Whitehorse!!

 

The gangs all here! Dave arrived in Whitehorse early this morning at 6:09 am with a team of 10 – the 11th musher to cross the finish line. It was an absolutely beautiful night/morning to be out on the trail, as the lights were out dancing in vivid shades of green, pink and purple. As Dave answered some questions about the trail and his 26th year running the Quest, the team chowed down on some well-deserved breakfast. Spinner even went in for thirds when Kirsten and I turned our heads (pictures coming soon).

The whole gang was happy to climb into the warm, familiar truck (maybe a little too familiar to us handlers :P) and head back to our host family’s home in Whitehorse. We are so grateful for the Kitchen family and their incredible hospitality. Dave enjoyed an Epson salt bath and some homemade stew, while Kirsten and I set up the dog lot before enjoying a cold beer and some much needed sleep. Somehow I slept longer than Dave, who was up early to catch Hugh’s speech in town – keeping up with this guy is no easy task!

All the dogs are sleeping peacefully in the lot, as Kirsten and I work on getting them fat and happy post-race. It feels great to give the puppy dogs some TLC once again, as race handlers are only permitted to touch the dogs in Dawson. We’ll be hanging out in Whitehorse for a few days, taking it easy and enjoying some of the quest festivities until the end banquet on Saturday. So far, the 2016 Quest has been an amazing experience for us all, and we are happy to enjoy the benefits of so much hard work!

Team Line Up

Entering Braeburn:

Lead – Happy and Healy

Wheel – Frasier and Yukon

Leaving Braeburn:

Lead – Doc and Woody

Wheel – Yukon and Frasier

Finish Line:

Lead – Doc and Spinner

Wheel – Grumpy and Frasier

Carmacks

Dave arrived in Pelly at 9:17 pm, the team looked happy and healthy as they crossed the checkpoint. Dave stayed in Pelly for some good rest and a hearty stew. Leaving at 2:47 am, the team was happy to get back on the trail with 10 dogs still on the line.

After Kirsten and I cleaned up, we headed to Carmacks – where Dave blew through after camping just outside the checkpoint. Kirsten greeted Dave in Braeburn at 12:35 this afternoon, where Dave enjoyed a big, greasy cheeseburger. He and the team are now resting before they head out tonight for the last leg of the journey! The finish line has changed due to ice conditions, and will now be at Takhini Hot Springs, resulting in a shorter race by about 20-30 miles.

 

Team Lineup:

entering Pelly:

Lead – Woody and Doc

Wheel – Frasier and Yukon

Leaving Pelly:

Lead – Happy and Healy

Wheel – Frasier and Yukon

Entering/Leaving Carmacks:

Lead – Happy and Healy

Wheel – Frasier and Yukon

 

 

Dawson to Pelly

Dave and the gang arrived in Dawson at 6:07 pm on Thursday, February 11th, after braving a couple of gnarly storms just before hitting town. After checking in with officials, the whole team headed down to campsite number 8. Kirsten and I had to get a little creative with our tent rigging skills, as the site had slim pickings when it came to trees – but a couple of twigs and a lot of rope seemed to do the trick. The dogs got plenty of rest and pampering during their 36 hour stay in Dawson, and Dave was able to thaw out, tune up his sled, eat a good meal or two, and catch up on his sleep (in a bed!).

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Dave arriving in Dawson

The dogs were happy to bask in the unusually warm weather (15-25 degrees F!)  while they rested in thick beds of straw, and got a few well-received massages from us handlers. Eires had a sore wrist that Kirsten gave a ton of TLC to, and she left feeling rejuvenated and healthy.

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Relaxing in the tent

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Frasier being adorable while he sleeps

Dave checked out right on schedule, at 6:07 am on Saturday morning – with 10 dogs on the line. Kate and Yoyo were left behind between Circle and Dawson, and thanks to some very helpful friends, are back home at the kennel getting some TLC of their own.

After breaking down camp and cleaning up, Kirsten and I got some a couple hours rest of our own before packing up and hitting the road to Pelly. Another beautiful drive with an alpineglow panorama, good conversation, and a few more wildlife spottings. We’re waiting for Dave’s arrival in Pelly, expecting him sometime Monday morning…though it seems like a fast trail, so we shall see! In the meantime, we are taking it easy  – catching up on sleep and hanging out with Sleepy and Farrah, who are happy, healthy, and enjoying the extra time out of the truck!

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Caitlin in the chute with Eires and Happy

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Kirsten greeting Healy in Dawson

Team Lineup

Entering Dawson:

Lead – Healy

Wheel – Spinner and Frasier

Leaving Dawson:

Lead – Happy and Healy

Wheel – Grumpy and Yukon

 

Dawson

It’s been about 3 days since we saw Dave out of Circle, and the gang is steadily making their way into Dawson! After a light snow and some long, steep climbs right before the check point – the team will be more than ready for some R&R during their 36 hour layover in town. Only about 20 miles out, we are excited to see our musher and the pups, and find out how the long trek went. As of right now, 12 dogs are still in the lineup, while Farrah and Sleepy hang out with the handlers due to a couple of sore muscles. More updates coming soon!!

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Dave’s camp awaiting their arrival in Dawson!

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The team resting up in Central, sweet Frasier has been an amazing cheerleader this year!

Team lineup:

Entering Mile 101:

Lead – Doc and Woody

Wheel – Sleepy

Leaving Mile 101:

Lead – Farrah and Kate

Wheel – Sleepy

Entering Central:

Lead – Happy and Healy

Wheel – Sleepy

Leaving Central:

Lead – Doc and Woody

Wheel – Sleepy

Entering Circle:

Lead – Healy and Happy

Wheel – Sleepy

Leaving Circle:

Lead – Doc and Woody

Wheel – Farrah and Kate

Yukon Quest 2016

Sorry for the delay in updates! Internet service is spotty at best, so please bear with us!

Dave and the gang were the 8th team to leave Fairbanks at 11:24 his morning, with Happy and Healy in lead and Sleepy holding it down in the back.

After camping out along the trail, the team was in & out of 2 Rivers with Happy and Yoyo leading the way, ams Yukon in wheel. The gang’s official checkout time was 11:30 pm. Dave and the dogs looked great with spirits to match, on their way to Mile 101!

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Healy and Happy leading the way!

 

 

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Dave with Quest Guest and handler Caitlin

 

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Handler Kirsten sending the team off!