IPSSSDR STAGES 3 & 4

We finally got internet service!  We’ve been out in the mountains for two days without cell or internet service!  Stage 3 went very well and was actually alot better than the results show.  Bruce took all the yearlings for the Pinedale stage a 34 mile run.  They just rock and rolled.  He said they were averaging 15 mph for the first hour and wanted to do more.  Then after the first hour the trail became difficult with tons of road crossings and people.  We had two new leaders up front and they had alot of troubles, which he believes cost him at least 10 minutes.  So we should have placed higher, but are still real pleased with how strong they were.  I spent the entire day working on dogs trying to get 4 key dogs back in the race.  We are down 3 leaders right now and struggling a bit trying to put together teams with a strong front end.

Stage 4 had us up bright and early for a 54 mile run through the Marbleton area.  On our drive in we saw two moose in different locations along the road.  We were told that Bruce could expect to see more out on the sled (we hoped not on the trail).  All the yearlings went again today and we had Tanya and Blizzard in lead.  We knew there would be some head on passing so we had Indigo go just in case.  She was on her 3rd day of running and we took a risk.  The risk turned out not to be in our favor as she struggled near the half way mark.  Finally, at 14 miles left, Bruce decided to bag her.  After bagging her he picked up 2 mph and is just kicking himself that he didn’t make the decision sooner.  Tanya was our throttle today and just ran and awesome, awesome race.  The young dogs did great and out performed all the veterans.  Bruce said today was the most awesome and beautiful sled dog trail he has ever seen!  All the mushers were commenting on how awesome it was.  We faired pretty good with injuries and have 3 sore dogs, but nothing major.  The 4 that were in the truck on the injury list were looking real good today so at least 3 of them are on schedule for tomorrow’s run, which should be about the same level of difficulty as today.  We finished 11th today, which knocked us down to 9th place overall.  Bruce feels the team is still real strong and that today was due to his inexperience on bagging dogs and he should have done it earlier in the race instead of waiting.  We are both pretty tired as the schedule is very tight.  Bruce is pretty sore, but he doesn’t look any worse than anyone else.  The people of Alpine must think mushers are a real boring lot as we all looked pathetically tired and stinky at this evening’s banquet.  It’s kinda funny looking around and seeing all these red eyes, puffy faces, unshaven, greasy haired folks — makes you wonder why we do this!! Well, it’s about 11:00PM and I have to sign off because we have an early start again tomorrow with a real long drive to Kemmerer afterwards.

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