10 March 2016

Tales from the Trail: Unexpected Hazards

The bison needed to poop, and it wasn't about to move aside for an Iditarod team

DeeDee Jonrowe has dinner at the community hall in Takotna during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Marc Lester / ADN

TAKOTNA — DeeDee Jonrowe pulled into the checkpoint here Wednesday with a story to tell -- about a big, woolly, pooping bison that terrified her sled dog team. It all started the day before, she said, when she left the Rohn checkpoint with 15 dogs, fresh off an eight-hour rest. Only a few minutes out, the dogs stopped. A bison stood apparently unruffled in the middle of the trail as Jonrowe's dogs barked and jumped.

"And he was pooping," Jonrowe said.

She pushed her sled's metal hook into the ground so the dogs couldn't flee. "He pooped for about 20 minutes, and finally he just meandered away."

Jonrowe recounted the saga as she pulled pink jackets for her dogs from a sack, several hours into her mandatory 24-hour rest. After the bison moved out of sight, she pulled out her hook and mushed on — but only for a bit.

"I went around the corner, and there he is pooping still," she said.

Jonrowe said she couldn't stop her dogs in time and they ran up alongside the bison — a "grumpy, single bull" built like a "Mack truck." The bison put its head down, turned around and plowed into the team, stomping its feet. The dogs bolted into the nearby brush, she said.

"They didn't get hurt, which was unbelievable," Jonrowe said.

The bison went back to his business. Which, yes, meant "he kept on pooping," she said.

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1 comment:

threecollie said...

Whatchu been eatin, Botat?