In Two Rivers, there's an extensive spiderweb of trails that criss cross through the Chena River Valley. Mushers, snowmachiners, and skiers all share the trails and help maintain them for the benefit of the Two Rivers community. Today, Amanda Gecas with Boundary Kennels and Shaynee and Jeremy Traska with Howling Ridge Kennel joined me for a tour of the east side of the trail system. What a blast! Even though I'm supposed to be the guide, I have a habit of taking wrong turns when I'm leading other teams, and sure enough, today was no exception.
Turning around a dog team is not as simple as it seems. A team of twelve dogs, lined out and focused straight ahead is a beautiful sight. Trying to turn 180 degrees while maintaining that same order and structure is another matter all together. Think of a tangle of yarn. Or a ball of spaghetti. As the team folds in half and the wheel dogs are by the lead dogs and each dog is faced in a different direction and some dogs resist the turn while others too eagerly charge ahead, cutting in front of the next pair of dogs- you think you're doomed. Yet then, like the magic knot that disappears when the magician pulls either end, the line straightens out and everyone faces forward and you smile in disbelief. Or sometimes it doesn't and you're left with a ball of spaghetti. Check out the video below from my 2012 Iditarod starting at minute 4:55. You'll get a glimpse of the ultimate dog tangle.