International Trail Dog Baton
Nine-month old Lightning had his first taste of skijoring on the Pederson Snow Loop in southern Oregon. This winter route covers a more than two-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail, and ends at a small log hut known as the South Brown Mountain Shelter.
Lightning carried the International Trail Dog Baton on our adventure. We strapped it to the top of his harness. You might be able to just make it out (the grey tube with white end caps) in these photos. Inside this baton rides a list of dogs from around the world who have carried it, along with the date, distance, region, and trail.
We followed five miles of packed trail thanks to two snowshoers and their dogs who hiked in ahead of us through two feet of snow. The trial wound through beautiful snow shrouded old growth forest, and the day was sunny and still.
Our puppy was incredible, contributing a great deal of power along the way. He was wearing a sled dog harness and a skijoring line. I was treated to wearing the belt that Lightning's line attached to. With him in lead, the two of us had enough speed to make Paul work pretty hard. I was so proud of how well Lightning responded to his commands. What a great dog!
Near the far point of our trip, these signs indicated the distance to Mexico and Canada. The hut was 300 yards ahead, and we were happy to rest there for awhile, sipping hot cocoa and offering Lightning special treats.
The Trail Dog Baton was the brainchild of the Trail Dog List membership. You can subscribe to this list to learn about enjoying the outdoors with dogs.