I asked to use his phone and he said yes of course. I found out later that his name is Bob. I was surrounded by death and as I write this I could still give a rats ass. Bob was all concerned about my face and he wanted to check my eyes to make sure I was ok. I called Scott. He was home and I told him to bring the van and trailer. Bob drove me back to the dogs; I think he could tell I wanted to get back to them ASAP. He looked at the ATV, the dogs, and back at my face. I could tell that he was torn between leaving me and getting back to killing his turkeys. I assured him I was ok (about 100 times), he said he would go home but he wanted us to beep when we got to the farm (can you tell he is about my dad's age? I'm sure he has daughters around my age...I could tell). Scott came and we loaded the dogs and ATV, I had all of their harnesses off before he showed up. We beeped at the farm. I came home and kissed all my dogs over and over again. I do not think that I can show Orion this weekend because of his face and my face. I can hide mine with makeup (except for, as Bob put it, my one heck of a fat lip), but I cannot hide Orion's face.
Scott fixed the ATV. The brake fluid had run out when the ATV was upside down. When I tested the brakes I used up the fluid in the lines.
I think I give up on running dogs. When I worked and struggled to run dogs I never got into trouble. Now I'm a disgrace to women mushers.
Side note: I did show Orion that weekend, and he won!