Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 2014
If you have been following us recently you would notice that we have been up to Aviemore for the Sled Dog Rally on the 25th and 26th of January 2014.
We first went to this rally in 2013 with Mark Hogarth and decided from their we would make this a yearly visit because it is awesome to be there and be part of this event.
2014 was no different except we took my finance Sarah for the first time and she is now hooked so we will be booked up for next year for sure.
The journey began on the 25th January at 4am. Mark, Sarah and myself left from our house to head to Aviemore. Plenty of coffee was had that morning let me tell you but already we were psyched up for the weekend.
We had a real hassle free trip up to be honest, making there just before 7:30am so we were there before the sun had risen.
At that time teams were already there with their dogs outside, tied up waiting. The noise of the Huskies was enough to just put that adrenaline into you because you knew they were up for it, the excitement was brilliant, however it was absolutely hammering down with rain, to the point where we were curled up in the car thinking “what the hell are we doing?”. But hey, we have just travelled for over 3 hours at 3am, the dogs are ready to do so let’s do it! We got out and out layer after layer on, grabbed our gear and headed to walk the trail. It was horrible! But perseverance paid off in the end because when the rain, sleet and snow stopped, blue skies were among us and the sun was shining over the Cairngorms through the trees and onto the track given such lovely light! Put the warm glow of the sun in winter with a team of Huskies and what do you get? Absolute excellence!
We fired off shot after shot, got wet once more, walked for miles, dried up, shot more, got wet again and this was our day through out ( not forgetting the Bacon Rolls and Coffee, Hot Chocolate for Sarah ) – It was AWESOME!
We met lots of other walkers, supporters and photographers there and it like in 2013, it was a real friend event!
At around 3 in the afternoon we decided that since we walked most of the course we would get our wet clothes off and jump into the car to head into Aviemore to find our B&B for the night. We chose the Ravenscraig Guest House ( their Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/ravenscraig ) – This is a highly recommended Guest House by all 3 of us, very friendly, comfy rooms and the log fire at night was brilliant!
Picture the scene – Sarah sitting in a single chair in front of the open fire reading a book, Mark and myself on a couch in front of the open fire reviewing our images from the day whilst have a couple of well earned beers!
Here are a few of our favourite images from Saturday’s race day: ( more images can be seen here )
Since we had a long day we all slept amazingly well and woke up ready to rock and roll for day 2 on the track and the breakfast we got in the morning set us up for that nicely however when we reached the track it began to snow pretty heavily. So much so that the road leading up the Cairngorm Mountain was closed via their snow gates so once again we were sitting in the car thinking “What the hell are we doing?”. And guess what…..YUP! We grew a set and went for it! We walked up from the start where they came our from a tail to head up hill to continue their route.
Whilst in the back of our minds the car seemed a far better idea we were still persevering to get photographs regardless of what Mother nature throws at us and we are slow glad we did!
Here are some images from our Sunday which was cut short because it was getting to be rather dicey and we had to drive home! ( more on that later ) – ( more images can be seen here )
So I think it was around 11am we decided to make a run for it thinking that since we are leaving earlier we can take a small detour home, that was until we hit the A9. It was a nightmare, 20-30mph for quite some time, lorries off the road down ditches, post vans stuck, police cars assessing the roads but we took our time talking in the car about our weekend and we soon got through the worst of it so we headed to pitlochry for some lunch at Café Biba which was lovely ! This set us up for our trip back home!
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See you soon!