Friday, January 7, 2011

The end of dog mushing

When I first read a book called (A dog named wolf)a story of a stray dog in the Yukon wilds by, R.J lippincott in the 1970s. I always dreamed of having a Dog team But growing up poor but happy it was not possible, I always said if and when i ever could have a dog team I would love to run in the Yukon,But I choose to be a cowboy in the early part of my life competing in amateur rodeos all over western Canada I did this for over 16 yrs jumping off of perfectly good horses in the steer wrestling competition when I did retire from rodeo,
Dog mushing was still on my bucket list. Then I got an opportunity to help out a sprint racer driving 12 hrs every weekend for about 2 months I jumped at the opportunity of learning the ropes so to speak for my first year and then moving on to a distance mushers kennel, soaking in every thing I could on the sport ,and starting our own kennel.So After about 8yrs of having our own kennel and competing around western canada, I made a work change and moved me and my family a little father north
That enable me to plan to run the Yukon quest 300.

And what a thrill to be on the same trail as the gold rusher's

Starting the race in Whitehorse then ,off to Braeburn and Carmacks everything went fine running though the hills and valleys though the notorious pinball ally Whew"
when I was just outside of pelly crossing about 30 miles for town things were not going good I was depressed beyond belief I was down to 7 dogs everything was coming apart ,we had packed another musher who had lost her team,
I had a dog in the bag ,about an hr later we found her team I dropped her off and I continued on the team was not looking good so I decided since we were not going to make a difference in the race anyway , I stopped it was around 2-3 in the afternoon.
I made my friends comfortable and built a fire about 1/2 an hour later Lucy came along she said she was continuing on , I explained I was going to take a break I still had one of those monster burgers from Braeburn, so i proceeded to warm it up over the fire and I made some Tea and as I was sitting there I suddenly broke down and bawled I still do not know why , maybe because of all the things that had happened behind us or maybe I was just feeling sorry for myself , after I composed myself.
I sat drinking Tea and eating my monster burger by the crackling fire I was thinking to myself, this is the greatest achievement that I have ever done , I have accomplished my dream of running dogs and traveling thru the Yukon wilderness by dog team, from the book of so long ago, except the trapping part (still possible) and I have done a lot of adventures , it was like I belonged here in this Yukon wilderness and it was apart of me and always will be and I can come back anytime, suddenly my Lead dog for no reason gets up and starts hamming the gangline wanting to go,I start whistling ,I knew then even if we did't finish this race (we came up 8 miles short) I completed what I had set out to do. Thank you R.J Lippincott, just like in the story of the dog, in the End wolf becomes a sled dog for the trapper,and me a dog musher .
And now a couple of yrs have past since then, The fire is starting to fade
My oldest daughter will be graduating this yr, I promised my youngest Disney land and my wife more of my time to spend with her family and mine and to travel .
And this year wasn't that great for me I lost my oldest brother ,then I put on a race, and was sick a couple of times .

It just made my decisions that much easier to say lets move on to new adventures and new beginnings .
however having said all of that God willing and my health stays good I will be back on a sled one DAY I don't know when or where but I will race again also I now have a lot of Mushing buddy's
This time I am not sad because I know ITS NOT THE END OF DOG MUSHING