I remember Lisa’s first solo run with her own team like it was yesterday. I gave her intructions on the order of things that we will prepare for her run. I chose Buster and Kissy, my most dependable leaders and Taylor and Dawson, veteran team and wheel dogs for Lisa’s four dog team. I ran a six dogs team to make up the difference of weight between us. We had the sleds and teams side by side, tied off with a quick release, safety line and snow hook set for each team.
Lisa is really focused as I give her last minute instructions. I undo my safety line as does Lisa. Next I pull the snow hook and slide it into it’s side harness, quickly pull the release line and we are off. as soon as I clear her team I turn around to see Lisa pulling her snowhook an putting it in harness followed by a loud hup hup, the command for the team to go. All four dogs lunge into their harnesses. They don’t move an inch!!!! Lisa bellows out the command again and the dogs lunge again, going nowhere! She yells again and this time the dogs don’t even move! It was then when I spot that in the excitement of it all, she hasn’t pulled the quick release. I yell as loud as I can to pull the release.
Upon realizing her mistake she sheepishly pulls the release and they are off. She catches up to me and she never looked more radiant, alive and beautiful. She went the next 5.4 miles without a hitch and she got back to the pickup very proud of herself. My favorite moment was looking back to see Buster, Kissy, Taylor, Dawson and…. Lisa, smiling ear to ear.