Thursday, June 2, 2011

News from North Dakota

As usual, our trip turned into a bit of an adventure on the way down to the trials. To say that Montana and North Dakota have had a bit of rain lately would be an understatement to say the lest. We soon figured out that whenever we saw a sign for "Bump" in Montana it meant that the highway had started to wash away - tread carefully. This eventually led to a complete washout at Roundup. Luckily we flagged down some locals who told us to "drive about a hundred miles that way, then turn right and drive about a hundred miles the other way and you should be good. We don't THINK that any of those roads are washed out." We drove till dark then found a small, not quite washed out town and parked the rig in the post office parking lot for the night. Got some gas in the morning and away we went again. The locals turned out to be right and other than some REALLY rough roads the rest of the trip was uneventful. 

We stopped at rest stop and dragged the dogs up a hill for the obligatory "group shot". 

Classic "your stealing our souls" dog shot. 

Yesterday Hope did not find his sheep at all - not even close. I pointed out to him afterwards that it was a two day drive home and he might want to start making alternative plans. It seems he listened because this morning at the crack of 6 am he went out and got them. 

Big One trial field. The sheep are set at the flat crest to the left of the hill hidden in the mist, about 900 yards away.

Cold, windy, wet and freakin early - but a great way to start the day. I don't know what our score is yet (we went back to the trailer as soon as we were done to get out of the weather) but I am really happy to have actually managed to get my sheep around the course. With the wind the dogs are unable to hear at all until about 300 yards so the first 600 is on their own.  The course is very challenging, which means  very fun! Yesterday just over 50 percent of the dogs got a score. We'll see what today brings. 

Anyway, back to the trial field we go. Nursery and Open Ranch dogs run tomorrow so it's an afternoon of visiting for us. 

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