On this particular hike we saw several other walkers as well as several snowmobiles that were very conscientious. However, as we were walking back we were surprised by a snowmobiler as he flew around a blind corner going greater than the speed limit. We had no time to call the dogs to us before he was pretty much on top of us. Fortunately the two puppies were playing on an embankment at the time and only us humans and Summit were walking on the trail. Summit was walking about 2 feet ahead of me right in the middle of the trail. At first it looked like the guy was going to stop, and then it became quite clear that he was in absolutely no control of his sled. It has been freeze and thaw here for the past couple of weeks and the trails are pure ice right now. I managed to put a hand out to grab the back of Summit's coat to try to pull him to the side of the trail, which caused him to turn his head to look back at me, and the snowmobile only clipped his back end. The force was enough that it spun him around and threw him to the ground, him growling and snapping. He was right back up after the impact and fortunately appeared to be relatively unhurt. I was afraid he would have broken the hind leg that was clipped but he was putting weight on it and walking on it. He had a few punctures on the insides of his hind legs that I think are from his own toenails.
In retrospect I should have given that sledder hell, but I was too worried about getting Summit home so I could evaluate him better and decide if he needed to be x-rayed. Jarrett did ask the man why he didn't stop, and he said he tried but it was too icy. My thought... if it was so icy that you couldn't stop... you were driving too fast for the conditions! He easily could have hit one of us. If he had hit my friend's little dog things would have been a lot worse. People walk with their kids on these trails. People ski on the trails too and skiiers are not very mobile when it comes to jumping out of the way. It was just absolutely reckless how fast he was driving in such icy conditions. I am thankful that Summit was not hurt, but I am livid nonetheless. I keep asking myself what we could have done to have avoided the situation... but other than not walking on that trail at all there's no guarantee it could have been avoided. I am not sure why we didn't hear him coming as we normally do from a fair distance, but even being on leash would not have avoided this as Summit was close enough for me to grab onto and he still got hit (I almost got hit too).
|Summit resting at home after having his leg bandaged.|
|Summit and Kili hanging out at work.|
Needless to say, we will not be walking that trail anymore this winter at all. Lesson learned: there's always that one idiot that ruins it and prevents everyone from being able to safely enjoy. It is a multi user trail. It is absolutely baffling that anyone would be so irresponsible. Luckily it wasn't someone's child that got hit, and luckily my dog was not injured. I am thankful for that, but not any less angry.