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The dogs and I got to introduce a few more of my friends to mushing this weekend. Even though I’ve been running dogs for a few years now, it hasn’t been an easy hobby to share with others. Pulling a passenger’s weight is difficult with only three dogs, even when trail conditions are perfect.
The trails at Six Mile Run were absolutely stunning. The thick, heavy snow coated everything like frosting. I’ve mushed and hiked here dozens of times, and it still manages to surprise me by looking completely different.
Unfortunately, the deep snow made sled rides almost impossible. Temperatures shot up today and look like they’ll be staying up for awhile, so this may have been our last sled run of the season.
I’ll be in Iceland at the end of this week, but I’m looking forward to camping trips with the dogs as spring creeps in. Mornings will still be cold enough for some dryland runs, and I’m set on finishing our 150 mile goal for the season. Just 20 more miles to go!
We finally got a little snow to mush on! Not enough for sleds, but enough to make the dogs very happy.
As the old year closes and the new begins, we often talk about goals and resolutions. I have my own set of personal achievements to strive towards this year, but I think now would be a good time to write about my mushing goals.
Every season, I set a goal at around 150 total miles. We generally start running in October, and continue up until late March, weather permitting. This gives us six solid months to accrue distance. If we’re lucky, we get a head start in late September, and run into April. Either way, 150 miles is a pretty attainable goal.
As of January 1st, 2015, we have around 83 miles in the books. Dexter is behind with only about 70 miles, since I didn’t run him in our first race and he’s had a minor paw pad injury this past week. I’m not too sure about his future in mushing, since the pups have definitely hit their peak and run much faster than he does now. I don’t want to force him to run, but I’d hate to leave him behind. We’ll see how he does after a week of rest. Hopefully we’ll see some snow this season, which he does run better in.
I’ve got a few other mushing related goals I’d like to accomplish, for this year and the future:
- Purchase an Arctis Cart (slated for Summer of this year)
- Dryland mushing roadtrip
- Stay in a cabin with mushing trails in the vicinity
- Overnight mushing trip (mush to a spot, pitch a tent, then mush back the following day)
If anyone has any suggestions for those last there, please let me know! They’re not really activities I’ll be able to do around New Jersey, so any advice is appreciated.
Have a happy 2015!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you – beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.― Edward Abbey