Sunday, December 30, 2007
Another Full Day Adventure
Trail conditions were sticky today with temps quite warm for the dogs and in the low 20s. Our day began at 6AM, as usual, when I awoke to walk the little house dog mascots and feed the sled dogs to allow for enough time to pass for them to digest their food before we began the "working" day.
The dogs were loaded and we trucked to the trail head to meet our guests which were coming from another lodge on the Gunflint Trail. Steve and Jack, a dad and his 6 year old son, would enjoy a day out on the trail with the Points Unknown sled dogs.
The line-up included Klaus and Tuloon in lead which is becoming the norm. Sweet Pea and Phoenix were in point position. Zulu stayed home because he was sore from the previous adventure and I wanted him to have a day to rest. It was very hard to leave him behind, being the king leader of the kennel, but it was for his own good. Then Ilu and Icoa were placed at wheel. Those two are just plain work horses which allows me to excuse the less than proper behavior, at times, on the trail. Little Miss Icoa likes to act a bit snotty to her son, Ilu and he is "talking" back so they have an occasional snotty exchange but the raising of my voice is enough to put them back on track. Even though I find it annoying and would like them to stick strictly to their work while on the trail, it is quite comical to watch.
I was very proud of how patient the dogs were today. They are getting into a routine and are also becoming more easily accepting of last minute changes in the plans. Just as we were all hooked up to go and I was about to pull my snow hook, I heard a little voice, "my toes are cold". I told the dogs to "take a break" while I took off little boots and placed toe warmers in socks then stuffed little feet back into the wool blanket lined sled bag. The dogs remained quiet and in place, except for the occasional exchange between Ilu and Icoa as they tried to take over each other's spots in the line-up which is so typical of those two. So then it was off we went.
On our return trip, Jack got back on the runners with me for a while and was excited that he was driving a 6 dog team. He said his feet were cold but when asked if he wanted to get back in the sled bag to warm them up, he quickly said "no". After his turn was over, Dad got a chance back on the runners. I watched the little head poking out of the sled bag nod a time or two then Jack was fast asleep. We then mushed silently through the snow covered pine lined trails back to the truck.