Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Perfect Listeners

A beautiful day to run the trails at Swan Valley!
Out-stretched Max & Zorro as we zooooom along the trails this morning!

I love skijoring with Max & Zorro - they are great listeners and understand following the command from your musher to have a great time on the trails!

Today's video clip demonstrates how much I love being on the trails with these two. The clip starts with us doing one of Max & Zorro's favorite things: running with dog sled teams on the trails. In this case we are running behind an 8-dog team from Good Times Adventures. Look closely and you can see the team on the trail in front of us as we are flying down the trail. We are gaining on the sled team during this video clip when (at about 30 seconds in) we start to get "too close" and I call out a "right turn" to Max & Zorro and, the perfect sled dogs they are, they listen to me and abandon their favorite activity (running with a sled team) and obediently turn off the main trail onto the right trail. I called out this "right" to slow us on the side trail before calling out a left to let them return to the main trail and start the chase again. I love how these two listen to me!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

Okay, now for the question some are asking... "Why did I say 'right' and then 'left' instead of 'gee' and 'haw' (the traditional dog sled right/left commands)?" Well, the answer is simple: I have been good at right & left for 40-some years and can say the correct one instictually. When I first started skijoring, I had the following thought: "If I am flying down a trail on skis (e.g., no brake) and I need an emergency right or left action from the team, do I want to think about whether it is 'gee' or 'haw' (and get it wrong or be late) or do I want to call out an instinctual 'right' or 'left' immediately?" Thus the reason we use 'right' and 'left' and I am still alive after 5 years of skijoring with fast sled dogs :)

Back to a few more shots from the day's fun:
Passing by one of the teams from Good Times - "Hi buddies!"
Out-stretched & sprinting again - we love the fast trails at Swan Valley!

A beautiful day with a great video clip showcasing my perfect listening partners! 9.2 miles with 800 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 24 MPH.

2014/2015 Season to Date: 87 days on the trails covering 754.5 miles with 80,000 feet of elevation climbed.

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