Tuesday, February 05, 2008


From my friend Rodney who will be the first Tennessean in the Iditarod.
Sounds like fun, right?

Yesterday we ran about 43 miles. SGT Woodward went ahead on a
snowmobile and
took some really good photos. I hope to have them on the website before
weekend is over. It was a good, but difficult run. The further we
towards McCloud's Grade, the deeper the snow was. Nobody had been over
trail since our snow storm a couple of nights ago. The dogs dug in and
pulled through the deep snow. It was slow going, but good training for
the dogs and the musher.

Today the team and I headed out for a 28 mile run. On this run, there
is a
spot where there is a sharp left turn that then goes straight down
hill. By
the time the sled gets to the turn (with musher on board), the dogs are
high gear going down the hill. Usually the sled turns short, catches a
snowbank, and turns over on its right side. I have about gotten used to
inconvenience and expect it, however, I try to swing the sled out and
the snowbank. Today I was ready for it. The dogs turned and when the
got to the turn, I was riding outside of the right runner. Great! I
the turn without hitting the snowbank and without turning over on the
side. Instead, the sled turned over on the left side. I hung on as I
dragged through the snow. (Now, everything I'm telling you happened in
2 seconds.) Suddenly I noticed we were sliding into some brush.
"Good," I
thought, "this will stop the sled." It did, but not just the brush. I
head first right into a tree. The tree did not budge. I hurt from the
of my head to the bottom of my feet. I now have two big lumps on my
One is on my forehead and the other right between my eyes. I just hope
eyes don't turn black. I have never had a headache quite like this
one. I
have been sucking on ibuprofen all evening. It also banged up my neck
that I can only turn my head to the left, and that only a few degrees.

As for the run itself, the dogs are really firming up as a team. I
moved the
dogs around to different positions and have been pairing them up
to see how they run best. No matter where I run them, they do great.

A week from this coming Friday (February 15) I will run the UP 200 in
Marquette, Michigan. Then on February 20, we head to Alaska. In the
meantime, I'm getting something for this headache!

Mush on and Mush Strong!



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