Friday, 7 September 2007

September 7th, 2007 Fall Training Run

I love fall!! It is such a wonderful time of year!!!

Last night we changed the sheets on the bed back to flannel – well, upgraded flannel – microfibre sheets. They are so cozy!! The temperature was dropping quickly – down to 5 C as we went to bed - and crawling into those sheets was wonderful. I slept so soundly!!
Mark’s alarm goes off at 4:30 and I don’t even remember him getting up. I did manage to drag myself out of my cocoon around 5:30, when my alarm goes off.
I made coffee, caught up on a few emails, figured out a team for the day and started a load of laundry before Mike stumbled up to the house (yup, he is still here!) at about 6:30. We chatted and generally stalled for a bit before rolling out of the house at 7.
Once out the door there is no more dragging. The dogs know the routine and their excited anticipation of the upcoming run is contagious.
It rained hard overnight and I had to take time to dry off the seat of the quad before moving it up to the dog yard, running out lines and starting to select dogs from the yard.

First Q and Charge – today’s leaders; then Batdog and Hector; super enthusiastic Jinx and Sprite; Xena and chubby little Roary (I swear that dog could live on 4 kibbles per week); followed by handsome Wolvie and most Xcellent X; Herman and obnoxious Nitro; and last but never least, Irving and Boom.

I laid out harnesses and got everyone ‘dressed’.
Q held the line out like a pro while I corrected Charge 400 times for not staying ‘up front’ – leader training can be very tedious. Finally the big nerd got the idea and kept his feet planted while I hooked up the rest of the lot.
Nitro got reprimanded for grabbing X by the tail as I walked him over to the gangline. This is a new hobby of Nitro’s and one that MUST end quickly.
Just as I was hooking up Boom, the last critter for the day, Mike’s team rounded the corner coming up from the bottom of the yard – or Carmichael Meadow, as it is called at this time of year.

The previous night’s rain and the cold temperature (1C) had highlighted all the spider webs in the woods. It was gorgeous, but rather bothersome to think of the all the spiders that represented!
When we finally climbed the hill on the driveway out of the valley a glance over my shoulder revealed nothing. The heavy fog completely enveloped our section of the valley. 
A few neighbors honked as Mike and my teams worked their way along the freshly mowed highway ditch.

The dogs roared down the hill back into the valley. Charge checked out the girls back in the middle of the team while I was unlocking the gate to get us into the grazing lease next door. When I sharply called his name he remembered what he was supposed to be doing.

We whipped along the Riverbank Trail and then over to Beaver’s Gully, where I discovered that the darn beavers dropped a big tree over the trail.
It was not completely detached from the stump, so I couldn’t move it. It was too big to get the quad over and the trail was too tight to turn everyone around unless I REALLY had to. Mike had taken a shorter route home and that meant no backup so I scouted out a path through the trees that would allow me to bump over the fallen tree where it was smaller.
Charge was really not ready to lead us on a bushwhacking expedition, but Q seemed to figure out what I was up to without too much trouble. A few small saplings were sacrificed in the process, but otherwise our detour worked well.

I handed out fish to all, including Kara and Fly, who always show up as soon I start snacking

We did our ‘long’ ‘go around’ loop, scaring a beautiful pilated woodpecker out of the woods, before calling it a morning.

I love fall!


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