Thank you to all sponsors and fans for your support and encouragement. Without you, not only would Evening Star Kennel been absent from the 2010 Yukon Quest, but this incredible sport and these wonderful dogs would become a thing of distant memory. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I hope that you have enjoyed following this amazing event.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's day from Dawson City, YK

     So glad that Brooke and I arrived in Dawson ahead of Katie and had a chance to catch up on some rest.  The Fifth Avenue bed and breakfast is the place to do it - very comfortable and the folks, Tracy and Steve are great hosts.
     Once Katie and the team arrived it was on!  With half of the race complete there are alot of used and used up supplies to manage.  Not to mention some tired and travel-weary dogs and a very wired musher.  This mandatory 36 hour lay-over is for the dogs, for sure.  Because while Katie was able to make a small dent in her sleep deficit, she still had to unpack her sled - assess its condition -make the necessary repairs - dry the sled bag and other drenched equipment - account for supplies -  (remember the stolen drop bag?!) go over and over and over her lists and plan her next leg of the journey.  There is also a great need for food.  She freezes alot of vacuum sealed meals for the trail but the requirements are quite high to make up for the caloric drain the race demands.
     The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have a station here.  There is a heated area that was generously donated for the mushers to use as a drying room and also a place to work on the sleds indoors.  The Mountie (Dave) was very amenable and engaging and we got to meet his lovely daughter Haley as well.  I am still very impressed with the genuine kindnesses and hospitality we have encountered along the trail!
     We let Katie sleep the other night and tended to the "crew" until almost 3 am and then we bounced out of bed yesterday to get all of our chores done. ( Also, not to miss breakfast served by our afore-mentioned hosts...)  Katie and Brooke saw to the team while I spent about four hours at the laundry...lots of dog blankets and coats and harness and musher attire with a few miles on them.  Got to meet some interesting local folks there - even made a new friend that I hope to be able to come visit durng the summer months on her 260 acre farm on the "Other side of the Klondike River" - Someday.  Thanks for the invite Anja!
     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!!!  
Notice how loaded Katie's sled is, she has everything she needs for her and the dogs for the next 200 miles of trail.  She will resupply at Pelly Crossing. 


  1. Thanks, again for the update, Anita! Keep up the good work. This is quite the experience for you and Brooke (as well as Katie!). Hey, i was just wondering who Katie is using for her main lead dogs. I hope you can get some rest now that Katie is back on the trail. Sara

  2. Hi
    WOWW the reflective tape I made Katie put on the side of the sled works great (on the pics anyway)
    big hugs to her from us when she gets top Whitehorse....