Mush MushAugust 23 in New Zealand
Today we head back to Snow Farm for some dog sledding. Although first step was a side tour to Highlands to plan tomorrow's hot lap.
We had to borrow Kelly and Aaron's car today as we need to carry snow chains to drive up to Snow Farm. Kel gave me snow chain fitting lessons which seemed like a lot of rolling in the snow. Half way up it started raining and the snow chain signs were out, but the thought of crawling around in the snow didn't appeal so I drove on. One section of Snow Farm is the SHPG, the Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground, where Audi, Ferrari etc come to rest their cars so if I got pulled over I was just going to tell them snow chains are for amateurs. Luckily we made it to the top without incident well excluding a lot of worrying from Ann and suggesting I stopped and fitted chains.
The rain morphed into snow and it remained snowing till the start of our sledding although our guide was complaining it was a hot day and the dogs kept rolling in the snow to cool off, I mean it was a balmy minus something.
First order of the day meet the dogs who are all either retired racers or young dogs in training. Since it is so hot one pat of the dog resulted in a handful of malted hair. We then learnt how to control the sleds and then met the dogs that would form our team. Two lead dogs and two pullers, funnily enough the pullers were the leaner dogs and the lead dogs appeared to be the bigger stronger dogs.
The guides were about 100m ahead of us and we were left to control our team. Once you let the break off the dogs just wanted to go and as I was at the rear I regularly had to slow my team up because Blocker and Sky just wanted to run past everyone else. With a small team of only four dogs you had to help out up the hills but the more you pushed the harder the dogs worked. They loved running and started howling with joy the moment they were off the chains and on the run. Every time we stopped they rolled around in the snow or tried to get tangled up with the other dogs.
All too soon the run was over and we gave our dogs their treats and met some new puppies then headed back inside, with one last catch. Remember after days ago when Ann bowled over some disabled skiers? Well they were part of the Japanese Olympic team here to train for the biathlon, which is cross country skiing and shooting. We met them at the door, they were heading out for target practice as we were heading in. There was a brief glacé of recognition but before they had a chance to load their weapons Ann and I were off down the hill and heading home.Read more