19.5 hours with the dogs today! Wow, long day. So fun! I wouldn't have it any other way. I love when life is more difficult. The pain cold brings is welcomed. I want this to be a tough experience. When it's hard, I get that accomplished feeling. With the temperature at -25 C believe me, I was feeling pretty accomplished. Josh and I traveled 70 something miles today. About half way we were surprised to see Ken who was supposed to be way ahead of us cutting trail on the snowmobile. He explained the ice is too thin to go any farther and pointed at his pants as evidence. Ken while marking trail ended up falling through the ice up to his waist. We got the dogs some hay and their food while Ken lit a fire and started to dry his boots and socks. It was fun hanging out with Josh, Tavina, and Ken telling stories and laughing. I had some chicken I already cooked wrapped in tinfoil that I placed in the fire along with a can of soup. After Ken had felt good about this boots being dry him and Tavina took off towards home with the snowmobile. The dogs still needed about another two hours of sleep, so we brought out our sleeping bags and pads and slipped inside for a rest near the burning fire.
After awaking, we got the dogs ready to go and started heading home. On all these longer trips we bring a kennel with us in case a dog gets injured we can place them in there and drive him home. One of Josh’s dog’s named Tar was hurting so he ended up getting a free ride home. These dogs love to run, even if it hurts them. Once Tar was put into the Kennel, he broke out and ran off into the woods. Sometimes when these dogs get free, they will just keep running, without looking back until they get home. Nervous for Tar we hooked both our teams of 12 dogs on one 4-wheeler freeing up the second 4-wheeler and Josh went off into the darkness looking for him.
Success! Josh found him and placed him back into the kennel. After successive successful escapes, Josh resorted to holding him in his lap for the remaining 24 miles.
On thing, I learned today is that even with wearing six layers you can still get cold. I don't think there's much you can do when it is -25 C. It's just cold, and you have to get used to it and deal with it. It's not going to kill you, and it will only bother you if you let it.