At 1.30 this morning (Yukon time) Allen and team arrived into Dawson! We were so excited to see them again and they looked fantastic crossing the line. Scruggs and Quito continue to lead the team.
Allen said the last part of the trail was cold (it was abut 20-25F below with a wind of perhaps 30 miles an hour) and when he came into the checkpoint he was decked out in his white Northern Outfitters wind jacket and pants and looked somewhat like the abominable snowman! It took him a few moments to find his way out of the jacket hood to speak to the checkers at the checkpoint.
I have video of the team coming in to the checkpoint which may take some time to upload but make sure you take a look at Chica still slamming her harness wanting to keep moving. It was remarkable how great they all looked, Allen included, after the big run from Eagle.
After the mandatory gear check Aliy took over the reins of the team and drove them over to the campsite that we had set up earlier in the day where Meghan was waiting with a warm meal, thick straw beds, fleece jackets and throw blankets and an Algyval massage. We'll show you around the camp in the next day or so. Ray and I took Allen into the checkpoint, which doubles as the Dawson City Visitors Centre for the rest of the year, for two bowls of fabulous chilli, some water and a quick chat. He's really happy to be here and looking forward to some rest then heading over to the dog camp to check on his team.
Ray catches up with Allen over two bowls of chilli
Allen told us a little about the trail… from Slaven's Cabin to Eagle was the worst Allen had ever seen it. The area had experienced the high temperatures recently felt all over Alaska and the trail had melted and become treacherous. He said they were going over sections of glare-ice 5-10 miles at a time. There's not much trail breakers can do about that and they had done the best job they could. He did say though that the harder the trail was the harder the dogs pulled!
The trail from Eagle to Dawson, however, was the best he'd ever seen which is why they were going along at such a good clip. He stopped for an hour at 40-mile Cabin where he fed the team a kibble meal and several snacks and they got to rest for a while. He said that was a great move as they perked up and looked even better after that.
What happens now is we handlers step in to care for the dogs, do any repairs to the sled, launder clothes, order steaks - whatever we need to to get this team ready to head back on the trail in 36 hours. This is where we can make a real contribution to the outcome of the race and we are excited and ready! Well… maybe we will try to get a little sleep first… then we'll be ready!