Mrs. Reiter’s Fall Count: 2
Mrs. Reiter’s being run over by the sled count: 1
It was a pretty exciting second day on the trail.
The morning was really nice. It was absolutely beautiful. The sun was out, the sky was blue. High temperature was 7 degrees, low was minus nine.
In the morning we took fairly easy trails. We went across the frozen lakes and into the Boundary Lakes Wildlife Region. This region is a huge pristine wildlife area. Nothing motorized is allowed in the area. No planes can fly overhead. In the summer there are no motor boats and in the winter no snowmobiles. So really, dogsled is the way to go.
On the Lake
We tried putting Domino in the lead position with Darla and moved Fennel to the swing position. What a difference to the team. Domino is definitely a wild child! He’s raring to go every second. He and Darla are best buds and every time the sled stopped they nipped and rolled around and rough-housed with each other. The change made the team a little harder to control. One of us always needed to be out front when we stopped to keep Domino calm. He’s a bit hyper, but so funny and so much fun. Good old Fennel just let him goof around, and then would almost run over him when he wasn’t paying attention.
It was almost like Fennel was saying “Look rookie. This is how you do it right.”
In the afternoon we split up into two groups and our team and one other team took off on some wild trails through the woods. We were going over downed trees, careening around boulders, and going up and down hills.
Into the Woods
Let me tell you. Whichever side of the sled I stand on, is the wrong side. I was getting hammered by tree branches and two times I got bumped off as the sled bucked or tipped in my direction. Mrs. Rizzuto just kept laughing and laughing and laughing! I was covered in snow from the tree branches, and she was looking perfect! For some reason, the dogs always veer to one side of the trail or the other. They never really seem to stay in the middle and there’s nothing you can do about it!
We were working so hard we were getting hot and so I decided to take my outer most windproof coat off and take my fleece hood off. It was great until the dogs brushed me right in to a pine tree and dumped snow down my neck! BRRRR.
But the big excitement came pretty near to the end of our run. We came around a corner and zipped past this little tree…. And then wham! The sled got wedged in between the tree and rock or stump or something. The dogs all made it through the slot, but then stopped dead and the sled got stuck. They yelped when they got jarred by the sled. We couldn’t move.
So, Mrs. Rizzuto got off and tried to wiggle the sled free. It didn’t work.
I thought we needed to move the dogs back so that we could back the sled out of the wedge and then tip it a bit to wiggle it through. I grabbed on to Calvin and Belle, our two wheel dogs and pulled back.
Well, somehow, I pulled hard, they backed up and I fell to the ground.
The sled came free and the dogs shot down the trail, running over my leg with the sled and leaving Mrs. Rizzuto standing at the tree.
She ran down the trail yelling “Loose sled, loose sled!” which is what we had been instructed to do. Andrew, hearing her call, hops off his sled and stands in the trail to try to catch the dogs as they go by which is what we were NOT supposed to do! Dave, our guide yells at him not to stop the dogs at the front, and he moves right before he gets run over.
Luckily he slowed them down enough that Mrs. Rizzuto was able to jump on the sled and use the break to stop them!
So, just remember. If you ever see a runaway dog sled, don’t try to grab the leaders to stop them. Wait for the sled to reach you, jump on the back and then use the brake to stop the dogs!
I’m totally fine, just a bit embarrassed about it all. Tomorrow we’re going to switch sides, but I have a feeling it’s not going to make a difference. My side is always the wrong side!
Wildlife sightings today:
Three ravens circling out front during breakfast, lots and lots of timber wolf tracks, red fox tracks, and a deer hip bone that had obviously recently been part of someone’s lunch!