….And we are even closer to the start! Saturday was vet check and every gang member looked great! The veterans knew the drill as the few rookies looked to them for guidance. Waylon, a veteran, was definitely the vets favorite, as he wagged his tail non stop, even during his temperature check! 🤣 The Yukon Quest media team and Lee, Dave’s closest and one of his longest Quest friends and past handler for some races earlier on, got some great pictures of Dave, the 4 legged gang members and his 2 legged “fans”. It was a great day ending with our usual spot for some good company, conversations and warm food in our bellies. Next to come is “Meet The Mushers” on Wednesday!
This Saturday was the food drop in Fairbanks. “A small army of volunteers under the supervision of the Race Manager takes over as the bags are sorted and put on pallets for shipping. The supplies from Alaska-based mushers destined for Yukon checkpoints will be shipped to Whitehorse, while all bags from Yukon-based mushers destined for Alaska checkpoints will be transported to Fairbanks. Bags are then distributed to the ten checkpoints, themselves, before the first dog team takes off on Saturday, February 1st. The philosophy behind this is that mushers should be independently able to care for their dogs and themselves. This is where Dave brings in all the bags that will be sent off to each check point.” As you can see in some of the pics below, the bags have his last name and the check point that bag needs to go to. All together from start to finish, there is about 11 check points. When Dave and the gang comes into each check point, 10 not including the start, the bags will be waiting for him to grab and he will have dog food, dog blankets, jackets, booties and so much more packed up in each bag. Dave and handler Brad worked hard last week preparing all the bags for Saturday. Dave’s smile tells me he’s pretty glad this part is over! Now we have vet check next weekend! 🐾
The Yukon Quest will be here before we know it!! Here is a little peek of what’s happening at the Dalton Gang Kennel! Lots of meat cutting for drop bags and of course taking the dogs out for training runs.
This will be Dave’s 30th and last Yukon Quest . He is retiring after this years race from mushing but still plans to help out with volunteering with the race. The Kennel of 32 dogs will be up for sale with all the Musher arctic gear. Dog sleds and gear . Dog harnesses , coats, booties and gear. Dog houses , chains , bull and brass snaps, rebar swivels and pipe etc… It all goes. Looking to sell everything as one deal… Contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Dave,Veronica and Lee at the finishing banquet🐶A great picture of Dave’s #1 fan and rider from a few years back and Donna from the vet team!! This picture is great! Dave preparing for his banquet finish speech! 🐕
Things have calmed down now since dave crossed the finish line. The dogs are getting some great rest and eating well. It’s relax time till the summer, when they head out to Juneau for the glacier tours, but that’s all fun! 🐶 Dave is feeling great also and really happy with what his dogs have accomplished this particular race.
Here are a few pictures from meet the mushers. Check out the big smile of Dave’s!! Way to go!!! 🐕🐕
Dave finished in 15th place! The dogs are looking great and so proud of the rookies who will be super stars next year!! Doc and spinner did wonderful as leaders, back and forth, and got the team up and over Eagle summit and horrific, challenging Rosebud! Dave did amazing with what he was delt with and I bet is already sleeping away in a comfortable bed! Veronica was a wonderful handler with the help of Dave’s great friend, Lee! Im sure pictures will be posted in a day or two.
Dave at the finish line and sleepy Butch💙🐕
Talking with Veronica, the long drive to Circle went well. They got a chance to stop at Lee’s, Dave amazing friend who also has been involved with the quest, to drop off some stuff from the Yukon side. They got a little rest then off to Circle. When they arrived they got information that Dave dropped two gang members, Frasier and Yogi. The dogs are doing good and getting lots of love from the amazing vet team! Don’t worry, the dogs are doing good! Now the handlers patiently wait on Dave and the 11 gang members to make their way into Circle. Dave is just over 10miles out. 🐕
Update: Dave made it into Circle!! Dave got some rest in Circle about 6hrs, then packed up and was ready to go with the gang around 11:30pm yesterday. They are expecting Dave around 6pm tonight in Central . There has been a weather warning issued for the drive back over Eagle summit that will close the rd down. Once Dave gets into Cental, they will have to make a plan, the handlers, about the drive back. Dave will also have to access the conditions and see how long he needs to rest or go through in Central. 🐕
Update: Dave made his way into Central, after 2:30 pm, in a great mood and all smiles!! He rested for a few more hours and then the gang was off to 101! Dave was not worried with the weather reports because his dogs have experienced high winds and unpredictable weather before. Looks like he has a few other mushers around him🐶
Update: Dave made it to 101 around 1:30am. Took a short brake then they where back on the trail. Dave’s plan was to get up and over Rosebud summit before the winds really picked up, then rest in the other side. Looks like he might of not rested. Dave and the gang are 3hrs out of Two Rivers.
Update: I’m going to start by saying Dave told Veronica and Lee, when he came into Two Rivers, that this run had to be the toughest run from 101 to Two Rivers he has ever endured. It took Dave and the amazing gang 15hrs to to 28miles!! The Blizzard came in strong and Dave and Martin traveled together. Martin told Dave his GPS kept saying 48miles because he was always looking for the trail!! Martin got 12hrs of rest and left. Dave rested for a while also and is about to leave. Dave will have to “Beat” the trail because it has snowed since Martin left. Thank goodness this trail is the last leg, and Dave said he is going to take it nice and steady and slow. I am so proud of the gang for being in such great shape and motivaded and a huge acknowledgment to Dave! 🐶🐕
Here is a picture from Two Rivers! The picture shows the 4 amazing rookies that will make it to the finish line!! Phloem (left)with Kitty (right) in wheel and Cheetos (left)and Butch (right) in team. Way to go gang!! 💙🐕
Dave and the gang are ready to go! At 8:48pm, Yukon time, they left the chute and are headed to the Alaska side. Dave and the dogs had a great 36hr rest. Dave has 13 dogs now since Polar was dropped, and now getting pamered by the handlers, I’m sure! How could you not with his baby blue eyes, his soft ears, and sweet disposition. The Handlers now have a bit of time to rest themselves, before breaking down the tent and cleaning up the camp site. After that they will get on the road, for the long ride to Circle.🐕
Dave patiently waiting to leave
Dave arrived in Dawson this morning. The gang came prancing in with wagging tails and busy smelling all the “smells” from the other teams. Spinner was still in lead with Frasier and Norm still in swing. It looked like in the video that two rookies where in wheel. Dave mentioned in his interview, he had an extra rider 🐶driving with him for 75miles. I found out from Veronica Dave dropped veteran Polar in Scroggie. Hes doing great, nothing wrong with him, just got tired. Dave also mentioned the trail conditions where excellent, one of the better trails he has ever seen. Now it’s time to get the dogs checked by the vet team, get some food in their bellies and much needed rest. Dave will also get a warm meal and rest himself. Now its “go time” for handlers Veronica and Mike, as they can now step in and take care of the dogs while Dave gets rest, fixes up sled, visits some gang sponcers and fans, and gets his next strategy in order. 🐕
Update: Here are a few pictures added. Frasier getting his vet check, Grizzly laying on his team mate Waylon, and the pups tucked in. 🐕
Update: I posted some more great pictures when Dave arrived in Dawson and the dogs resting. I heard that all the dogs are still getting rest, eating, and stretching their legs. Dave has also caught up on need sleep. Look at the intensity in Docs eyes after the came in to Dawson, and handsome Polar looking bright eyed and rested. Oh, and check out that awesome blanket on him!! 🐶