I finally got out to Huntington State Park with the dogs this morning. Temperatures were below freezing when we loaded up and stayed cold for most of the morning.
Upon arrival, I was excited to see some other mushers preparing for their run. I had met them before at a race in the Pine Barrens and it was nice to get some insight before hitting an unknown trail (Thanks Julia!).
Our run was momentarily delayed by, well, a bunch of barf. I'm guessing the winding, hilly roads didn't agree with the pile of food Blitz wolfed down. While I was behind the van cleaning out the crate, Dexter started going off in the middle of the van. His batch of vomit was mostly bile and a very small piece of beef hoof he had managed to break off and swallow. Cool.
I cleaned out the mess while trying to field questions from curious onlookers. I realize I've become a bit of a spectacle. I started out with two dogs, a bike, and an SUV. Today I have five dogs, a giant rig, and an enormous van. So much for being discrete.
Our run went very, very well for being a completely unknown trail. I'm only running the three adult huskies at this point, since Dexter is mostly retired and Blitz is still too young. The attitude of the other dogs has shifted quite a bit without Dex. It was a fairly busy trail and we had to deal with passing several other dogs, head on. In the past, this would have been nearly impossible. Dexter and Knox would get fired up and send the whole team charging. Not a great experience for someone out for a leisurely stroll with their dog.
Knox is a different dog when Dexter isn't there to cause trouble. He passed by the other dogs without even leaning in their direction. It also helped that the trails we took were steep. By the time we saw anyone, the dogs were too tired to care.
In total, we ran 5.4 miles, which was our longest run so far this season. I plan to keep increasing the distance, especially now that it's been consistently cold out. I have a loose goal of 200 miles this season, but it may fall short when Blitz joins the team. He'll still be young and I don't expect to go too far with him until next season. Until then, we'll keep rolling.