Last night the plan was to do a 50 mile mush in preparation of the Two Rivers 100. The longest run we’ve been on this season is 35 miles. I wanted to see how they did with 50. We left the yard around 6pm and had a grand ‘ol time for the first 15 miles. I had just turned onto the baseline trail (Yukon Quest trail), and saw a headlamp coming at me. I slowed a little bit and leaned my sled to the left so we could pass. Cozzy decided to lunge at a dog in the other team. Cozzy does this sometimes, but doesn’t hurt anyone– he just likes to chase passing objects. The musher of the other team was not happy with Cozzy’s behavior. “Stop!” he said, “Your dog just attacked my dog.” As I passed, he reached for my handle bar and knocked me off of my sled. My team was gone. I ran after them. He didn’t turn around to track down my team.
I wasn’t that far from home– only six miles, and hoped that I would catch up with them. I phoned home and told Greg. His plan was to mush back to pick me up when the team came home. They didn’t come home. I called him when I was 1.5 miles from the house to ask if they were home. I was at an intersection and wasn’t sure which way they went. I assumed they went the way I always went. They didn’t.
Greg picked me up on the four wheeler and the search began. We searched the routes I usually take, Greg on the four wheeler and me on foot because the four wheeler was unable to get through heavy snow drift. No doggies. We went home. It was 11:30pm. No doggies. I was very worried.
Greg took the four wheeler out to travel the route I was going to take, except he went backwards. He found the dogs at 12:30am. They were just getting off the river and were tangled and stopped. It took him a half hour to untangle everyone and then two hours to get the dogs and sled and four wheeler home.
Everyone was safe and happy and healthy. The dogs ran a total of thirty-five miles without a musher.