Saturday, April 15, 2006

Third Place

I mushed my first dog-sledding race and scored a third place ribbon.

For the longest time, it looked like I had locked in the second place. But as we got closer to the finish line, I could hear the "pull, pull" from the musher behind me. And then, looking to my left, I could see her lead dog siding up beside my dogs. I kicked the snow beneath the moving sled. I shouted out "good dogs, good dogs" and "pull, pull." And we pulled ahead. Oh, I don't think I'll ever forget the excitement of the dogs. How they were loving this open, exciting sprint.

But then, suddenly, my dogs veered off to the right, towards a ridge of reeds poking out from the sides of the frozen river.

I forgot whether it was "gee" or "haw" that meant "left." So I shouted out both, trying to direct the dogs back to the finish line trail. Unconsciously, I started pointing to the left, as if I could communicate by sign language.

But there was no deterrence.

So I resolved to trust the dogs and, more importantly, enjoy the last few seconds of a race that is undoubtedly one of the top ten highlights of my life so far.

So I finished third and off-the-path. I like this a lot, especially the off-the-path part. I like that I finished on a trail that I followed blind. I guess, all in all, I consider it to be a far more appropriate seat for me to be finishing third and off-the-path than second and on-the-path.

Many thanks to the friends who provided me with pictures of the day!


Blogger FishTaxi said...

Congrats! That is so cool. Do you have the mushing bug now?

12:59 AM  
Anonymous said...


Peeps is a musher. I am suprised, because you can not drive a manual transmission but you can control a pack of mutts. Any luck with the caribou hunting? Do you need someone to come and catch fish?


I'm eating porkchops seared w/ mustard&beer, sauteed asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes and i am washing it down with some previously local PDX henry's PR (guy would like it)now it's mass produced swill.

Say hi to your household.

Be safe


7:52 PM  
Blogger peeps said...

Hi Fishtaxi - let's just say that I hope to have many, many more opportunities to learn the difference between gee and haw. And as for RJH - I'm told that as soon as the river melts, the salmon will be running. We'd love to have you come up and help us catch fish!

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Third place very clam very nice..........

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2:51 AM  

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