Winter weather in the Inland Northwest has been a bit more than lacking this year. Having had enough of having to drive more than an hour to find adequate trails to train on, a group of local mushers decided to take a mushing vacation. Pooling together, we rented a townhouse and gathered for a week of immaculate trails and fun training!
Our first day in West Yellowstone was all about getting the dogs out and stretched from the long travel. From the kennel to Bozeman, where we stayed our first night on the road, was around 7.5 hours and another 2.5 hours to West the next day. They were so thrilled to play in the snow, to which there was no shortage for them to tumble around in! It snowed hard the first night in, though the whole group didn't make it we still had a wonderful, restful evening!
The first day on the trails was absolute perfection. The fresh snow kept the trails a little slower, which was fine for an acclimating team. West Yellowstone sits around 6,000ft, in comparison to our normal 2,200ft made for quite an adjustment for them as well as myself! It was the most perfect, 'bluebird' sky day we could have ever asked for! This day alone made the trip well worth it! Rogue also got to run for the first time with the team this trip, she loved it and I think she has great potential in harness.
Day 2 on the trails was a bit colder and windy. It was still a great day on the trails! It was snowing lightly when we started out and turned into a straight out blizzard. Zero visibility and winds threatening to blow us off the trail. Weaver and Mason never faltered though, kept us true to course, and got us safely back to the truck. I have to say I was very happy with my lead dogs!
Day 3 we had the team scheduled for a rest and recovery day. So we humans decided to get out on the trail systems and find out why West Yellowstone is the Snowmobile Capital Of The World. We road the famous Two Top trail, which with winds and snow almost turned disastrous. But we can look back and say what an adventure! Next time we hope to be able to see more than just white!
Day 4 was our last day on the trails...but a wonderful day once more! The sun was spectacular and we tried out a different trail system for a change of scenery. I have to say it was worth it. We switched some dogs around on the team to get a different view for some of the dogs as well, and it worked beautifully! Rogue ran in wheel with Denali and learned more about being a sled dog :)