I was talking to a friend the other day that was telling me her theory on life. She calls it the “CosmicLuxaFlux”. According to her, you have to give back to get good stuff in return. If you are too cocky in life, you’re taking from your luck bucket. No one knows how big their personal luck bucket is if you are not re-filling it; it could be empty or running out. Well, I’m here to tell ya; I don’t know what we did, but our Cosmicluxa is flucked. It’s either that or Lander just has bad juu juu!
Telling today’s story is tough as the feeling from today is all too familiar to us and it’s getting a little old. Girl’s just wanna have fun!! If you can hear a banging noise; that is us banging our heads against the wall, AGAIN! Someone please remind me why we do this year after year?
I begrudgingly will share the down and dirty of today’s events; however, I am only doing this for all my fellow mushers out there that are familiar with head banging. Know that you are not alone!
We woke to zero degrees and calm weather. As we drove South pass up to the trail head things began to change considerably. Upon arrival it was -7F and windy with blowing snow. It was frigid with the wind chill and our immediate concern was protecting the dogs. So as per usual the big bootie dilemma became the topic of conversation. Do we or don’t we. One thing we learned is that we cannot talk to western mushers for their advice on this matter as it never seems to translate to our dog’s feet. Their dogs are conditioned to run in that type of snow and environment and they do not experience problems with the feet to the extent that we’ve seen. At any rate, the consensus amongst mushers was about 50/50 on whether or not to wear booties.
Streepers showed up to the line with both teams fully coated and booted. Aaron Peck did not. Dave Turner did not. Stacy Teasley did not. Dennis Laboda did, Jeff Conn did, JR Anderson did, Jerry Bath did not, Jenny Gregor did, Ryan Redington did, Andrew Letzring did, Frank Moe I do not believe he booted, Alix Pearson did not, Slyvain did. Given what West Yellowstone had already done to the feet we made the decision to booty.
As the teams left it was apparent that our close competition was going for broke as they did not booty. We expected that the non-booted dog teams would have better runs and they did. We had to run our team and our situation and we went willingly into this situation. What was not in our estimation was that we would run into further problems on the trail; which resulted in yet another bagged dog. We are not missing physical injuries, but seem to have some other issues going on that we are trying to work through. In the meantime, we may now have the record for most consecutive bagged dogs. Is there any day money for that?
So tomorrow is a 43 mile run. The weather is expected to be -20F in town and we were told that at the trail head we could see -25 to -28F! They have told us the trail is windblown in sections and they are going to try and groom tonight. We’ve been here long enough to know that this means the trail could be pure hell tomorrow. Last year there were sections that were wind-blown bottomless pits. Well, doesn’t that sound like a total blast?!?!? We had a long discussion today about the booty situation and we have committed that we will booty in these temperatures regardless of what it does to our standings. We are going to proceed with this race in a manner that is most comfortable to us and let the cards fall where they may. Too shay!
A huge shout out to Stacy on her win today – You rock sista!!