One of the cool beans things about the drive to Gillette was all the herds of antelope. The herd of buffalo was cool beans too. The massive amount of roadkill was not. I tried counting how many seconds from one dead animal to the next and the most I could get was 6 seconds. Average was more like 1-2.
I had some aggro with the Best Western over fridge/micro in the room and really I'm probably lucky I got a room at all seeing as how they overbooked. I made these reservations like 6 months ago, what is hard about this? It seems like every time I deal with hotels there's some problem. For once I'd like to just check in and get what I reserved without them claiming I don't have a reservation or giving me something other than what I reserved.
Gillette's not that bad really, there's a typical old fashioned type western style downtown area with very practical type stores, a refreshing change from Boulder's pretentious art galleries and snooty overpriced clothing boutiques. Now I wouldn't want to live here but I wouldn't call it an armpit either.
The Camplex facility where NADAC Champs are being held is pretty sweet. The parking lot is right next to the arena so I've been keeping the dogs in the car rather than the crating area so they can relax more easily and hopefully get some sleep. There are plenty of grassy areas for them to run, great for Lola who likes to play with her tennis ball for her after run reward.
One thing I'd forgotten about NADAC Champs is how disorganized it is. I was never sent a confirmation let alone any instructions about check in (there was none) or what order the classes will be in each day. So I got there for the first class walk throughs at 7 am only to find out it's a class I'm not in. There was a sheet up for volunteers that made it seem like the class running second wasn't one I was in either so I went back to the hotel room and planned to come back at noon, still plenty early for the third class of the day. However I got fed up in the hotel room and decided to go back and as I was leaving the room I decided to check my voice mail. I'm not a cell phone person and I'd forgotten to leave it turned on. There's a voice message from my teammate telling me that it's 9:45 and they're setting the Tunnelers course for the second event and I'm in Tunnelers. I look at my watch-11:15. Crap. I figure if I haul ass back to the Camplex (I'm only 7-8 minutes away) I might get lucky and make my jump height if they did the big dogs last. I won't get to walk the course but I can watch some others run and at least get to run-hopefully. I can't believe it, I've driven all this way (4:45 hours), took time off work, all the money on entry fees and hotels and I'm going to miss my runs. I have nightmares like this before almost every agility trial, why does it have to come true at Champs? I fly down the expressway which is eerily empty and sprint into the building only to find that they haven't even started watching yet. I'm relieved to find my teammate had said 9:45 instead of 10:45. The really stupid thing about this is that I left the Camplex at 9:40, if I'd been rational about it I'd have realized there was some mistake but I went right into panic mode instead. In any case, I was lucky she'd called because if I'd stopped for lunch as I was planning I would have missed my walk through. I calm down, walk the course, and sit around for 3 whole hours waiting for my turn, which lasts all of 39 seconds. But it was worth it. Miss Lo flew around the course to near perfection. I was a bit nervous walking up to the start line but what a rush it was running clean and getting a Q on our first Champs course. Cody's run didn't go as well even though I wasn't nervous for it. We had 2 off courses that were my fault but I still managed to make it feel pretty smooth and it was a blast. I was so proud of Cody, he's come so far when I think of where we started.
Then it was more waiting, 2 more hours until it was time for our Jumpers run. But once again it was well worth it. The course was fast and flowing, I was plenty calm and both dogs flew right around it, nice & clean. I'm not sure what our times were or what course time was. It's so inconsistent and tight in NADAC, esp. for the big dogs so I'm not sure if we made time and Q'ed and I'm sure we weren't fast enough for a placement in that huge class but I don't care (I'll have to wait until tomorrow to check my scores). It was such a thrill to be out there and have such great runs, that's good enough for me.
Tomorrow is the first round of the Team Event and second round of Tunnelers. Better get my beauty sleep.