The Gang was scheduled to depart at 11:36 am on Saturday, February 4th. Temperatures were well below zero in downtown Whitehorse – to keep the dogs warm and calm, Dave usually spends time with individual Gang Members inside the truck. After a moisturizing salve is applied to each foot, boots are put on and team members are harnessed. Once all 14 dogs are harnessed and bootied, Dave and his crew start building the team.
We met up with Dave and handlers, Kirsten and Beth, in Whitehorse Friday night. Everyone was busy doing something. While Dave occupied himself putting the finishing touches on a brand new sit-down sled, Kirsten and Beth tended to the dogs and made sure the truck was fully outfitted for their drive to Fairbanks. Dave’s sled is two inches wider, and features 9 foot runners. A cooler keeps dog food warm and doubles as a seat for the musher on long runs.
Kate from Florida was this years Quest Guest and, among other exclusive activities, was able to join Dave and the Gang for the first 1.5 miles of the 2017 Quest. The Quest Guest program is an awesome way for mushing enthusiasts to bid on a musher of their choice and enjoy VIP and behind-the-scenes access to all of the starting events.
Dave and Kirsten are set to arrive in Whitehorse early this week to take part in some festivities and get settled at Brian and Marguerite’s house before the race starts on Saturday. Kirsten’s handled for Dave on the Quest previously – she’s joined by Beth, someone I know nothing about but will soon. Stay Tuned! This year, I (Alex) am super excited to meet Dave and gang in Whitehorse for the start.
Longtime friend Lee Lowry hosted Dave and handler Kirsten just outside of Fairbanks on their way to Whitehorse. Traveling to the race start with Dave’s huskies requires a dog-truck full of straw, lots of food, two sleds, and all the gear Dave needs for the first leg of the Quest.
Meet the Mushers is a FREE event at the Mount Mcintyre Rec Centre in Whitehorse featuring a meet-and-greet with 2017 mushers.
The Start and Draw Banquet is on Thursday, February 2nd. This is not free, but a lot of fun. If you’re in the area come out and watch Dave and mushers draw their starting number for the 1000 mile race.