Oregon Dune Mushers
Dina's Siberian Team, Photos by Sylvia Feder©1998
Dina Lund's account of the 1998 Mail Run
This was my second year of running a Mail Run and I have to say that this was by far a better experience. Both myself and my dogs were in much better condition, as evidenced by their ability to pull me up some killer dunes without pedaling. I kept thinking of Missp. talking about never pedaling and making the dogs work the whole way. I decided that was a good way to get killed out there.
One event I'll never forget is Sylvia holding her brand new video camera by one hand, the steering wheel by the other, and plunging literally straight down a dune. It's on film folks! We laughed hysterically each day after running as we watched the day's events replaying. It was nice to share the thrills with our handlers, one who's never run on the dunes, Sharon, and the other who was missing out on his first year after 8 completed Mail Runs, John Senter.(We'd have never made the first one without out you & the Mal's leading us on!) Ask him how many biscuits and gravies he ate this weekend...
Gregg (I can never spell his last name, Kreitzburg?) was a riot. His team of 4 Sibe's with his playful Sunny girl running lead, 1/2 the time turning around to flirt with the boys. Sylvia was right, there is no trail in most places, and one in particular had a highway of dune buggy traffic imprints going left/right. He called "gee" and she made a 90 degree right, then he called "haw" and she made another 90 degree left. What he really had wanted was a "straight ahead gee over" or what we dubbed a "semi- right" turn. His cart hadn't moved an inch...nice tracks though :)
I had a similar mishap, but with not so pleasant results. I called my lead to "haw over" to go around the deep little lagoon that I could not see the bottom of, and he said "haw" back, and went "gee" right in to the lagoon. It's really nice that the carts float ( I wasn't convinced of that) but then realized my handler hadn't secured my trusty bucket, and my coat was just stuffed in there. By the time I walked around the lagoon, I had to pluck my coat out of the water, soaked, and retrieve my gear before they headed straight up the next dune. ( It's okay, I blew it dry in the flats when the wind picked up). Gregg was thoroughly impressed that I had a "float coat".
Thanks to the Dune Patrol for their near constant supervision, and Bev and Sonny Myers for their directions and organizing a good portion of this whole thing. Bev endeared us all with her sense of direction, positive encouragement, (I can't tell you how many rescues and "It's okay, calm down, you'll be okay" we heard over the 3 days), and unfailing devotion to her 3 Malamutes, Shadow, Stormy, and Nik(ola). I know all their names, but can't tell them apart. Many thanks to Sylvia for signing me up for these things, and commuting to the ends of the earth to complete them. Ruth, I am sore too, even though my dogs yanked that 130# cart + gear up endless dunes. I can't even open the doors in the barn yet, I have to lean into them with my body to let the dogs out!
See ya next year all! My dogs are "Super glyco-charged". (It works) (Hey, maybe I need some of that?)
Copyright Dina Lund 1998
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