Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LBL Sled Dog Dash

Thursday around 2pm my son and I headed out to Western Kentucky for the Land Between the Lakes Sled Dog Dash. With us, we had Freya, Bandit and Princess. I decided to leave Yukon home #1 because I hadn't been able to secure a 4 dog rig prior, and #2 it would be a bit crowded with 4 dogs in the truck. As soon as I pick up a 4 dog rig though, Yukon, I promise you are going, and more stuff will be packed on the trailer to accomodate you!

This is Lake Barkley, one of the Lakes surrounding the area we were mushing.

Bandit and Princess enjoy the view.

We checked in to the hotel, then drove around a bit trying to find all the places we needed to be on Saturday. Grand Rivers is a great little town with very friendly folks who were excited to meet some sled dogs. For a time, I felt like a celebrity as I cruised around town, only it was the dogs that were the real center of attention, so I guess that makes me a roadie for them?

Princess was in her element, gliding from person to person in her royal cuteness. We then went out to Nickel Branch and got to run a bit on the dirt road and trails before heading back to the hotel prior to going out to eat at Sharlotte's where they had a marvelous Fully Loaded Potato Soup. Believe you me, this soup is worth the trip if nothing else!

James said he didn't feel great, so I left him at the hotel with Bandit and Freya and took Princess with me to the Mushers' Tails campfire meeting. It was there I met Brett Brock, the man I had bought my Dryland Mushing T-shirts and Sweatshirts from. He had two gorgeous boys, one long coat and one medium, both black and white. They were very eager to make Princess' acquaintence, and though she greeted them, she seemed none too keen to be anything more than acquaintences. We chatted for some time, swapping stories and talking geek.

On the way back, I snapped off some shots of Grand Rivers all lit up for the holidays. I wished that James felt well enough to come along, as I would have loved to walk around and get some better pics. This too was well worth the trip. Every house, shop, tree, fence, and lamp post was lit up in a fantastic array of lights and colors. Even the harbor across the highway had almost every boat lit up. It was amazing.

I can't imagine the amount of time that went in to stringing all these lights!

Bandit Freya and Princess roughing it in the hotel.

Santa and Mrs Claus came out to see us Saturday morning at the Meet and Greet. Despite the rain there were a lot of warm and friendly folks. It was a great time.

Some Junior mushers and their pups.

A sort of visible pic of Bill Bordan's Iditarod jacket... sweet!

Rodney and Brett sipping coffee. Jeff is the one in the green hat.

The parking lot and pavillion that was the starting point for the race.

Brett and his two boys.

One of the juniors coming in to the finish line.

JJ (?) getting ready for the 4 dog.

I can't remember this guy's name, but he was running Jeff's team and rig.

Rodney's team and rig. As you can tell, it was just a wee bit wet.

Jeff's team.

Saturday I did pretty good with a 8.15 time for a two mile run.
Sunday it snowed, the bridges were icy, and my rear brakes had frozen solid. Not to be daunted, I got my team to the start line, but Freya and Bandit were being freakishly scared despite my trying to calm them, so it took a couple seconds to get them untangled and ready to start.
We blasted down the trail, perhaps faster now that Freya knew where she was going. We turned at the first point towards the first bridge even faster than before, but this proved to be my undoing. I could not straighten fast enough to make it to the bridge straight on. I hit it at an angle and my rear tire slid out from under me faster than I could put my feet down, but the dogs weren't ready to stop yet. I slammed onto the concrete and was pulled into the iron supports. Thank goodness for the training I've had on breaking my falls, as I instinctually cushioned the impact by rolling into a ball, then flatening out to keep from bouncing.

I knew I hurt, but couldn't tell how bad because of the cold and adrenaline, so I slowly took stock and tried to get up. So far so good until I put weight on my left leg. The knee I had chipped before nearly gave back out on me, so I made the decision not to continue since I didn't know if I had hurt it bad or not.

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