Friday, February 17, 2012

Skijoring (aka Careening Death Ride)

This thing called "skijoring" is where you tie a sled dog (or more) to your waist and let them pull you on skis. I've been tying dogs to my waist for a long time now. I used to tie a rope around my waist with a knot, that is until I discovered that the only knot I know how to tie is a slip knot. As soon as the dogs pulled, I got cinched in there pretty good. No breath. No way to shout, "Stop!"

Years later and now much wiser, I've learned that I can use one of Steve's belts around my waist and put the handle part of the extendo-leash through the belt. This appears to be a much better method, however, there is no way to "let go" if things head south. I guess one could purchase a real skijoring belt that has a quick release.

Here is Tansy all harnessed up, hooked to me, and waiting for me to open the gate.

Did I mention that she is young (not quite three) and extremely fit? She's also smart. Here are the three things she knows for sure:

     1. There are deer on the lake
     2. She can pull me when I'm on skis
     3. I can't stop when she pulls me on skis

The other day we were skiing along as if the world was our oyster. The snow was fast and sparkled like diamonds as the sun slanted in its early morning rise. Then we rounded the top of an island. She stopped. Stopped dead and stared into the woods. I looked, too, and saw two deer staring back at us. They bolted. Tansy bolted. Guess who got to go for a FAST ride? It's a wonder I stayed upright.

I've been wondering if I get enough of a workout when Tansy pulls. I have now discovered this muscle group called "SUDF" which is short for "Stay upright, don't fall." At least I was alone out there with no one watching.

Later I stopped at the Fat Chicken to get my mail. Adriane is a neighbour who lives across the lake and she was also getting mail. She said, "You were sure moving out there today. Luckily you stayed upright and didn't fall."

Here's a friend skijoring with TWO dogs. I imagine these dogs aren't quite as knowledgeable as Tansy (i.e., they don't know that they don't have to stop if someone yells at them to stop). I also notice a much shorter leash. Hmmmm.

We went out again today. We did come across two deer, but I saw them before she did and was able to put some control on the run. At one point she stopped dead and stared into the woods. "Oh no," I thought, "here we go again." It was only a squirrel eating a big pine cone. My first "careening death ride" was from a squirrel at a bird feeder by Packsack. They have a webcam. Maybe you'll see me flying by one day.

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