Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Very Busy

Well, I never expected to be so busy after coming back from Canada. We have had a low snow year so far, but as soon as I went to the American Dog Derby in Ashton, Idaho, it started snowing and blowing like crazy, and it has kept it up ever since. At Ashton, which is only 35 miles from my home, I came in third in the 12-dog class. The 12-dog class ran a 50 mile trail for two days in a row. I thought the dogs did great, setting a new personal best for the distance. Only three mushers signed up for the 12-dog class, so in addition to winning money for third place, they also awarded me a red lantern.

While I was gone at the Ashton race, the kennel got drifted over with snow, and the dog houses were well on their way to being buried. No sooner did I get home than I heard that a dog I loaned to another musher for the winter had gotten loose and was missing up in Lincoln, Montana. I had to drive up there to try to find and catch him. While I was looking for him, I slipped on some ice and suffered a concussion. We had no luck finding him, and I had to return home to care for the rest of my dogs.

It was terribly snowy and windy while I was away, to the point that the highway was closed for part of the time. The dog houses are well and truly buried now, some of them at least a foot below the surface. While I know reasonably well where each house was, it is going to be a monumental task to locate, dig up, and lift up every house in the yard. It took me an hour just to dig up two houses, and my head still hurts from the concussion.

Meanwhile the snow and wind continues. Our front window got halfway buried in just one weekend.

Today Mike shoveled it out so we can at least see again.

Friday, February 09, 2007

We Are Home

Wow! That was cold! I will give you all the details when I have had a chance to rest for a few days, but here is a synopsis. The Canadian Challenge was the coldest ever, with extreme temperatures and windchills that never gave up. Race Marshall Terry Hinesly said it was colder than any Iditarod he had ever been to. Organizer Dave Young called it an extreme sport with real danger to the participants.

I survived and finished and came in fifth. Many people scratched. I am relatively unscathed although a little bit of skin is peeling off the end of my nose, and the tips of my fingers feel sore. One of my male dogs suffered frostbite on the tip of his sheath, but he is recovering without complications so far.

I never wanted to run in such extreme cold and wind, but I am glad that I persevered and finished the course. It is just as well that I did not know how cold it was at the time. Reports were anywhere from 30 to 70 below (F) windchill for the entire four days of the race.