A crowd of family, friends, supporters and race fans turned from about 9.30pm last night ready to welcome our team home. With the finish line being off the river we couldn't see them coming so look-outs were posted at the Steese Highway Bridge to alert us to their imminent arrival. To see Allen's headlamp, flopping dog ears then faces appear up the ramp was so exciting.
They crossed the line to cheers and whoops! All tails wagging. Dutch and Amber seemed keen to continue for a bit longer, lunging in their harnesses. Mismo and Izzy looking like old pros faced the throng of photographers without batting an eyelid. Commando and Junior circled around and around and Spark gave kisses to all and sundry. Kodiak and Amber got close up with one of the photography team and Champ and Rodney stood even a little prouder than they already did. Chipper and Felix looked around seemingly taking it all in.
They all wolfed down their thawed salmon and beef snacks and enjoyed the attention of the crew. Aliy introduced all the dogs individually to the crowd as Allen petted each one, thanking them for their hard work over the last 10 days.
When asked his favourite part of the 2017 Yukon Quest Allen replied "Getting over Eagle Summit with no problems, they just went straight up". He also mentioned that he didn't get wet from overflow once, a rarity on the Yukon Quest Trail.
Climbing Eagle Summit - Photo Whitney McLaren
Champ Matt Hall was there also and they both congratulated each other on their races.
Once home they all got to hang out in the barn. Mismo knew EXACTLY where he was going and literally dragged me through the dog yard, past his house and into his barn stall. All of them enjoyed their meal and settled quickly in a mountain of fresh straw.