Dawson City – Journal Entry 4

7:17 Dawson City 2/13/10

Dave’s 36 hour layover began at 18:14 on February 11 after a rather uncomfortable 306 mile journey from Circle.  Dave feasted on some moose stew at the Eagle Checkpoint and soon experienced symptoms of food poisoning and extended his rest between Eagle and Dawson by a few hours.  Dave and the Gang rested at 40 mile (a cabin 40 miles from Dawson) until the symptoms passed.

The team was in good spirits but ready for their extended rest.  Altair, the Gang’s 65 pound wheel dog, arrived in the sled bag due to wrist injury.  Prior to Dave’s arrival, I prepared a shelter across the Yukon River from Dawson with plenty of straw.  I was also sure to have a hot meal ready for the team.  In order to minimize distractions during the layover, Dave called for the vet check right after arriving.  Aside from Altair injury, other Gang members required extra care for their feet and wrists.

While Dave rested, I continued the Gang’s 8 hour feed cycle and provided treatment at the same intervals.  Feet were massaged with special ointments, wrist wraps applied to keep joints warm and reduce inflammation, and shoulder massaged.  The Gang were quite comfortable in their shelter, lounging on two bales of straw in fleece dog coats, covered in blankets (weighted in the corners to keep the blankets in place).

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police allowed mushers to thaw their sleds and gear out in a warm garage.  Dave enjoyed several soaks in our host’s hot tub and dried his Arctic gear around her wood stove.  Our host Shirley has been putting up with Dave for his 36 hour layover for almost 15 years and she’s quite accommodating.  Check out her fabric arts and craft gallery in you’re ever in Dawson City at her home, Sign of the Raven. Her work is intricate and beautiful.

Dave departed this morning with 12 dogs.  Altair has been layed off for the rest of the race and will join Rio and I in the dog truck as we head back to Whitehorse over the next 4-5 days.  The other dogs with minor strains and injuries benefited from the care and rest they received, and continued on down the trail.  Dave was bright and chipper this morning, free of illness, and ready to take on the next 201 miles to Pelly Crossing.

Before Pelly Crossing, Dave will stop at Sroggie Creek, 102 miles, for a 4-6 hour rest, and then on to Stepping Stone Hospitality Stop, and on to Pelly.  I plan on catching some more solid rest here in Dawson, wander around town a bit in the morning, and then hit the road again in the afternoon.

Alexander Giudice – handler and chief gang trail reporter

Amy and Warthog, promptly removing their booties after checking into Dawson