Ontop of Copper Mountain 2
FFor a moment I felt pure panic, but with a little encouragement the dogs picked up the pace and we were out of harms way. He followed us for a bit, waved and headed off down another hill full bore.
It was time to look for a rest stop. What we needed was a place where Arrow and Astro could make as much ruckus as they liked without causing an avalanche, and someplace out of the way. Kiska decided for us, she pulled up out of the wind and in-between a few tree tops. There I tied the front of the gang line to a couple of trees, unclipped the dogs necklines and re-attaching their collars the to the tug-lines. I shared my cookies with them and they had their meat treats. With all the fresh snow they were not in the least bit thirsty, all they wanted was to roll in the snow and eat mouthfuls of the stuff. We had a few clouds all around us and then the wind started kicking up the snow, the sled bag was filling with snow every time I opened it. The boys were getting restless and it was time to pack up and explore a few of the other trails on the way down.
Kiska had been giving me a bit of trouble this winter with her commands. I never should have worried, like the pro she is, she kept us straight and turned us around. We headed back down the trail, there was enough new snow that when I put on the brake the snow piled up to my knees. Coming down was fast, there were three hairpin turns and I could not keep the sled righted on any of them. The dogs were so good, they actually stopped and waited for me to right the sled and dump the snow out from the inside of my jacket. Brrrr.
We came to a series of trails, Kiska wanted to turn down one of them, but I said no and we kept going straight. There were no dog tracks to follow, the snow machines had been by and gone over them. I knew where we should be heading, but the trail just did not seem familiar. We went up and down the trails and finally I thought, Oh, Oh, we are lost on the top of the mountain. What to do, I knew I had enough equipment to last the night, but I really didn't relish the thought of having to be rescued. I decided to trust my leader, she has a memory like an elephant. I walked up the gangline to Kiska and hugged her asking her to please find the trail and take us home. She forged ahead hugged her asking her to please find the trail and take us home. She forged ahead past three trails, made a sharp turn down the original trail she had wanted to go down. I stopped the team and ran up to her, hugging and kissing her. What a girl, I needed a picture of this then I hugged and kissed her even more. She took it quite calmly and gave me that look, "the you were wrong and I was right look".
The ride down was an experience I will never forget. We went from snow-slush-ice-snow-slush-gravel. There was no stopping them on the way down. I had to ride the brake all the way down, my leg was almost numb at the bottom. The dogs were covered in mud,snow and just plain wet. I was drenched from the rain and water on the trail.
At the bottom we met two snowmobiler's on their way up, I was very grateful we hadn't met them on the trail.
We were a sorry looking bunch in the truck, the dogs lay down and slept while I packed everything away. The sled was soaked and must have gained several pounds, the dog harnesses were soaked and weighed a considerable amount.
What had taken us 1 1/2 hours to go up had only taken us 25 minutes to come down.
The next day everyone, including me, was walking around a bit stiff and sore. I'm proud of my team and again, they have shown me that they can be a lot smarter than I can. I should never have doubted my smarter than my leader. Siberian Huskies still have it. Many Trails..