Thursday, August 23, 2012

USDAA Road Trip

Strum and I had a little road trip up to Laramie, WY for a USDAA trial.  It's only just over 2 hours away but that's far enough to warrant an overnight stay.  Unfortunately I've not had good experiences with hotels in Laramie.  Last time I paid $90 for a room in a fleabag motel and I'm pretty sure the occupant next door was dead.  I got no sleep all night thanks to the t.v. from the room next door blaring so loud and just about every cop in Laramie showed up the next morning and swarmed the door.  I got out of there before they found the body, or worse.  Apparently a lot of  the dog friendly hotels are also ridden with bedbugs.  So I decided to sleep in my Honda Element as I did 2 or 3 years ago, the last time I did 2 days of this trial.  Turned out to be the best sleep I've had in weeks, maybe months.  Overslept in fact, got up at the shockingly late hour of 6:15 and had to rush to get the car put back together so I could get to town for coffee before walk-throughs.  Though I slept so well I hardly needed the coffee but it was good anyway and I ran into lots of dog ladies at the Starbucks.  Maybe I should sleep in my car at home, I haven't had a night's sleep as good as that since I got back.

I only entered Team and Standard so I was able to leave early on the second day and it was a good decision.  By the end of our run at 2:00 I'd had enough.  We were on a nice, laid back, fun, no pressure team and we all had our Q's for Nationals.  I entered to get practice for Nationals on some USDAA Masters level courses.  Also the thought of driving all that way and spending the night just to do Starters classes was not appealing.  So glad for this decision, I loved running the more challenging courses.  We'll never get out of Starters this way but oh well.

We had a mixed bag of results, a nice run and first place in Team Gamblers, decent runs in Jumpers and Relay with only a 2 fault refusal in each, and then, ahem, the 7 point Snooker run and the heartbreaking E on the second to last obstacle in Standard.  It always hurts to have a beautiful, perfect dogwalk in Standard and then screw up somewhere else.  In the end though my team ended up with a Q and 6th place.

Strum's Standard run was beautiful except for, of course, the dogwalk.  Ugh.  We only need one more stinking Standard run to get out of Starters and it's always a bar or the dogwalk stopping us.  Oh well, we'll get it eventually.

There was a contingent of really good, fast small dogs, I think maybe came from Utah, many of them mixes.  Very fun to watch, CO has almost no small dogs in USDAA.  The ones we have are very good but it would be good if we had more but I totally understand why the wee dog contingent doesn't heart those USDAA jump heights.

Overall a fun trip considering how much I hate traveling.  Didn't like the drive but had a great time once I got there.  And I've got a list of things to work on before Nationals.  If only I could get my butt back out to the practice field.  Mornings are starting to get cooler and swimming at the Rez stops in a week or 2 so I should be able to start getting out there.  Plus Nationals will be here before I know it.

Trial Stats

Team Gamblers Q, 1st place

Team Q (DAM), 6th place

Dogwalks:  1/3 (33%) 

A-frames:  5/6 (83%)

Weave entries:  2/4 (50%)   didn't pop out at all, one entry was my fault

Knocked bars:  1 in Masters Standard, my fault, out of position for a serp.

Teeters:  5/5 (100%) I think they were all good, no naughty ones

Table: 1/1 (100%) fast, perfect table

Off courses:  2, 1 in Master Standard, out of position in same serp as the knocked bar, 1 in Snooker, shoulders were rotated the wrong way.


  1. Good grief, that's quite the story about your previous motel stay. Yeeps.

    I can totally understand that you would hate travelling. Colorado has, like, the worst scenery *ever*. Bleh.

    (jealous again)

    Cute shot of Strummer!

  2. I know, Colorado, so boring. Though Laramie is very pretty, nice views from the trial site. Should have taken some photos.

  3. Funny about that previous hotel. I've stayed in motel 6s that were really nice but others where the brothel ratio was so high that I wasn't sure whether the cops were there to keep an eye on things or wait for an open room. I actually like sleeping in my van; it's the unpacking, rearranging, repacking that I'm not too keen on.

    Congrats on your Qs.

  4. Hotels in WY are generally pretty bad - expensive and run down. This is largely due to the oil industry, workers come out of the oil fields for a month and live in the hotels. Also the I-80 corridor through WY has so few towns, the hotels have a captive audience. After looking at my options I've decided to spend the night in UT after my race at Xterra Nat's. and do the 7.5 hour drive all in one day rather than drive part way and spend the night in WY.