Alpine Triage

I have straw in my bra, I have ate less than my required rations, I am in desperate need of a shower, we have a dog in the backseat on IV’s and we are flippen lost on the highways of Wyoming trying to find our way to Evanston.   It is 7:00PM and we were supposed to be at a dinner at 6:00PM; guess we aren’t going to make it.   We stopped and fed the dogs on the way and started to realize we had not seen any dog trucks and began questioning our route.  We no sooner did that and spotted Warren Palfrey.  We thought we were good until we had another crazy junction come up that we screwed up.   All in all, we figure we have gone an hour out of our way so far.  I’m wondering right now if Wyoming is one of those states where the passenger can have an open beer?   Forget it; I’m in the middle of nowhere and its unlikely I’ll find a beer store.

We woke to a nice balmy 7 degrees Fahrenheit this morning.  It always seems to be chilly in beautiful Alpine.  We were promised 30 degrees and we probably got close about mid-day.

We put together a team of 10 and everyone looked good.  We chose to booty the entire team in hopes of saving some feet for later; we were the only team I saw with booties on the entire team.  This was interesting because I’ve heard from the vets that feet are bad this year.  There were a few teams with big strings hoping to throw one down and then there were some teams with less than 10.   Our team was led by Pepper and Spike and supported by Cheyenne, Kaloof, Durbin, Perry, Puff, Stella, Spit, and Utah.   All the dogs were healthy and in good spirits.

The trail was nice on the way out and then the teams broke it up so it had about an inch of loose stuff on it.  From about mile 20 to mile 26 the trail was littered with moose and elk holes; which took a few victims today.  Some teams actually saw the elk and moose on the trail.  Bruce was having a decent run until about halfway and then one dog started puking and then one of his leaders started balking down hills, but was loping decent on the flats.  He kept the team moving and then about 14 miles out he noticed dark urine from the leader when he stopped and peed.  The dog started moving better after he urinated and was able to make it in.

When the team arrived it was evident that we still had not kicked the bug.   We thought we were good, but it is still messing with the dogs.  This is musher talk now or MOOSHER talk as some folks tease me about; our stools have been the weirdest things ever.  We go from pudding and the smelliest funk you can ever imagine to great stools.  We decided today on the way to Evanston when we saw a dead skunk in the trail that even the skunk smells better.   The vets determined today that the bug is still haunting us.  In addition, we now have some very sore muscles and will be working on dogs late tonight.   The dog with dark urine got immediate attention from the vets and they noticed he had some edema on his front leg with a small puncture.  It was obviously swollen and had not been there when he left.  We kept putting fluids into the dogs and they were monitoring him.  When he finally peed it was not good and we chose to put him on IV’s.  During this process they discovered he must have had some blunt trauma to the chest as it was swollen as well.  Best we could figure it happened at the turn around; which had been punchy and Bruce had wound up in a tangle.  On the bright side, the feet looked great.

Several teams had bad runs and there were quite a few bagged dogs.  This was not surprising watching the teams in the chute.  I noticed at least ½ dozen question marks leaving the chute today.  On Ryan Redington’s way to the chute I pointed out to him a dog that wouldn’t put its foot down.  We looked at the pads and they seemed fine.  However, as he got to the chute he made the call to pull the dog out.  She had an obvious bob and apparently a muscle knot.  Whew, close call on Ryan’s part.  Shoot …. I helped the competition as he is only minutes from us now 😉  LOL  We know Will Kornmuller had bagged a dog early on in the race before the turn around and he had left with a smaller team.   Al Borak had bagged a dog for 10 1/2 miles.  Jerry Bath had a bagged dog that had stepped in a moose hole and they were working on that dog when we left.

We finally made it to Evanston at 8:00PM.  What a looooooong drive.   It is snowing now and the roads are getting a covering.   Rumor has it we are expecting 6-8” of snow tomorrow; oh BOY!!   We will be running the Evanston trail backwards tomorrow, which will have a long downhill at the end of the race.   Long drive to the start so we won’t start until 11:00AM.

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