Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Cold Day In January 2013

I was down in the states visiting our daughter Cherish and then took an unexpected flight down to Texas to help John's mother move when back at camp they were having terribly cold weather.  I almost felt guilty enjoying the warm seventy degree ABOVE weather in Texas, but that guilt only lasted a few minutes.  I thought it was wonderful timing.

Cold weather does have its beauty.  You just can't stay out in it for very long.  John was out long enough to capture some nice shots of the camp and surrounding area.  You can see the steam rising from the rapids under the bridge and almost feel the stillness of the frigid atmosphere.  Sure am glad spring is around the corner.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Abounding Adventure

Joanna and I just returned from our third and final dog sled race in the states.  The first was the 83 mile Midnight Run in Marquette, MI  in which Joanna placed 6th out of 28 and the second was the 30 mile Ely Wolf Track Classic where she also placed 6th.

 We had planned to continue on from Ely to the 150 mile Copper Dog Race in upper Michigan, but we were having some serious dog issues with a few females in heat and males that refused to eat or drink.  In addition a few of the dogs picked up a virus at the Ely race, making it impossible for them to compete.  So, we headed back home to regroup and recoup.

 Joanna was extremely disappointed in the turn of affairs because she had her heart set on running the Copper Dog race for the first time.  However, after a week of recuperation, she thought the dogs were recovered enough to run the Beargrease Mid distance 106 mile race in Duluth,MN.  So off we went to Duluth the first week of March.  The dogs had a slow start the first leg of the race but were back in form on the second leg with the third fastest time.  At that point, Joanna was in 8th place, but unfortunately, two of the eight dogs had some shoulder and wrist injuries which prevented them from going any further and when Joanna started out on the final leg of the race, she realized another dog was limping from a wrist injury that hadn't showed up at the vet check.  It was quite disappointing, but Joanna made the decision to scratch from the race rather than make the injury worse or put undue stress on the five remaining dogs in those steep hills.

At this point it was early Monday morning, so we decided to head over to Ely to spend the day and night with Cherish.  Neither Joanna or I had gotten any sleep all night and felt like we could literally pass out into sleep mode.  Joanna was talking to me to try to keep me awake and did a good job.  I could hardly move my mouth to answer her I was so exhausted.  After about 35 miles, she passed into sleepy land and I pressed on thinking it was just a little further and I could make it.  About three miles outside Ely, I too passed out, crossed the road and hit the ditch.  Joanna and I both woke with a start to find snow flying over our windshield.  I screamed, "God Help" and slammed on the brakes, seeing a large poplar tree in front of us.  Thankfully the ditch was full of heavy deep snow and it helped stop us in time.  But the snow was up to my window on the left side.  It took a tow truck quite a bit of time and lots of maneuvering to finally pull us trailer first out of the ditch.  The dogs were in the trailer, but were no worse for the wear.  I surely learned my lesson to stop and rest when I feel that tired again so as not to endanger anyone's lives.  Thank you Jesus for your protection over us.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ely Wolf Track Race

Joanna did quite well at the Ely Wolf Track Dog Sled Race.  There were about 30 entrants for the race and Joanna came in 6th behind Clayton Schneider, the vet from Dryden and two other of his speedy sprint teams.
Joanna was using it more as a training run for 6 of her dogs that had not run in the Midnight Run and were going to be include in the ten dogs team for the Copper Dog 150 mile race in Michigan the following week.

Though they were not her 6 fastest dogs, they all performed well.  It was disconcerting at the finish line, however, when one of them threw up and would not drink any water.  Later, we realized that the dogs had picked up a bug at the vet check the day before and the virus began to spread through the rest of the dogs.  Joanna was so disheartened as she realized she would no longer be able to compete in the Copper Dog race, the main race she had prepared for all winter.

So, we headed back home to Canada to try to nurse all the dogs back to health, even using IV's to hydrate some of them.  She is hoping they will be well enough to compete in the Beargrease race in Duluth next weekend.  They have a week to recover and train, so it is cutting it close.  We shall see.