The StinkyPups Take a Bath
The StinkyPups Take a Bath

The StinkyPups Take a Bath

Every year TRDMA (Two Rivers Dog Mushing Association) sponsors the “Hamburger Run,” a 30 mile ‘race’ from Valley Center to Angel Creek Lodge. This year, because of the wacky warm weather and crappy snow/trail conditions, the race coordinators decided to make the run a ‘fun run’ instead of a ‘race.’ Participants were encouraged to mush with a passenger in the sled.Greg and I decided that we weren’t going to do the passenger thing. Instead, he was going to mush to Angel Creek and I’d mush back. We wanted to practice running 60 miles because I’m planning to run the Chatanika 100 in March. When we got to Valley Center (the race start) we decided that maybe it would be fun for us to go together. Greg would be the musher and I the passenger; we could switch when ever.

The race was a ‘mass start.’ This meant that there wasn’t a fixed order of racers; instead, when the race marshal dropped his hat the musher and passenger were allowed to harness the dogs, put them on the gang line, and go. Greg and I weren’t in a rush to leave first– we took our time and we ended up being the last ones out.

It was a beautiful day. A little warm for the dogs (20+ ?), but a great day to be out and about. The trail was a little soft, but the dogs didn’t mind. Pretty soon we got to the Colorado Creek overflow. An overflow is when water is on top of ice, due to melting, or pressure from the ice moving downward. This particular overflow was pretty bad– cold and slushy and wet! I jumped out of the sled before crossing, so my entire body didn’t get wet. The dogs hesitantly ran through the slushy water which came up to their bellies. Greg pushed the sled and I caught up with him. The water had totally soaked our feet (note to self: wear bunny boots and not sorrels!). But overall, it wasn’t too bad and it was a good learning experience for us and the dogs.

We traveled on, and eventually crossed an open stream and then arrived at Angel Creek. We rested and fed the dogs. Unfortunately, our dogs are still green and don’t know how to rest.

Our trip back was uneventful, until we got to the overflow, which had opened up. The plan was I would push the sled and Greg would meet me at the other side. I told the dogs “ready, let’s go” and they ran into the overflow. The sled was submerged in icy water, as were the dogs. Greg ran in to pull the dogs out and he ended up sinking down; the water was up to his waist! I paused because I couldn’t push the sled and I wasn’t sure if the dogs were okay. We all got very very wet and cold. At one point, Greg was pushing the sled and I was leading the dogs and the dogs knocked me over face first into the overflow! Luckily, it was pretty warm (15+), and our Apocalypse Design snow suits kept us warm and 98% dry. The only cold spots we had were our feet.

We stopped to ring out our socks and Sorrel insoles. My feet felt like I was wearing blocks of ice. We took turns running behind the sled to keep warm and eventually I sat in the sled, took off my boots and socks, and put my feet in a comfy sleeping bag.

We were a little concerned about the dogs being soaking wet– but they all seemed to do fine. Greg’s wish finally came true, the StinkyPups got a bath!

One comment

  1. LynnO

    If you’d like to give some stinky pups a bath with WARM water, we have a hose that runs hot and cold water both here at Daisy Acres. I also have some livestock soap that works really well, smells good, and rinses out easily!

    Or, you could bring your stinky pup to the Petco Grooming Salon and do it yourself, or pay us big bucks to do it for you.

    I’m really glad you are my neighbor. I hope I get to see you out on the trails this winter.

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