Friday afternoon we had a half day at school so I got home around 1 o'clock. I packed the van with dog crates, food for the dogs, the tie out chain, harnesses, lines, and a bike. By the time a finished all that it was about 3 o'clock. The rest of the afternoon and evening seemed to move incredibly slowly. I went to bed early trying to make Saturday come faster. I was awaken at 10 by Carlleen coming into the room and going to bed. We talked for about an hour, then we finally settled down enough to go to sleep. Bright and early (4:30 am) we were up and at it eating breakfast. Then we went out and loaded up dogs, they were predicting rain so I had to grab a rain coat on my way out the door. We loaded up 6 dogs Chipmunk, Cinnamon, Rocket, Racer, Panda, and Cloud. The teams were switched because Dingo could not come, she didn't have her rabies shots up to date. But the way the day went I would not have been brave enough to use her anyways.
We started out on the long drive. Not to far into the drive Cinnamon decided she wanted to come and sit with me. We were not going to stop to put her back were she belonged so she got a special seat on the ride there. We arrived at the race around 8:30, half an hour till the drivers meeting. We dropped all of the dogs and fed them breakfast. Then Carlleen and I went down to the barn and got our bibs. Took them back to the van then went back to the barn for the drivers meeting. Being my first meeting I payed close attention they made everything sound so serious, I was almost scared.
4 dog rig was the first class out but that was not until 9 so we had some time to kill. Carlleen was going to try in go through a corn maze but decided it was to muddy for her shoes. It had started misting and I was cold and wet so I went and sat in the van until it was time to start the race. When the races started time went into a blur of taking dogs to the start and which team needs help next. All the 4 dog teams made it out without a problem.
Time for 6 dog. The first person out we were helping had an 8 dog line and he didn't know it so with a minute to his shoot time and two dogs still to hook up they frantically undid the line and made it a 6 dog. But that was nothing compared to what we did next. I think it was the 4th team out and they were looking for the 5th and he was no were in sight so were looking and looking and then we see a guy trying to get dogs on the line as fast as he can and were guessing he is number 5 and he has no help all he has is this one other person holding out the line. So we run over there and help him by holding the dogs. He has his rig hooked to a 4-wheeler and there is no one to drive it but him he has like 30 seconds to chute time so he just jumps on and lets the dogs take off so we were running at the dogs full speed as they shoot between the trucks heading to the start, they make it just in time. Every one else has help so Carlleen and I head to the finish line to help catch teams as they come in. Rig breaks don't do much to stop a team on dry ground let alone on soaking wet grass. We are there to help the first person out because he only has one person to help him, but other teams have come in and there's still no sign of him. This guy has competitive dogs he should have at least held his spot. There are only like 2 more teams out on the trail and he still has not come in so we turn around to head back to the van and there he is at his truck will all his dogs. So we go over and talk to him to see why he didn't finish the race. On one of the corners his dogs took him right through the snow fence and there was no point for him to continue the race so he just went straight to his truck. We don't have to help with the scooter class.
Bike class finally, one of the classes we are in. Carlleen has Cinnamon and Chipmunk in this one so we go back and get them ready. She goes out second to last and comes in last, not to surprising she had Cinnamon and it was only intended to get Cinnamon used to racing. Lunch I eat alone, Carlleen has somewhere else to be. After lunch I walk down the trail a little to the first corner to see what it looks like. It's muddy. I head back to the van Carlleen has to get ready for 1 dog bike with Cloud. I walk her to the line and I know that Cloud is not going to want to take off she is pulling back. Take off is ok as soon as Cloud figures out that she has to run. I go and wait at the finish for Carlleen. She comes across the line, "You were not kidding; this dog has some good speed behind her." Now all Cloud needs are longer legs.
My turn for Jr. bike I decide to take Chipmunk and Panda because I have heard reports that the trail is very muddy and I would rather not crash and burn. I am so excited I think I am as excited as the dogs. We burst out of the chute and down the trail, I have a plan for not sliding out. On the corners I go wide to the outside were fewer teams run so that is still grass not mud. At the second corner I find the person who left in front of me. It looks like he slid out in the mud, he has trail help with him so I figure he is off and I expect him to chase me out. Then it was on to corn stocks ally, a really muddy part of the trail. I slide a few times but never quite fall. Next the mud pit an indent in the ground that is full of mud. Did any one else feel like we are on wipe out here? I make it through mud pit and it is on to the hills. There are two right next to each other you go up one around a small turn and up the next. The dogs to great and really put there backs into it while we are going up. The straight away to the finish the part I have the most trouble with there are little patches of mud that I can't see but I encourage the dogs to go faster anyway. We burst across the finish line. I had so much fun I want to go again and I get to in canicross. But running the trail is way less fun than biking it. I did not do the greatest in canicross. I think I was 6 out of 8 on the first day, but running in the mud with it sticking to your shoes is no fun at all.
Carlleen and I both slept on the ride home, and did not go back on Sunday. I heard Wausau got a whole lot of rain duped on it and it was so bad that they had to reroute the trail. I got to sit at home and play with my pups and thank them for a wonderful first race. I hope there will be many more, and with the dogs I have I am sure there will be.
2 sled dog racers keeping the public informed of their kennel updates!