We've just arrived into Carmacks checkpoint after leaving Pelly and stopping in to McCabe Creek dog drop.
Black Team leaving Pelly Crossing
Allen and the Black Team left Pelly after about a four hour rest. Allen managed to get a good sleep and some great eggs (thanks Jill) before he quickly and efficiently completed is exit chores: feeding the dogs, packing his sled and bootying/dressing his team mates before hitting the trail to McCabe. Bridgett led the team up to the checkout point to give them a chance to pee and poo after their sleep, then they got on their way, heading down the road for the next few hours.
He led out with Mismo and Kodiak, Waylon and Scout in swing, the sassy girls Chipper and Izzy are still running together, Schmoe and Scruggs, Willie and Dutch, Mac gets to choose which side of the line he runs on as he has no running partner, then Commando and Clyde still in wheel.
Thanks to the Vet crew!; Allen opens the student letters (don't worry, Bridgett got permission to be that close to the dog team - we normally are not allowed to do so)
We cleaned up the camp spot; by then Allen had put all his reject stuff into used drop bags; then got a bite to eat before making our way to McCabe Creek.
While we were there Mark (our Mark) and Mark Sass (Brent's Dad) helped whip up a drying rack around the wood stove for any mushers stopping in and wanting their gear dried. It was something to behold: one minute there was nothing, next minute there was a sturdy temporary structure ready and waiting.
We saw Hugh and team go through and watched as Brent fed and bed-down his dogs for a short rest. The Black Team followed about an hour later and Allen didn't even stop - he gee-hawed them through the driveway and disappeared into the night.
We did manage to catch a glimpse of the team and they did look good. He'd swapped out Mismo for Scout in the lead with Kodiak but it was too dark and too quick to spot any other configuration changes.
Before he left Pelly Allen said this next leg has a bit of everything: hills, river, roads so it will be interesting for the dogs to have different terrain and environments.
Carmack's checkpoint is actually my old stomping ground. My first experience with the Yukon Quest was as a volunteer at Dawson and Carmacks and I spent nearly a week here back in 2012. It feels familiar and like I have come home to my Quest roots!
Like Pelly, there is a large gymnasium where handlers, fans and supporters can sleep, a lounge area with wi-fi and the mushers will sleep upstairs away from the hustle and bustle of the checkpoint.
He is feeling so much better and he's eating as we would hope. For those interested, and not eating their dinner right now, his bum is no longer runny so that's great news.
He's going to start getting sassy soon as he will be fully rested and back to himself!