Travails of Traveling Trialers Episode Four
We arrive in Fred’burg, Monday mid a.m. Chris and I go through our housekeeping; she is getting really good at dumping the tanks!! However, we are both so tired, we feel ill. Took me a few days to realize that the weather in Gouldbusk took it’s toll on our bodies. It was FREEZING!! Wind gusting in our faces for three days. I put arctic underwear UNDER my flannel-lined jeans and three warm layers on top. It was brutal. Fredericksburg seems a little paradisaic after that.
We take a reconnaisance mission to the Burkey Ranch to scope our trial field on Tues.
We have to go thru three electric gates and two Lifetime gates to get there. Open range of Angora goats and Rambouillet sheep. It’s called “Top of the Hill” trial with good reason: the dogs have to go up a very steep hill to get the sheep. The same Dorper lambs we used in Pottsville have been transported here. We spend the rest of the day shopping in Fred’burg and eating “real” food.
Day one of the trial starts clear and cool but quickly warms up into the 80’s. Zula ran early and earned an 88; she was awesome!! Kept the first place slot for most of the day but then the “good” handlers had to come and knock us to 5th. I had a really nice run going w/ Duke but he can’t shed these sheep so ran out of time. Poor Bryce was still lame and struggled at the shed. Got it but ran out of time penning. During out shopping spree, Chis and L finally bought watches to time their runs. They used them while running and hustled to get the job done. Chris got a 77 to finish; she used her watch. L used her watch but still can’t shed. Not her..Beau. She made three beautiful openings but he wouldn’t take it. We all have mucho homework to do when we get home!!!
Open Ranch weather was superb. Brenna did a great job and received a 78. Quin got a 77. Today the weather turned BRUTAL; windy and freezing. We sought refuge in the RV, furnace blazing. Retired w/ Duke; he was on the muscle and missed whistles so I called it. Bryce tried to cross over AGAIN; redirected but many pts off. Drive was good but I missed the cross drive. Chris and L ran out of time. The shed is killing people out here; these lambs require the services of a surgical team skilled in separation of siamese twins. Zula had the first place run…until we got to the shed. She just wouldn’t hold the one lamb from the rest long enough. Lost enough points to knock us to 5th.
Our trip home was a marathon of driving. L couldn’t drive any longer the first evening so Chris jumped in her van to spell the driving. I was pretty awake. They were behind me (the freeways are so EMPTY out there) and I was scolling thru my IPhone for appropriate driving music. C & L thought I was going to sleep and started calling; guess I was weaving over a few lanes looking for tunes
Truck decided to make the LAST leg of our trip a white-knuckle experience. Almost didn’t make it up the grade on I-8 toward home. Had to have the turbo replaced a few weeks later.
We will be going back next year!!