Busted Axle Road
Chapter 124

Copyright© 1993, 2001, 2010

Mike was feeling better on Tuesday. He wasn't all the way back to normal, yet, but it was Tuesday at the Record-Herald, and Tuesday was a day you didn't miss unless you were the subject of a funeral. Kirsten left Susan with Jackie, and came into work, which helped.

She stuck her head into the office door, and said, "Hey, hon, we still need your column."

"I'm working on it," he said, turning back to the computer, where the words appeared on the screen:

"In the end, it took the videocamera to finally settle that Tiffany won the race, by the length of Ringo's nose, scarred in some long-forgotten battle. After they drove the dogs back to the house, Josh got in his car, took Tiffany down to the store, and quite ceremoniously presented her with a six-pack of pop.

"All in all, it was the most expensive six-pack of beer I never had. To put all the time, the money, and the work into those great dogs that I have, and to have to sit shivering in a hot tub watching their greatest moment on the VCR was rather anticlimactic, to say the least. However, Mark and I have already agreed that the finish of this race really doesn't settle the question of who has the faster team, so we'll have to do it again next year.

"But, next year will be a little different. Even before the race, all the hype that we'd put out about it got beyond the Spearfish Lake area, and we received several inquiries about whether this was a private race, or open to others. We decided that since this was a private bet, and really, just a demonstration, that we'd better keep it between ourselves.

"But no longer. It turns out that there are a few other mushers around the state. Not many, but a few, and they'll race when they get a chance, and a six-pack of beer is a big purse for them. I wasn't feeling very good on Monday, but I worked the phones a little, and managed to settle a few things.

"Since this is my column, I'm taking this opportunity to announce that next year, the Winter Festival will feature three, five, and seven dog sprint races, sponsored by the Henry Toivo Post 27 of the American Veterans of the Vietnam War. Also, in cooperation with the Warsaw fire department, they're going to sponsor an endurance race, 100 miles to Warsaw and back, on pretty much the route and schedule Mark and I planned.

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