Shred and Right Eye in Lead
The Sheep Mountain 150 which was scheduled for December 15, 2012 was cancelled due to lack of snow. It seems there are lots of other types of sled dog races going on, one of which seemed like a good idea to enter. The Alaska Excursion 120 was on Saturday 12/15 and Sunday 12/16. This was a sprint race with two heats of 40 miles each,.
The race took place at Happy Trails Kennel which is the home of Iditarod Champion Martin Buser. He and his wife, Cathy generously let the race take place there as the home of the Alaska Excursion 120 Race trail was not ready.
Thank you to Lori Egge for letting me use her dog box trailer. The team of 10 dogs rode in style and were toasty warm in the straw filled boxes on such cold mornings as the temperatures were well below zero. Also thank you to Nick Petit for helping me get my team safely to the starting line !
My first heat was not very successful as I missed a turn, and went about 15 miles out of my way. During the run, which went in the wrong direction, I nearly lost my team as I lost my balance going down a steep hill. I was on the "Big Lake Trail" at this point, which is wide snow machine trail, that looks like a super highway. I don't even want to think about what would happen if the team got away from me. They probably wouldn't have been seen again for a long time. Not a happy thought.
I got turned around, when I finally realized I was on the wrong trail and went all the way back to the start. The happy folks there said I could turn around, go the right direction and finish the heat, which I did. Needless to say, I was in last place.
Sunday was as cold as Saturday, maybe even more so. I did not get lost and passed by several teams to finish the 42 mile heat under 4 hours. The dogs were great and finished in excellent form. I couldn't have been more proud of them
My wonderful husband, Dave Bogart was my intrepid dog handler who had to sort out drop lines, harnesses, booties, unload the sled and keep order among the troops, not to mention scooping a few poops too !
Photo taken by Barb Redington