Saturday, 20 March 2010

February 21st

We travelled about 35k today, with a short break on an island in the middle of a frozen lake, where there is a permanent tee-pee there and a fire with a kettle hung above it.  Miloš (I found the accent) used this to make us all cup-a-soup. The journey there was magical, the sun was so bright and not very high in the sky, so the shadows in the sparse wooded areas were eerie, with the snow deep and thick and powdery. There were some great twisty-turny sections on the route, this morning which the dogs and I loved and then the frozen lake was upon us.

Everyone has started to gain confidence and from the back of the line I can see how people are developing their own style. Even Miloš is impressed. My team are working well together and in fact it appears that Uno is deeply in love with Sara, he cleans her and snuggles up to her once he has finished barking his head off. He is bright enough to know the regular break spots, so once we are at these recognised places he doesn't bother to bark and settles down to love Sara. The brothers Grimm  are so delightful and as soon as we stop they start their rolling ritual, trying to rub their harnesses off.

In the afternoon, not long after we left the island, the ice on the lake cracked, I heard a 'boom', like a plane breaking the sound barrier and assumed it was the nearby rocket testing area, but had come from beneath our group and had pretty disastrous consequences. The ice had cracked and freezing water came up through the ice and created an instant pond, into which Miloš and Steve's teams plummeted, Richard got through by the skin of his teeth and the rest of us stopped before the water. The dogs were soaked and the water had worked its way into the human's suits. Somehow our hero, Miloš, managed to drag them out but they were unhappy and cold. The wet humans had to stop there and then to change clothes as the frozen water could have caused severe cold injuries. The dogs needed to get moving quickly though, to warm them through. Paul couldn't get his boots off to check his feet and so there was some concern that he might suffer as Miloš came down the line checking if we had wet feet. Now that we are at the lodge we are pretty sure he is OK. We all then cautiously made our way through the icy water, making sure that we kept as dry as possible.

I was on Dog Duty this evening and we needed more straw than we could find for the dogs as it was so cold, about -35 when we started to boil the water. Miloš called his cousin and he will bring an emergency supply of straw and new boots for those who need them on a Snowmobile later tonight, I'm not sure how long it will take him to get here. I had a small panic this evening as I lost the feeling in my little finger for a while. Gaynor checked it and as it hurt quite considerably as she began to warm it she suggested that I should go into the cabin and hold it for a while as the fire was getting up. The feeling came back and as it did so it began to hurt like hell - apparently this is a good sign.

1 comment:

  1. ow wow, so glad you all made it through that, how scary! Such a beautiful lake as well...but when you realise the power of the freezing cold water underneath it's wonderful that you all got by unscathed.