Sunday, February 14, 2010
Happy Valentine's day from Dawson City, YK
We didn't finish the preparations for Katie's departure this morning until well after midnight last night. Then the alarm goes off at 3 am and back to camp we go to get ready to send the team on their way. Katie had hoped to finish the race with the 14 dogs from the start. She made the decision to leave two of them with us - Boggle and Miss Cleo. That's okay. It is hard for the mushers to drop dogs - but they do it for the benefit of the individuals as well as the rest of the team. It sometimes has an adverse effect on the others when one dog cannot perform optimally. If the musher has any question it is better to make the decision at the checkpoint rather than out on the trail before the question becomes a problem.
So the vets checked Cleo out at 5:15 this morning and then the girls 'bootied up' the team. We followed that by hitching up the pairs to the gangline on the sled and just after 6 am they were off!!! Brooke and I were actually able to see part of the trail this morning. We stood on the ice bridge where the trail crossed and watched them glide on their way down river. It is surreal. The northern lights were glowing overhead and across the tops of the mountains and the team is so smooth. There is a hush and you can hear them puffing and Katie calling out directions. Then we follow the glow of the headlamp until it is out of sight.
Five hundred miles down - (+-) five hundred to go!!!