Today’s plan was to mush from home to Valley Center (arond 12.5 miles). Mush the 32 mile Hamburger Quest from Valley Center to Angle Creek. Camp out at Angle Creek for 4 hours and let the dogs rest. And then mush home.
What Actually Happened
I left home with 10 stinkypups (Levi, Duke, Darla, Buckwheat, Storm, Stubby, Magic, Pumpkin, Monkey-Tail, and Higgs). I’ve never mushed to Valley Center before, so I turned left too early, ended up going in a square a couple of times, and then cut through someones dog yard. Unfortunately, I ended up on Chena Hot Springs Road– yes the road! I couldn’t stop the sled because there wasn’t any snow to hook into and I couldn’t get my leaders Duke and Levi to gee (turn right) onto the snow burm. They decided it would be fun to run on the left hand side of the road. Luckily, a nice man stopped and helped to get my dogs over to the side of the road!!
When I arrived at Valley Center I thought that I had missed the start of the race. As it turns out, the race marshall decided to postpone the race from 11am to 12pm (because it was to cold??!?).
Greg was waiting for me at Valley Center. We souped the dogs and switched Storm and Magic with Bandit and Sugar. We waited 1.5 hours and then it was time to go. So, I’m trying to get to the race start and Greg is trying to hold the team back because he didn’t think it was my turn to go. I explained to him that they were waving me on and not the team in front of me. He let go of the sled and off I went.
Almost immediately after I started the race I needed to stop the team and readjust dogs. Duke didn’t have his tugline attached. Monkey was tangled. Levi wanted to poop, and then I was passed by musher #15. After I got the tangles sorted out we crossed the road at mile 27 and were on our way to Angle Creek. We had a few more tangles and a couple of other teams pass us, but for the most part the trip was uneventful. The only event that occured was I had to hold Monkey-tail’s harness clip in my hand to melt the ice-poop off (I needed to undo her clip and it was frozen with poop).
After three hours and twenty four minutes I arrived at Angle Creek. The team was still going strong (slow, but strong) and we were all psyched to finally be at the finish line. We had expected to see our handler, Greg, waiting for us with hot soup and straw, however, Greg wasn’t around. I was greeted by my neighbor Maureen. She asked if I was still going to mush back and I said I wasn’t sure, I’ll check in with Greg to discuss. She said she hadn’t seen him. We both thought that Greg not being there was weird.
Maureen and Scott were kind enough to hook up their tie outs and put my dogs on the tie outs. Allan and his kids offered soup (his girls even souped the dogs for me!). I had lots of help from everyone but Greg.
By then I had decided that I wouldn’t mush home. The dogs already were away from their intended rest spot, there wasn’t any straw for them to nap on, their booties and harnesses were off, etc. I decided to take Maureen up on her offer for her to bring my dogs home in her dog truck.
Eventually Greg showed up. He had forgotten the dog food and had to turn around 1/2 hour into his road trip.
We drove home and met Maureen and Scott at our house. Unpacked the dogs and fed them, and then all of the stinkypups took a long nap.