Pinedale Stage 5

Pinedale – Stage 5 Eukanuba Stage Stop Race

A little below zero this morning at 5am as the dogs stretched their legs and had breakfast. Truck was packed and ready to roll 37 miles to the Cora staging area/ race start. Drivers meeting 8am. Race start 9am, Jerry’s start 9:24am. 

Freshly groomed trails were a welcome site compared to the last couple of days. Today’s team: Sonya, Culliver, Tweel, Amelia, Kristoff, Ranger, BJ, George, Betsy, Little D and Precious. 

The dogs really wanted to run so I stood on the drag pad to keep the speed at 14 MPH or under for the first 15 miles of flat to rolling terrain. Then we started going up some hills. Caught and passed 2 teams go up the hill. The trail leveled off and the team was really wanting to run, back on the drag pad we were. During the coarse of this run we had several stops, some tangles either because the leaders would stop or while trying to pass other team we got tangles. 

All fellow competitors were very courteous on the trail as usual. We came upon a hard 90 degree corner that I knew was going to be difficult. The point dogs took the command “Haw” the the lead dogs say “huh?”….piling the team up like an accordion while I tipped over in the soft snow. Not bad only one crash today! 

I think the team needs a new musher! hahaha

As we continued on the it seemed like the team kept getting stronger. I let them run a bit when it was safe and protected them with brakes when it wasn’t.

We started passing teams every few miles having a small tangle with almost every pass. We got to the last 7 miles and I figured there was only 2 teams ahead of us. We slowly passed them both before the finish line. I knew we had a good run, but noticed others were running really good too. So, I was a bit surprise I heard we took first today.  

We received the yellow bib at the banquet…quite an honor. Honestly, I dream come true. 

Dogs are all in great shape. Eating and resting well and now it is time for us to rest before the next drop at 9:30pm. 

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