January 16, 2013 4.00 PM 15 F Lightly snowing
It’s Tuesday afternoon, on Friday we should be hitting the start line of the Don Bowers Memorial Sled Dog race, our first ever 200 mile race. By rights, I should probably be incredibly nervous, feel a degree of uncertainty and be sure that we are either under-prepared or simply not prepared at all.
To add to those worries would be the fact that we haven’t managed to run the dogs for the last 8 days. Primarily due to the weather – it seems the constant complaining about the excess snow of last winter has been heeded by Mother Nature and accordingly we hardly have any – and the last 3 days of warm temperatures and rain have created a nightmare scenario of glare ice, no snow and deep holes frozen into place, capable of severely injuring both dogs and humans. Additionally, a couple of the dogs expected to make the race team are both on the injury list and all together it really isn’t looking like a bundle of laughs.
But, and it’s a mighty big but, the race has already been cancelled. The Sheep Mountain 150 and the Knik 200 have too fallen victim to the weather. The Don Bowers got called off a couple of weeks ago – run by volunteers, they sensibly decided that given the conditions, there was just no way they could be sure that a trail could be put in and maintained. So, the pressure has been taken off and sitting here, looking out at the dogs tiptoeing around their yard, I feel the itch to run them, that isn’t based on the worry that we won’t be ready for a race, but is grounded in the simple desire to be out on the trails with my guys.