Sorry for the internet silence. Since updating you of our arrival we had a complete internet failure in Pelly and despite a technician from North West Tel going over-and-above and driving up all the way from Whitehorse to try to fix it, we were without connection for the rest of our stay. That coupled with a cellphone dead zone made for a frustrating few hours from a comms perspective but from a dog team perspective it went absolutely according to plan! We’re now in Carmacks with limited connection so I can update you quickly on the team arriving and leaving Pelly. I don’t hold out much hope that I can upload any video; I will try, but in the meantime I took a few pictures to share with you.
It's a lovely touch from the community and I'm sure it will be much appreciated by all the mushers that come in for a chilli and corn muffin!
Allen and the team pulled in first to the checkpoint at 10.15pm and, boy, they looked great. The dogs were very vocal, Mac even sounds like he is losing his voice from singing and cheerleading a little too much! Allen came in with Quito and Scruggs in lead, I’m not quite sure when he swapped Scruggs and Olivia.
The temperature in Pelly was around 20F below - both musher and dogs looked frosty and the dogs are wearing their wind jackets and Allen was wrapped up in his cold weather Northern Outfitters gear.
Allen enjoys running with Chemo in the team so was disappointed to leave him behind. The pace of the race is such that Allen won't be taking any chances of risking further injury to any dogs so will have made the decision with Chemo's future, and the rest of the racing season, in mind.
He was taken back to Dawson so we’re very lucky that Meghan and Thomas who are handling for Cody Strathe are bringing him with them to Pelly and one of us will head back that way to pick him up when he arrives. He is in great hands and they will take good care of him. We’re looking forward to seeing him and giving him some loving which I am certain he will lap up! He is a big, tough racing dog but enjoys some smooching too.
Allen himself is tired but still looks good. He hadn’t slept since Dawson but he works hard on his fitness and it is at this part of the race that it really shows. That he can still be efficient with his chores and hold a coherent conversation on so little sleep is testament to that.
After a quick nap and a couple of bowls of hearty beef and barley soup he gathered his gear ready for the 70-odd mile run to Carmacks. The dogs got almost three hours of rest, interrupted only to eat dinner. He did some switching around on the line and left with Quito and Scruggs in lead, Nacho and Olivia in swing followed by Scout and Chica, Mac and Boondocks (can you imagine – our biggest dog running with our smallest dog!), Schmoe and Clyde with Biscuit and Beemer still in wheel.
While we waited for the team to leave we were treated to a stunning Aurora show – I tried to capture it on my little “point-and-shoot” for you.
L-R: Quito and Scruggs lead the team in to Pelly; A frosty Allen arriving in Pelly.
L-R: Dr Mike, Aliy and Meghan watch on; a show of Aurora as we waited.
The team left quietly – they were more than happy to leave and looked ready to go. When we caught up with them at McCabe Creek Dog Drop they were loping along, looking comfortable. When Allen stopped there briefly to check in with officials Mac managed to get himself over the top of Boondocks and she was standing under his belly - it look hilarious and even Allen stopped what he was doing for a moment and said "well, that's freaking funny right there!"
We expect to see the team here in Carmacks soon. Not sure when you will hear from me again… "stay tuned".
FYI: In Pelly the officials are changing the batteries in everyone’s trackers with you in mind. Little things can make all the difference.