Tuesday December 18

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The first words out of my mouth the morning of the Tuesday the18th were, “Did it stop snowing?” and I was thrilled to hear that it had.  It was simply gorgeous in our little parking lot!  The trees were COVERED with snow and aside from the fact that they were starting to fall and drop branches all around us (we counted around 5 trees or big branches that fell that we heard or saw), we were in a Winter Wonderland. 

As beautiful as it was, as we looked down it was quite disturbing to see the mounds of snow that had piled up all around us, on the trucks, on our sleds, on our gear, on the trailer roofs (which were starting to warp).  We talked about what to do, and called Tim to see if he could come back with the tractor and get us out of there.  He gave us a non-emergency number to call to at least let someone in authority know we were there and could not get out, and we placed the call.  We were asked if they needed to send a helicopter, and we laughed and told them we were fine for now, but were quickly running out of provisions and had 24 sled dogs with us that we were concerned about.  I was very concerned about Kanoo, who had gotten sick in the truck overnight and was continuing to get sick from both ends this morning.  Thank the Lord, she was taking water and turkey meat and finally kibble with water.  I was afraid she had been dehydrated, and was getting very worried when she stopped getting sick as suddenly as she had started.  The Lord is GOOD!  The person on the other end of the phone said a Deputy would be calling us to see exactly what our needs were, and took down my name and number. 

While we were on the phone I noticed a dog truck drove by on the highway.  A few minutes later it came back and stopped by the road, so we went up to see who it was.  Dominic and James were on hand to run Dom’s dogs, and Jeff Parsons had driven up to help Larry get the snow load off the trailer and brought a ladder and raking tool.  As we got closer we could see power lines were down across the highway and across the access road, so we had to stand back on opposite sides of the lines to stay safe.  James tossed the rake over and Jeff tossed the ladder.  It was such an odd feeling to be Stuck!  While we were standing by the road I heard a familiar “CRACK” and looked back towards our trucks just in time to see a big plume of snow coming upwards right by where Kanoo and Pam’s dogs were picketed out.  I heard myself say, “CRAP” and started running to check on the dogs.  It wasn’t long before I had to slow to a brisk walk in the 3+ feet of snow, but as I got closer I could see Kanoo was still laying in the same spot and wasn’t concerned so was relieved to see it wasn’t as close as it had looked.

Jeff coming to the Rescue!

 

Later we looked back up to the road and saw a vehicle had stopped and a person was standing out in front of it.  Pam and I walked up to see who it was, and it ended up being Mike, from Emergency Management.  He assured us that the Power Company was aware of the downed lines and was coming to the rescue soon!  He said he would stay until they got there.  He thought we’d be out by nightfall.  It was GREAT NEWS, but I was still stressed because of the lack of training time I was getting in.

Jeff came back and offered to take us to breakfast, but Larry and Pam wanted to stay with the dogs.  I took advantage of his offer, feeling like I really needed some hot fuel for my tired bones and brought back some French fries to Pam and Larry.  I got a call from Mike, who said the lines were up and the road was plowed and we could get out now!  He said they were going to stay until we got out to make sure we didn’t have any other problems.  Bruce had come by earlier to bring news of yet another storm that was forecast for Wednesday (tomorrow), so we were SO THANKFUL to finally be FREE!  We also got news that Fish Lake was plowed and knew that Dom and James had been out on the trails already today, so I couldn’t resist but asking Pam if she wanted to go get in a short fun run on the Snopocalypse Trails (to use Dominic’s word!).  We packed up as quickly as possible and decided to take advantage of an hour or two of sunlight left to go try and have some fun after such a crazy adventure. 

As we drove to Fish Lake, we were passing by a steady stream of Line Crews working to remove dangerous trees and repair some of the damaged lines.  It felt like we had been out of civilization for a week, and “civilization” had received a lot of damage from the heavy, wet snow that fell before the ground had frozen, leaving even more damage eminent.  Larry had arrived at the Sno Park first and managed to get his big trailer stuck again as he was attempting to turn it around and park on the side of the road.  No one could believe it… Freedom had been so short lived.  There was nothing I could do and I needed to drop my dogs anyway, so decided to go ahead and hook them up and run for a little bit, to stretch their legs and enjoy some time together doing what they love most.  Kanoo was feeling better, so I walked her a bit before we took off, and then put her back in “her truck” to wait for our return.  We only stayed out about 45 minutes.  I don’t know how many miles we ran because I forgot to turn the GPS off when I got back so it continued to run as we drove to Pam’s.  It was kind of ironic because I didn’t know how many miles we were running because I was so busy enjoying the scenery on the trail and trying to capture as much of it as possible with my camera phone… and it was the most fun I had had with my team for quite some time.  All the stress of trying to accomplish our race goals was gone, and I realized in an instant how much pressure I had been feeling and had been putting onto my dogs.  It wasn’t fair to them, and I’m sure they weren’t enjoying themselves as much as they would have otherwise.  I decided right then that the race probably wouldn’t happen for us because I refused to stress myself out and push myself and my team that hard to try and get miles any more.  It was too early in the season, especially this season, to get up to that many miles and it was quite obvious, especially after what we had just been through, that it was completely out of my hands.  I would enjoy the time on the trails with my dogs no matter how many miles of training we would get.

Fish Lake Fun Run After Craziness

We made it back to Pam’s (after a near accident of her almost hitting three deer, and me almost hitting her, and a semi almost hitting me from behind right outside of Cle Elum) and were totally wiped out.

 

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