With Time to Spare

By Marilyn Traurig


It was a relatively nice morning for November, and I started out for the TD tracking test at Lenape Tracking Club of Central New Jersey. I put Dina in the van. It was 6:30 a.m. with draw time at 8:00 a.m. and it takes an hour to drive. I stopped for gas and on our way we went. Straight to Glen Gardner, OH MY, I'm at the wrong place and it’s 7:40 a.m. I'm supposed to be at the Heide's place in Ringoes. After a few cuss words, a few tears, I called my husband and said I was thinking about going home, I didn't know how to get to the TD test from where I was. He encouraged me to try and salvage my mistake.

You have to understand that I am geographically challenged, I get lost following yahoo maps and GPS systems. I'm thinking maybe Ringoes isn't that far. I head down to Rt. 31 (I think) and ask directions. A gentleman tells me Ringoes is straight down the road about 18 miles. Swell, I have 10 minutes to drive 18 miles to get to Ringoes and then find the Heides on Wertsville Road. What are the chances of that happening?

I drive down the road about 15 miles and stop for a red light. I think this is a good time to ask for more directions, I look over at the car next to me. I honk the horn and roll down my window. The passenger in the car next to me obliges and rolls down their window. As I'm about to ask directions, I'm thinking these people look familiar. Oh my gosh, it’s John Etchells and his wife. I tell them, I don't think I can make it to the Heides by draw time. They tell me you have plenty of time, draw time is at 9:00 a.m. and they were on their way there. Not letting on that I was totally lost and thought the draw time was at 8:00 a.m., I ask them if they minded if I followed them. John said, sure but were taking the back roads. At this point, I didn't care what roads we traveled. I couldn't believe I got so lucky as to have some body to follow right to the Heides, and I was getting there before draw time.

Tah Dah, I get to the Heides with plenty of time to spare and we draw Track #4. As the day progressed, it was our turn to go out to the fields and wait for the judges. Time to harness up. The Judges are here, and we head down to the start flag and off we go.

What can I say? Dina tracked great, she did a wonderful job. Dina came to what was the last turn and she checked her direction and off she went right down the last leg to the glove. I was so proud of her when she came to the glove, I howled yahoo and jumped up in the air. I scared Dina with my exuberance.

Do you believe in God, mysterious happenings, uncanny things? Track #4 was put in by John Etchells. I met John at the red light, he took me to the Heides, he got me there before draw time, put down Track #4 and was never far behind us from start flag to the glove. Thank you John. Thank you Dina. Thank you to all of the Lenape Tracking Club members who work so hard to put on these events.

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