I have been wanting to go to this trial for a few years.  I love the Bend area and I heard that the trial location was fabulous.  But the long (5 hour) drive kind of scared me off. 

Now knowing that I have RA has changed the way I think about many things.  Since I honestly don’t know how much longer I will have mobility to even be able to drive over there, I decided this year that is was now or never.  So I signed up for the trial and booked a hotel room.  Last week, my husband started to get real worried about me going over by myself.  It was quite comical, I knew he really didn’t want to drive me over there, but he really didn’t want me to go alone.  Finally the day before I left I told him just to stop worrying and let me go.  I really didn’t want to have to worry about him getting bored and wanting me to leave the trial before my runs were done. 

So I took both Friday and Monday off work, thinking I would stay over Sunday after the trial and drive home Monday. The drive over on Friday was uneventful.  It was a beautiful day and a really pretty drive over the mountains after driving through Portland.  I got to the hotel and checked in about 4:00. I wasn’t really hungry and couldn’t sit still, so I decided to drive out to a lake which is about 15 miles out of town.  It was not that interesting, and it was really windy out there.  By the time I got back to Prineville, I was so tired and so hungry.  I went to a couple grocery stores thinking I would buy something in a deli, but nothing looked good.  I was so exhausted I couldn’t even think straight!  Anyway, I ended up getting a greasy burger at Artic Circle which was actually pretty good. 

The dogs were happy when we finally got settled into the motel.  Hannah did bark non stop for the first 1/2 hour which kind of freaked me out, but she did settle down and was fairly quiet for the rest of the evening. 

Saturday the trial started for us with Grand Prix.  Hannah was very excited to be at the fairgrounds.  It was funny because she was so much more excited than a few weeks ago at regionals at Argus.  I think she is feeling better.  Anyway, Grand Prix went very, very well.  She was really listening for the most part and thank dog got the most difficult part of the course, a tunnel/dogwalk discrimination, which almost every other dog missed.  I heard that the judge admitted that the course was set up incorrectly, and the tunnel was supposed to be pulled out further away from the dogwalk.  Anyway, Hannah was one of only 3 qualifiers in the whole Grand Prix!  A great start, I thought. 

Steeplechase was next and I wish I would have made some notes, because I really don’t remember much about it.  It was a very smooth course, which made people really happy because the previous event was fancy standard and it seemed like everyone was frustrated after running that!  (I don’t do the fancy stuff, I can barely make it through a regular course).  Hannah Q’d easy, because she was the only dog in the class. I do remember she made her weave entry fine, and there were two a-frames which she performed pretty well.  So we didn’t have any bobbles or anything, which was good.

Last of the day – Snooker.  There were only two of us in 16″, so we were combined with 18″.  I was really hopeful, of course, for the Super Q, but it was not to be.  We Q’d, but the 18″ dog had a few more points.

Sunday we started with Gamblers.  The gamble was fairly easy, Jump/Tunnel/back to the jump/out to the finish jump.  We didn’t even get close.  Dang.  I was really hoping for that too.  Then we had a loong wait to Steeplechase finals.  The course was set up really early and I swear I walked it 100 times.  Hannah ran great, but right at the end, I sent her into the wrong side of a tunnel.  DANG. 

Last of the day – Snooker.  No 18″ dog today, so there was just us two.  The course was so wierd.  The opening was easy for me to figure what I wanted to do, but in the closing the 5-6 was a super hard weave entry.  Unfortunately, I really needed to make it thru 6 to get enough points to even qualify, much less super Q.  It was quite late in the afternoon, I was so tired and so worried that I was going to be really upset after waiting around all day just to be dissapointed again.  But once I got out there, Hannah was running so good.  It was like she knew what I was thinking…. until we got to the weaves and she entered on pole 2!  ha ha.  but it was so worth it, it was possibly one of our best runs ever up until that point. 

I decided I was sick of motel life and wanted to drive home.  The drive home was uneventful.  And it was nice to have a whole day on Monday to rest and get ready for the week.