photo by Gail Palmer Perrin

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nine Miles Part Two

When André showed up I was visibly unhappy. I was still trying to pull my dogs to the top of this hill. I looked at André and said to him "I was #1" André said, "your still #1!!" André pulled his team in front of mine, we were hoping that my team would follow his. I don`t think Andrés team was too impressed about continuing to go on through, especially having been pulled by my team which just laying in the snow and a trail that was getting deeper with this compacted sugary type of snow.
 Soon enough, Martin pulled up and shortly after Denis was there too. If memory serves me correctly ,there was enough space for Denis and his team between myself and André. Martin chose to go through and head for Fort Kent. Martin figured he got about a 1000 yards before deciding to turn around. A 1000 yards from where we were hunkered down is where the fields began. The fields were utter chaos, completely blown in. If Martin said it wasn't passible, then it wasn't passible. We were camped in the bush and somewhat sheltered from the elements.
 Shortly after Martin left to carry on before turning back ,André Denis and I were trying to figure out what we were going to do. My name is René but I don`t speak french, but that`s another story. Martin, Denis and André are very french but do have a little understanding of english. Dialogue between us was difficult. At first I wasn`t sure what was going on. André and Denis were talking about camping. What I thought they were saying was there is lots of firewood around here and that I should remain and set up camp while they were going to go in pursuit of Martin. My first thought was "screw that, if you guys are going, then I'm going too" What I didn`t understand at first was, it was their intention to camp as well. Needless to say, I was happy with this decision. These guys put their dogs first, these dogs needed a break and although it wasn't verbally expressed, these guys weren't going to go on without me. This gave me great comfort, at this point I didn't care what position I was in, I just wanted to get the heck out of there.
 Now that we decided we were all staying, we began gathering firewood. Shortly thereafter Martin also participated in setting up. Poles were cut down to hang our jackets on and an array of snaps and bungees hanging from branches was hats and mitts. All of us were wet and getting cold. We all had our sleeping bags out to warm up while we waited for our coats to dry. Denis started distributing his emergency dog food, I was a little dubious about this because I wondered what race marshall George would perceive as an emergency situation. But then I looked at my team ,and also fed the emergency food. In amazement I watched the team just snap that food back and how they were looking for more, seeing this brought a smile to my face, I knew they were going to be ok.

To be Continued

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