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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pelly Crossing to McCabe Creek to Carmacks

     In case you haven't noticed there are alot of stops along this trail.  I have heard that the distances between checkpoints on this race are greater than that of the Iditarod.  The mushers often choose to camp along the trail in between checks.  My information is that some prefer to rest along the trail instead of at the checks.
     There are some checks that have mandatory rest requirements; such as the 36 hr. at Dawson City.  The check our teams are heading for at this point is a mandatory 8 hour rest at Braeburn.  Where our sources tell us they serve hamburgers of enormous proportions and also the 'world's largest homemade cinnamon rolls'!!!
     We are currently waiting a bit before we leave Carmacks, where I have enjoyed maybe not the world's largest but a very tasty cinnamon roll from the kitchen of Dale.  She also whips up a fine breakfast.  These folks have been manning these checkpoints round the clock for more than a week and they are as welcoming to us as they were to those guys that blew through the front half of the race.  Imagine the logistics to staff the entire race with officials, teams of veterinarians (from around the globe) and masses of volunteers!
     The first of our travelling party to reach Carmacks was our friend, Bart.  He arrived at 5:56 pm with 10 dogs.  Peter pulled in at 6:30 pm - also with 10 dogs.  Jennifer Raffaeli pulled up at 11:05 pm with 13 dogs and Katie made it here half-past midnight with her 12 team members.
     The teams approach from the river - we could see the headlamp of our team from more than half a mile out.  There is a steep climb up the bank right out onto the road surface.  There is a nice 'snow curb' to help funnel the dogs along the trail toward the check.  Some other teams had a bit of trouble there - the dogs instinct was to bust straight over the curb and head for the crossroads.  Katie and the dogs handled it with little fuss and then we just had to guide them in to their 'parking' area.  We did have to assist in turning the team to face the direction of the trailhead.  Interesting for me due to my lack of experience handling them.
     What we (novices) also don't realize is how much work it is to care for the dogs once they are off the trail.  They have to spend a great deal of time unhooking lines, offering water, removing booties, bedding them down, heating water, unloading supplies from the sled, preparing food, feeding them...and then the musher has to take care of themselves - because as Katie said;  "Who will take care of the dogs if I don't take care of myself?"  And on the other side of the coin - read the list sort of backwards to get an idea of the prep this morning to get ready to head back out again!
     So, not too long after Katie arrived Bart prepared to leave.  His team headed out at 2:11 am this (Wed.) morning, then Peter left at 4:53 followed by the Jenn Raffaeli team at 5:15 and Katie and our 12 rocked on at 9:20 am.  Now they are heading toward Braeburn (about 80 miles) and beyond that the finish line in WHITEHORSE!  (About 110 miles)
     We expect her there on Friday as it stands now. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi ... there are 9 checkpoints, where mushers can be resupplied on the Yukon Quest. There are 23 on the Iditarod. To be sure there are cabins and other midway hospitality and rest stops, but being able to add to your provisions and not carry them for such long distances changes the conditions of the race. There are also vets at each check point on the Iditarod - still no one has lost a dog on the YQ. Your musher is among the company of an exceptional bunch of human beings.

    Thanks for the details. I have followed racing for a while, but your insights and comments add to my sense of the trail considerably.