It’s been a busy two days so this will be a quick summary of the past two stages. Pinedale is now somewhat blurry. It was in the low twenties and snowing. The trail head was windy and blowing and everyone got their parka’s out. Our game plan today was to be conservative and maintain. We went with 10 led by Sedona and her son, Pfister. The team was super excited in the chute and ready to roll. Bruce went out conservative and
the team got stronger and stronger as the run went on. At the end of the run the team just ate up teams to the finish. The trail visibility was extremely limited due to the treeless landscape. The only time he could see the trail was when they were in the woods. He was happy with his run and the team looked good coming in. They finished in 3rd place. There were no great stories from the trail.
The big excitement today was in the pits. The Handler X Games started and the first stage was today. It was a Super Pooper Scooper Challenge. One member of each team was blindfolded and the team had to guide that person within a defined area scooping up 10 balls that were scattered about. They had 5 minutes to scoop up as many as possible and then dump them into a bucket; easier said than done. On my team, me and Laura Daugereau’s dad, Bill, were paired up. He was blindfolded and I was the bossy one – go figure! We were just cruising and got 9 balls out of 10. We smoked the other team we were paired up with and thought we might have this in the bag. Then the two other teams competed. One of which had a Streeper on it! I told Buddy if he beat us in the handler games, I would not be able to tolerate it. Well, he beat us in the handler games and I’m not tolerating it! This past week I have now lost a race by one second and a handler X-game by one ball!!!! I am on edge.
Big Piney was in the single digits in the morning and we got word that they had 80 mph winds and blowing snow all night. We were oblivious in our cozy little motel room. The roads were plowed and we arrived to the trail head in good time. Last night’s wind storm only became obvious when we saw the bathroom. The wind had filled the entire bathroom to the roof with snow and you couldn’t even see the door. This was a problem. Dan Carter, Sandy Bath, myself and Elizabeth Chapman got to digging. We dug until the smell overwhelmed us! The ventilation in the bathroom had been completely blocked with snow and the airless room was probably explosive when we finally opened the door.
The forecast was for 4 inches today and in the low twenties. The snow was dry and windblown. We went with 10 dogs led by Pakwa and Fala. The team was excited again in the chute. Bruce’s plan was to be fairly conservative again today. At this point 3rd place is his to lose so he can’t make mistakes. Going after the Streepers with their current lead could prove to be an effective way to blow up the team and let 3rd slip through our fingers. After he got out there he realized the hills were much bigger than he recalled and twelve dogs would have been helpful. I got a chance to go out on the trail today with a team of spare dogs and the 4 miles I saw were pretty wicked. The trail was wind blown and very difficult to see. The trail had a base, but it was punchy in areas and had at least 6 inches of slippery sugar snow on top. The wind was whipping something fierce. It was going to be a tough day for the teams. I was glad to be a handler!! Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy!!
The team ran well and looked good coming into the finish. Bruce was happy with the team’s performance. We finished in 3rd place.
As for the handler games, Liz and I let down our teams as we had to run dogs so we withdrew from Trivia. Thank goodness because the Streeper team won today’s X-Game stage as well! As I said before, I would not have been able to tolerate it! I would have had to protest or something. Geez, throw us a bone! I’m sure they pull that damn trailer just to haul all their prizes; where else would they put all their winnings? I’m going for broke tomorrow with dog bowl curling. It’s on! I’m going to win this damn X-game if it kills me! There will be one less prize in the Streeper Prize Hauler!!