We finally caught up with Aliy and her Red team; it seems like an age ago we said goodbye at the start line. Like Allen, 101 was the first time she had stopped at a checkpoint to be able to talk to us and update us with how she's getting on.
As the team pulled in to Mile 101 checkpoint her team looked fantastic. She didn't realise she was the first YQ300 musher in and she got there just a few minutes after Allen left so we were able to utilise is vacant campsite and even some of his straw so the timing was perfect. Pud was still in lead and she had swapped out Rambler for Honda just a few miles out of the checkpoint as they went through the open water. I guess Rambler just has a little more labrador in him… Aliy herself got frozen boots again and was looking forward to getting in to the mushers cabin to dry them out.
The young-Latinos are all doing well. It was like Mismo couldn't get enough food in the checkpoint and was eating everything that he was given even though he is a bit picky eater with snacks out on the trail. Aliy was excited to have the youngsters on her team and show them the trail that means so much to her. It was lovely to watch the team as they rested as the sun was out but it was not too warm and the dogs enjoyed basking and stretching out under light fleece blankets and jackets.
The Red team rest at Mile 101
Aliy also got to enjoy a couple of hours of sleep herself as she rested the team five hours. After some eggs and conversation she set her boots to dry and lay down herself in the mushers cabin, which was only about 12 feet from her sleeping team. Even before Aliy came out from her nap the dogs all perked up and started looking round at other dog teams leaving so you could tell they were well rested and ready to go. As the day was warming up Aliy gave them all a dish of plain, cool water before their kibble meal so they left really well hydrated and fed ready for the hike up Eagle Summit.
L-R: Aliy enjoys some hospitality before a rest; Aliy starts her exit chores
Aliy is excited to run this race as she had not been on this part of the Quest trail since she won the Yukon Quest 1000 in 2000. She is carrying her video camera with her and is hoping to capture some of the trail with "Aliy Cam" - we won't see that until after the race but it is something to look forward to.
We heard from Bridgett at Central, as Aliy went through on her way to Circle City, that everyone is still doing well and that the teams around her were also looking good so she is expecting this to be a tough race to the end! Eagle summit was a challenge but everyone got through unscathed.
And just for fun, here are a couple of pictures from Day 1 - I know they are "sooo yesterday" but as we haven't seen many pics of the team yet I thought you might enjoy them.
L-R: The team waiting at the dog truck on Second Avenue; the Red team heads under the Nordale Road Bridge near Fairbanks (photo credit Barbara Swenson)
A quick thank you to the team at Mile 101 checkpoint. Meghan and I were there for over 12 hours in the end and special thanks must go to the checkpoint manager Peter and his team of volunteers especially Jeff, Georgann and Kelly for their hospitality, help and organisation! The checkpoint seemed to run like clockwork and that makes a big difference to the teams. Thanks!