I am convinced I’ve pissed off the Musher God. That bastard just has it out for us. Not sure what we did to piss him off. Oh wait, I might know. It could be that we are always mispronunciating his name. Our bad grammar has us praying to the Moosher God and not the Muh-sher God. Shoot, I supposed if someone was always calling me Moe-Nikka I might rain on their parade after a while as well. We will begin re-teaching ourselves the correct pronunciation immediately. This should please many of our MOOsher friends, as well, that find our poor grammar irritating LOL !! 😉
It was in the twenties today in Alpine and overcast. They had about 6 fresh inches of snow on the trail and it was not groomed. Guess the groomer had a late night and never got to it. We knew this would be mash potatoes. We were throwing caution to the wind today and pulled out the big guns. Spike and Targhee led. Followed by Cora, Sedona, Utah, Durbin, Puff, Drift, Kaloof and Breeze. We did NOT wear booties today and we took the pee wee sled. Bruce put all his gear in a back pack in case he might need to bag a dog. Oh yeah, good thinking there since the Ole Musher God had plans for us.
So the first big test was whether or not the young leader Targhee would get out of the chute as he failed to do so miserably in Jackson. The chute was lined with school children and they narrowed the chute as they all pressed in to see. The dogs were amped and Targhee was showing major excitement. He was feeding off of Spike and I had confidence he would go. I was ready with plan B should that not be the case, but it worked well as he took off without hesitation.
The trail was a tough mash potato mess. The team climbed better than they ever have and it was one of the best dog teams Bruce had ever driven. Bruce held them back hard to preserve them for the entire 59 miles. After the turn-around he had a dog that started to show some issues and it was one of his powerhouses. He had to slow the team down to try and ease him along. Just prior to the start of the race this dog had got into a spat with another dog. We never found any puncture wounds and it appeared he had only been bruised in the front bicep. We iced it a couple times a day and rubbed him down with Algyval and by the next day he was bouncing around like a fool. He didn’t run until today so he had 5 days to heal and he looked great. Something; however, was obviously wrong. Bruce nursed him along thinking it was the bruise and didn’t feel there was need for major concern. He was moving along good enough that it didn’t make sense to bag him. At the finish line he bagged him for the mile run back to the truck. When he picked him up he peed and it was dark. When they got him out of the bag, he was in bad shape. The vets got to work on him immediately. Long story short they found a very small puncture wound which revealed itself with all the swelling. We felt bad we had missed it, but they assured us it would have been extremely hard to find until the swelling opened it up. The poor guy had to be put on IV’s and scratched from the race. He is going to be fine and by late this evening he was already drinking and eating like a champ. So lessons learned: 1.When a dog gets in a fight even if no puncture wounds are found put them on antibiotics. 2. Bag the dog immediately instead of nursing it along.
We were pleasantly surprised with 5th considering the problems, but very disappointed with the situation and having to drop a dog so early in the race.
Several teams had issues today and things got mixed up quite a bit as they always do in Stage Stop. Many teams really struggled in the mash potatoes and it was a long disheartening day for several. Most didn’t want to talk about it – can you blame them. Just have to laugh and ask ourselves why in the hell we do this. BECAUSE IT IS SO MUCH DAMN FUN!
We were the last to arrive to the banquet, but just in enough time for dinner. Roads were icy as all get out on the pass and it was a very long drive to Pinedale tonight. We are very glad for a 10:00am start tomorrow. We need our beauty rest and we’ll be up late nursing the patient. We tried to bring him in the room and it didn’t work out so well. Not sure if it was the drugs or just his usual personality defect, but he saw himself in a mirror and went nuts. Then he tried to climb into the mirror and when that didn’t work he tried to climb up on the sink to see himself. Guess he liked what he saw!
It is 1F tonight in Pinedale so we are expecting a cold one tomorrow. Stay tuned. OH AND BIG SHOUT OUT TO BEAU AND BRENDA FOR ALL THEIR HELP — YOU GUYS ROCK!!