Friday, 14 December 2007

December 14, 2007 The First Time Driving A Sled

As several of you may know, I have never driven a sled and was only on the scooter once in November with Gus and Camilla.

I have to say that it was really cool and fun.  I now understand why people like to do this.

At first I was apprehensive since I've never done this before.  Karen explained the trail to me and I was quite confused, but luckily I was following her.  First of all, I had a problem getting out of the yard.  Karen already had her team going and I tried to pull the rope to unhook the sled and it got knotted up.  I'm trying and trying to undo it with no success.  I think I ended up pulling the rope over the pole to get going.  Somehow I was still holding on with one hand and off went Nic and Surge in lead with Kluane in wheel.  It was pretty slow going because Olena (on Karen's team) wasn't moving and the boys were interested in Trigger.  Finally after about 1/2 a mile, Karen took Nic and gave me Shooter.  Now Surge was in lead by himself.  Things went fine after that and we went slow enough for me that during the run I made the realization that I understand why people do this and spend so much time outdoors in quiet wilderness with their dogs.

We made it back to the yard and we fed everyone fish.  Karen wanted me to take a different team out by myself so I can become comfortable with the trails while Mark and her are in Alaska and I can take out some of the dogs.  Now, I wasn't so sure of things.  Even though I've been on the trails a few times, I haven't been able to make out landmarks.  Once again Karen explained the trail to me and I wasn't so sure.  I ended up taking Gus and Camilla in lead with Draco in wheel on the Yellow Brick Rd. Trail.  Karen told me that Camilla and Gus know this trail so I went on it in case I couldn't figure it out.  But with the stakes in place I was able to figure out the trail.  There was one place where they wanted to go straight and I had to keep telling them "Gee" to get us back into the yard.  Eventually, they listened to me and we got in the yard.  Since I didn't take them up to Geriatric Park, Karen suggested I take the Green Mile trail and then take them straight up to their pen.  I took the Green Mile trail when I was on the scooter so I was more comfortable with that one.  There was a time when I wasn't sure if we were even on the trail because Gus and Camilla were breaking trail, but we did end up coming to a marker so I was pleased with them.  This team kept the gangline tight and we moved faster than the first time, but it was still relaxing and fun.

I'm looking forward to seeing my husband in a couple weeks and to put him on a sled with some of the old trusted guys.  I also plan on going back out on the sled soon.

Kathryn TrussellWinter 2007/08 Dog Handler @ North Wapiti Kennels

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