Circle AM – Journal Entry 3

10:49 Circle City 2/8/10

I woke up this morning to a light snow and 10 F.  After a solid 8 hours of sweaty sweaty sleep, I’m fully charged up.   Dave and the Gang are feeling good as well.  Their parking spot was front and center in front of the fire hall, but the coming and going didn’t seem to disturb their slumber.

The entire team devoured their morning meal – the usual fare, ground beef, kibble, supplements and vitamins, and fish oil.  Rio was slightly dehydrated upon arrival in Circle, but has eaten both meals.  Rio and Zek are valuable leaders, finishing numerous Quests between them.   Looks like Rio will continue on to Slaven’s Cabin and then to Eagle!

The young ones – Al, Tom, Healy, and Altair – are maintaining a good energy level and charging out of checkpoints.

At the moment, Dave’s drying dog coats at the washeteria and I’m about to get the truck a bit more organized for the long drive to Dawson City (looks like a bomb exploded).   The Gang will take off around Noon.  I’ll try to remember to get some good action shots….

Photos/Entry submitted by Alexander Beebe-Giudice, Dalton Gang Handler for 2010 YQ Race

Click on the photos for a larger view (well worth it!)

Dave with vet upon arrival in Circle, Alaska

Dave checking the team at Circle

Dave taking booties off

Dave feeding

Dogs Chowing at Circle

Dog Breakfast!

Circle AK – Race Journal Entry 2

20:52 Circle, AK

Dave had a good rest at Mile 101; arriving at 5:28 and departing at 10:22.

Dave put Nicole in single lead for the charge up and over Eagle Summit and arrived at the Central Checkpoint, located at the Steese Roadhouse in Central, AK. At 14:12.  At 33 miles, the run from Mile 101 to Central is short in length, but climbs 3,685 feet.  Zek and Rio led the team in; the vets were impressed with their hydration and good spirits.  Dave modified his original plan after observing several teams taking a few hours rest at the busy checkpoint, and departed Central exactly 15 minutes later with a half-bale of straw and all the ingredients for a warm meal. The Roadhouse happens to be the only bar in town and was attracting throngs for customers for the Super Bowl and the Quest.  Ganges is taking another shift upfront and proudly led her team of 2-9 year olds out of Central with wise attitude.

Now, I’m at the Circle Elementary School.  My drive was a long 34 miles of narrow, windy, snow covered dirt road.  The Steese Highway ends at this little town and I forked over $34 to reserve a spot on the gymnasium floor and a shower in the miniature boy’s room.  Dave and the Gang have 74 miles of a very fast trail to cover.  I suspect that he ran another hour or two outside of Central and is resting 4-5 hours.  Perhaps he’ll stop at Konkrine’s Cabin for a short rest, 14 miles away, before heading to Circle.  Who knows!

As for me, I’m going catch some more sleep before meeting Dave in the morning and then embarking on the three-gazillion mile (truck) drive to Dawson City.  Dave and the Gang can look forward to 36 mandatory hours of rest and relaxation – the run from Circle to Dawson is 306 miles. Dave and the Gang will cover that ground in smaller runs of 40-60 miles.   Still 14 dogs strong!

Circle –> Eagle (Wilderness Checkpoint) –> Dawson City
Photos/Entry submitted by Alexander Beebe-Giudice, Dalton Gang Handler for 2010 YQ Race

Click on the photos for a larger view (well worth it!)

Race Start – Journal Entry 1

Dave’s years of experience is obvious on race day.  As other mushers, handlers, and loved ones scramble about leaving miscellaneous gear in their wake, Dave and I enjoyed a rather leisurely morning before the start. As Bib #3, the Dalton Gang was scheduled to leave at 11:09 am and approached the starting line with confidence as the crowd jacked their excitement.  The temperature was a balmy 5 degrees F.

Dave’s Official Starter/Quest Sponsor was Melissa from New Hampshire.  Her willingness to lend a hand was very much appreciated and, instead of joining Dave on the runners or hopping on the snow machine hitched the rear of the team, Melissa chose to help me guide the runners from the dog (parking) lot, down to the Chena River, and to the starting line.   Klejka Family Representatives Jessica and (Jennifer?) and friends, and Nina Schwinghammer completed our escort.

Approximately 40 miles down the trail, I met the Gang at 3:59/4:15 pm at the Twin Bears Checkpoint.  A handful of teams had arrived and most chose to lay down straw and stay awhile.  Dave, as planned, ratcheted a bale of straw to the sled, put the meat on hot water and headed back out with Ganges in single lead.   Tonight, I’m crashing north of Fox and will head out the Steese Highway to Mile 101 in the very early morning!

2/7/09

Dave and gang rolled into Mile 101 at 5:28 this morning. Most folks report the trail is in decent condition, however, the few that have complained are rather vocal about it.  There’s a mandatory 2-hour layover here; the Gang is taking at least 4-5 hours.  Dave was in good spirits upon his arrival last night; jovial even.  The team went through their vet check without incident and quickly took advantage of the straw.  Musher and dogs are currently asleep.    Four mushers have departed this checkpoint to conquer Eagle Summit; Looks like Dave will be making his ascent in the early to mid afternoon – hopefully the long rest will charge them up for this tough climb.

Entry filed by Alexander Beebe-Giudice, Dalton Gang Handler for 2010 YQ Race