Wow! Thirteen dogs to the finish line and they were yelling and howling in the finish chute.
It was so exciting to be in the chute waiting for the team. Every couple minutes we would check the tracker and it moved excruciatingly slowly! They were making great time along the trail, it just seemed to us to take ages before we caught sight of them.
We were speculating who Allen would have in lead, none of us guessed Izzy! Izzy and Scout proudly trotted up the chute with giant Mismo and tiny Chipper in swing, Kodiak and Waylon, Scruggs and Schmoe, Dutch and Willie, Big Mac then Clyde and Commando.
Handler crew ready and waiting in the finish chute
The dogs enjoyed their thawed salmon and beef snacks and we almost lost some fingers in that manoeuvre! We took booties off and got a chance to really love on them all for a few minutes as Allen was asked some questions by the media. He said how excited he is about next year's race because of the youngsters that finished today. He choked up a little bit while talking about Scout and how he's been with him on every Quest he's run. He's a good boy!
The vet team did a check on every dog before we left the chute, they have been very vigilant in their care for the canine athletes in this race.
There was a heap of people out cheering them on and Brent (right) and the W&F crew came down to see the team come in.
Check out the Newsminer story and pictures from today's finish line action.
Allen and Bridgett drove the team the short distance back to the truck, led by Mark, and we set to feeding them their three-kibble mix and the remainder of the meat snacks. Quite a crowd stood around watching and asking questions; it is so cool that so many people are becoming interested in the Quest!
At the same time we fed the 13, we dropped Felix out and gave him his dinner. Allen said "Felix, buddy, how've you been? It's nice to see you boy!"
We frantically texted Aliy during events and Allen called her as soon as we got back to the truck. She can't wait to see everyone again soon!
Bridgett then spent some time rubbing pink ointment into feet and algyval massaging joints then they were all ready to get into bed and sleep for a few hours until we get them out of the truck later tonight to relieve themselves and eat more meat.
After a long, hot shower and a good meal Allen is now relaxing and, my guess is that, any minute now will be asleep. We're all in the same hotel room so he warned us that he is still on 'checkpoint time' and will wake up every couple hours and even start ski-poling and running in his sleep. I guess that will go on for a few days yet!
Tomorrow Bridgett and Mark will drive the dogs home to the kennel where Aliy has set up the dog barn waiting for them. Allen has some media and other engagements during the week including the Meet the Mushers on Friday evening and Finishers Banquet on Saturday. I'll stay here with him. I'll will use some of the 'down time' this week to get Allen's dog-by-dog wrap-up of the race.