The 30 minute drive from downtown Wasilla (where we gassed up last night) to Chugiak was quite an eye-opener. As soon as I turned off the Glenn Hwy at Mirror Lake, I entered the shadow of the nearby Chugach mountain range.
With a lot less sunshine falling on the deep snow, Spring has been slow to come to Chugiak. I was immediately surrounded by receding but still substantial roadside snow banks. This was the gravel road I followed up the mountain to Camp Gorsuch.
Being one of the first to arrive yesterday in the competitor parking area for today’s trial, I had my choice of parking spots. Sure, they are all in a basically hard-pack dirt/gravel parking lot, but I was able to choose a fairly level spot with relatively dry ground outside my door.
And check out the view! Even with all this snow and temps barely breaking 30° at 3:00 pm, I was amazed and appalled to be greeted within minutes by my first of the year mosquitoes, too! 🦟
By this morning, with check-in at 8:15, we had a lot more company.
I’m also happy to announce that I tried out my new battery-operated heated socks this morning. Heavenly!
Rhonda started out he search day with a Vehicle search, where she promptly proved to me that, in spite of our lack of regular practice over the winter, she has not forgotten the game. She took first place in Vehicles, with a time of 1 minute, 1.50 seconds, earning her very first NW3 Element Title while she was at it.
There were three vehicles in play, as well as nearby stacked wood and a tempting wooden deck, both of which she ignored. Go, Ronni!
To earn an Element title, the team must Q (qualified score) in that element at three separate trials. The four Elements are Vehicles, Containers, Interiors and Exteriors. Rhonda needs one more Exterior Q to earn her Exterior Element title, and one more for Interiors. Containers have proven elusive thus far. 🤷🏼♀️
All in all, we had a super nice day. Chilly in the morning, but Ronni and I were both down to light jackets by afternoon. Then the sun hid behind clouds and the heavier jackets promptly came back out.
After a lot of walking, avoiding mud puddles, snacking on conveniently placed snow banks and a total of six searches (some more successful than others), Ronni was out like the proverbial light shortly after dinner. I’m pretty sure she is snoring.
I checked my Apple Watch this evening. It informed me I had taken 11,051 steps today. 😳 That may have been why my dinner tonight consisted of a big mug of hot Pacific Chai with a scoop of protein powder, served up with a couple of biscotti.
Baxter spent much of the day snoozing in various sunny spots inside the warm RV, with regular social and potty breaks.
It’ll be Baxter’s turn to play the K9 Nose Work game tomorrow!