Sunday, February 14, 2016
YQ: Into Braeburn
We could see the teams coming on the nearby ridge so it was exciting to catch a glimpse of Allen’s headlamp as they came down the hill.
They pulled into the checkpoint and Allen was immediately engulfed in the media scrum while the dogs waited patiently to be let go to their parking spot. When he said “you ready?” they all jumped up and Schmoe (of course, Schmoe) and Mac yelled.
He pulled in with Mismo and Scout in lead, Chipper had been in lead for a while but ended up in Swing with Waylon. Kodiak was running with I.Z.Z.Y. and the rest of the lineup of Schmoe and Scruggs, Willie and Dutch and Clyde with Commando in wheel remains unchanged.
Once in their parking spot Allen gave them all a bunch of snacks and some kibble and plain water and they all ate like hungry hogs! It’s a great sign at this stage of the race. They even pulled the hook a couple times and had the energy to covet each other's snacks! He then de-bootied and bed them down for their nice long rest here. They will get another big kibble and meaty/watery meal before they leave.
The teams are parked fairly closely together in the order they came in with Hugh's team closest to the exit chute, then Brent's team and ours. Matt will slot in alongside them ready for the race to the finish tomorrow.
This checkpoint is another opportunity for the vet team to do a thorough and meticulous check of every dog. They spend a lot of time looking through every foot (that's 52 feet), listening to their hearts and lungs, checking hydration status and mobility of wrists and shoulders. They take such care of our canine friends and we so appreciate having them available to us.
Allen is now in the lodge eating one the of the plate-sized bacon-cheese burgers. Most of us, when we see the burger, say “Wow!” – Allen said “I could probably eat two of those!”
Allen told us the trail was pretty much as he expected. The heat is the biggest issue, as it has been for the last few days, but the dogs are coping okay with it. Even Mac who doesn’t always excel in warmer weather is doing well.
He’s really proud of Commando! He was wavering about taking him on the race as a two year old but he’s done 900 miles of a competitive race with just 100 left to go. It had been a bit hard on him mentally but he’s doing so well and still pulling.
So far, Allen thinks Scout has been the strongest dog. He keeps putting him back in lead and Scout is steady and reliable. This is Scout's sixth Yukon Quest so he certainly knows the way!
We’ve been frantically texting to and fro with Aliy with updates as cell coverage is limited. She said she has been circling for the last couple of hours trying not to hit refresh constantly. She is happy and relieved they are in and can now enjoy eight hours of rest here. She’s also happy the Iditarod drop bags are completed ready to be turned in tomorrow!!
The team and Allen will enjoy their break here and leave for the finish line at 3.33am!
Nap time now for everyone.