It’s always thrilling to see two dog teams come into a checkpoint at the same time. This afternoon we saw Allen and our athletes appear loping along the in-trail followed hot on his heels by Ed Hopkins and his team. Both dog teams looked great and had been leapfrogging each other on the tracker all morning.
You could tell it was cold on the river as all the dogs had frosty beards and steam rising when they stopped. Izzy looked particularly fetching with a white ice-beard.
We employed a great team effort to get the team parked in Carmacks: they need to do a hard 90 degree HAW to get in beside the gymnasium then a U-turn to be facing the correct direction to exit. Thanks to the volunteers who helped our team manoeuvre into place, it looked so effortless.
Allen set to his checkpoint routine, snacking to dogs on their frozen salmon, beef and turkey skins, removing booties and bedding them down in fresh straw. The vet team moved in right away to give
everyone a thorough inspection and speak with Allen about any issues he might be having and to give advice.
The team looked quite content after their snack and straw, with some settling quickly. A few others (I’m looking at you Champ and Rodney) took only just a little bit longer as they had to look around for a while and figure out what was going on. They are all sleeping now dreaming of the trail to come.
Allen is also sleeping, he has had very little rest since Friday night! He’s upstairs in a quiet “musher only” area and will get a wake-up call from the volunteers in enough time to gather his outer layers that are hanging to dry, get outside and give the dog their meal and pack his sled.
We asked him a little about the trail as he ate his chilli (there was a vegetarian option and a meat option, when asked he replied with a rather emphatic “Meat!”). He said the trail was great, they’d been told it was the best ever so it was living up to that. There was a little jumble ice on the river making it a bit bumpy in the last section but it was a fast, good trail. The dogs were doing a great job, especially the youngsters and he is trying to keep them a little slower to ensure they don’t jar or strain anything on the fast trail.
Once the team leaves at 6.27pm (at the earliest) Mark and I will clean up the straw and his campspot then get on the road up to McCabe Creek dog drop. This is the only ‘remote’ dog drop/ hospitality that handlers can go into so we’ll go in and take a look.
RED TEAM UPDATE
Aliy and the Red Team are in Carmacks, as I write this they have just arrived and are having a small meal. They will have a sleep and get another just before they leave. Aliy must do six hours here plus her time differential so she will get a chance to sleep, something that has been scarce since Friday.
She is really pleased with the team and they bounced in looking happy. She has Woody and Chena in lead and said she is moving leaders around to give everyone an opportunity.
Thanks to Carmen, Emily and their volunteer team for the organization and help in Carmacks.
Sorry, can't upload pics right now as the internet is under huge load. Next internet is at Pelly Crossing so I may get a chance to share them with you then.