A Winter Morning Run, By Elizabeth Hayes, age 11
“Wake up!” dad said. “We are going on a training run.” We got dressed warm and went outside.
It was a cold day and the snow was up to our waist. The dogs barked excitedly as we loaded them, one by one, into the dog trailer. Then we climbed into the dog truck for a short drive.
When we reached the trailhead, we harnessed the excited dogs and hitched them to the sled in a long string called a gangline. Druid and Frost were the first to be hitched to the front of the team. They are our best leaders. In the team position we put Ivanka and Kyra. In wheel position- the position closest to the front of the sled- we always put our biggest dogs. So dad helped my walk Olaf and Bear to the wheel position to be hooked up
Once each dog was in its place I climbed into the sled basket. My brother was going to be the musher today. “Hike!” Caleb yelled. We took off. The dogs went quiett. The only sound was the swooshing of the sled across the snow and the soft panting of the dogs.
Soon the trail turned up a steep mountain. I got out and ran beside the team up the hill in the packed snow of the trail. It was a tough climb, but we had a reward at the top.
“The view is beautiful from here!” I said.
We wanted to stay and enjoy the scenery but the dogs were not tired yet. They wanted to run. So we had to get back on the sled before they ran off without us.
“Haw!” Caleb yelled and the team turned left and shot down the mountain. The team was going so fast that “cold tears” were squeezed from my eyes. These little drops of water freezed before they made their way across my cheek.
When we got to the end of the mountain we yelled, “Woah!” This is the command that tells the dog team to stop. Dad was waiting at the bottom of the trail with my other brother, Christian.
It had been a fast and exciting run. I was cold, but I was having too much fun to notice. “Let’s go get some hot cocoa at Mc’Donalds to warm you up, while the boys mush the team back to the start!”
“That sounds great!” I replied.
Christian took my place in the basket of the sled and I hopped into the dog truck with dad. My father and I sipped on hot cocoa while I told him about how each dog performed on the team. “Ivanka did great! I think she is ready to be a leader!” I said. “Bear is strong, but he likes to stop and pee on bushes!”
We got back to the beginning of the trail before the boys. We helped them load the dogs back into the dog trailer for the drive back home. It was a good training run.