Monday, February 2, 2009
Chester Winterfest 2009 Report
My New (used) Sled!! I Set out for Chester CA at the end of last month, prepared to learn to skijor and run the dogs in the Winterfest Sleddog Races in the 2 dog - Skijor class. All the while I was secretly hoping another musher would come equipped with a starter sled for sale...my hopes were realized.
My second day on the runners...I entered my first race!! I ran my two pups in the 3 mile/3 dog (2 dog mimium) class. We came in 2nd (!) out of 5 (all 3 dog ) teams that day. Our second day, Pepper especially, was not quite on her game (mid-race poop!) and though our time was just 10 seconds slower, we placed 5th out of 5! Most of the other teams did a bit better on Sunday, which still left Team Humdog with a 3rd place, overall ! I was so pumped! Had my acceptance speech ran longer, I would have taken time to thank Libby Riddles (whose biz card I carried in my trousers all weekend for luck) Susan Butcher, Joe Reddington, Norman Vaughn, Lance Mackey, Jeff King, all Women Mushers -especially Christian musher Dee Dee Jonorow who has completed the Iditarod over 20x's- the Frekings, Sled Dog Stacie, Jillian Rogers, and the many amazing trials, trails and dreams that have taken me to this point. A huge thanks also would go to Rachel Scdoris, blind Iditarod Finisher and the former owner of my sled, and to Greg who was kind enough to sell it to me (...complete with 4 dog tug line, and genuine snow hook!!) I left the race feeling a great deal of gratitude for Karen, who lovingly set me up with a sled bag for the weekend, and a regulation tug line on Sunday when my skijor line was making her, and the race officials, cringe. Even Will, who bumped me out of second by a mear 10 seconds, said "Oh, I'm sorry, I would've have stepped on the brake!!" I am so emotional about this sport. It was almost overwheming, the level of pure estacy I was feeling. I am thankful for all these positive experiences at my first race, and the genuine support of the fellow mushers that were there. When I was all too high - after coming in 2nd the first day - Greg knocked me down to size when he reminded me that "2nd is just the first loser!" Thanks for that one buddy... the DATA:
Signage from the weekend's travels. I especially love the one below, really! Watch for snow, you may need it!!
Shirley...Showing off her Trail Rash. Tossed off the sled for the 2nd time she was dragged by 6 dogs and even the velcro around her wrists did not keep her jacket sleeve from creeping up, and allowing the trail to remove the surface of her forearm. Report was, she was also down to her long johns, after the the trail claimed her snowpants - as well as her flesh. Notice, the smile. Below, It was a Serious Siberian Event. These pups came cruising through....cute.
Above, My Favorite Sibe, Buddha. And he was one too...
Lake Almanor...beautiful. Bald Eagles frequent the area. Lake levels are at record lows...
The Forest...Below, the pups before our first run with their booties, and some shots from a recent Dry Land Run. I have so many more pictures and some really good video footage as well, but am having computer issues that are preventing me from posting my vids online....so.... I will continue to troubleshoot these issues, and am looking forward to sharing more of a great time with you. See you on the trail!