We are about to leave the kennel to head to the finish line to greet Allen, Mismo, Izzy, Commando, Junior, Spark, Dutch, Kodiak, Amber, Rodney, Champ, Felix and Chipper. We're so excited to have them cross the line and have seven Quest rookies become veterans and add one more 1000 mile race to the resumes of the others.
Earlier today we caught them as they mushed past the Pleasant Valley Store.
Passing by Pleasant Valley Store
And friends (and Dog Sponsors) Mary-Beth and Lynne caught up with them at the well-manned road crossing of Chena Hot Springs Road and further down the trail.
Chena Hot Springs Road Crossing - Photo Mary-Beth Schreck
Chena Hot Springs Road - Photo Mary-Beth Schreck
We didn't need a tracker to know when they passed through the neighbourhood as we could hear all the dog teams in the area systematically start barking and howling as they went by. I like to think they were cheering them on to the finish.
Valley of Champions
Keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook pages as we may post directly to them from the finish chute. As usual the amazing visual content team have been keeping the Yukon Quest Facebook Page and website current so make sure to bookmark those sites also.
Once the team crosses the line they will get some yummy thawed salmon and beef then we'll get them to the truck for a nice hot meal, rub down and into their boxes for the ride home. We've spruced up the barn with fresh straw and they will get to chill out in there for a week or so while enjoying short stretch-out runs.
While I was looking back at last year I found this excellent post from Macgellan where he talks about the youngsters in last year's team. I thought it was just as relevant today as it was this time last year. We are definitely still in a transition phase of the kennel and the team did incredibly well, guided expertly by Allen. He has a particular skill in working with young dogs and it really pays off when we now have so many experienced and race educated two and three year olds.
I will post a more detailed update when we get back to the kennel.