Howdy Ho North Wapiti fans, its Bet, your roving frozen Border Collie reporter!
I gotta say, this is NOTHING like the Eagle Cap experience. No warm building with hot muffins. No assistant to fetch me things and its FREEZING here! Its -27c, which is -189 in dog years!
Musher Mark was nice enough to let me borrow his mittens, because he said he can't play Angry Birds with them on and the phone keeps his hands warm.
We've been spending much of our time waiting on the curly tails in the truck, I have NO IDEA why because we have a cozy hotel room at La Ronge just sitting there! Nooo, we're in the truck, and I only get out when I absolutely HAVE to do my business. Do you have any idea how long it takes to get out of my stunning cocktail ensemble in this cold???? I'm so cold that I haven't eaten anything since the pizza because I can't chew! My teeth chatter so much that the food just falls out of my mouth!
The only saving grace of this trip is that the Musher is going to be pulling into Le Ronge checkpoint around 8pm Central time (in about 2 hours from this writing) for her 8 hour layover. Since the Musher isn't using this race as a qualifier, it means that Musher Handler Mark can pretty much do everything for the Musher at the checkpoint; make the dogs' food, feed them, care for them and all that while she sleeps in the hotel. You all know where I'm going to be during that time... oh yeah, I'm snuggling up with the Musher! Someone has to warm her feet!
Richard, on the other hand, is using this race as a qualifier, so he has to care for his team and do all of the work himself, the only thing Musher Handler Mark can do for him is clean up the dog straw once he's pulled out.
As you can tell from the Canadian Challenge Website updates, the Pretty Sled Dogs are going gangbusters and making good time! Communications are spotty in areas, and the updates are coming as fast as the race volunteers can manage them, but their first priority is to ensure the safety of the mushers and dogs (thank you).
I, for one, will be very happy when this is over, and may have to rethink the roving reporter bit... I think I'm more qualified to be the anchor dog back at the Border Collie Broadcasting Center.